City government

Supervisors OK Davis water project election

By From page A1 | December 05, 2012

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved Davis’ all-mail special election next spring on the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency project. The vote was taken at its meeting Tuesday.

Registered voters will receive their ballots from the Yolo County Elections Office in the mail on Monday, Feb. 4. They must be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.

The ballots may be mailed or submitted in person to the Elections Office at the County Administration Building, 625 Court St., Suite B05, in Woodland, or to the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis.

It will take a majority “yes” vote for the public to approve the project.

The project, which will pump water from the Sacramento River, treat it and pipe it to Davis and Woodland, is designed to replace both cities’ dependence on deteriorating ground drinking water supplies.

City engineers have estimated that the project will cost the city of Davis and its water ratepayers approximately $113 million.

That cost recently dropped from about $123 million after Davis city leaders renegotiated the cost-sharing terms delineated in the Joint Powers Authority agreement that both cities signed in 2009.

Proponents and opponents of the project must submit their ballot arguments to the county by 5 p.m. Friday. Rebuttals are due by Dec. 17. Both the arguments and the rebuttals will be included with the sample ballots that also will be sent to residents the week of Feb. 4.

The City Council appointed Mayor Joe Krovoza and Councilman Lucas Frerichs to draft the argument in favor the project.

The Davis City Council unanimously voted in November to put the project to a binding citywide vote before moving ahead with Woodland.

The measure will read: “Shall Ordinance No. 2399 be adopted, which grants permission to the city of Davis to proceed with the Davis Woodland Water Supply Project, to provide surface water as an additional supply of water, subject to the adoption of water rates in accordance with the California Constitution (Proposition 218)?”

It has been estimated that the project will double or even triple water rates for ratepayers in Davis over the next five years.

The rate increases, which the City Council has yet to approve, will be sent to property owners in mid-January as part of the Prop. 218 process. The council is awaiting a recommendation on rates from the Davis Water Advisory Committee.

The cost of the project and the rates are not listed in the ballot measure itself.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton has estimated that the election will cost the city between $90,000 and $150,000.

The county has consolidated the election with the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento, which will vote to fill a vacancy on its Board of Education, but the consolidation will have no effect on the cost of the election to the city of Davis, according to Kris Mann, assistant to the county clerk.

The last day to register to vote is 15 days before the election.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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