Water Systems Manager Carlson reviewed Proposition 13, which relates to Santa Ana River projects and water bond issues. He stated that many agencies and the City of Fullerton would benefit from Proposition 13.
He further stated that Proposition 13 will provide up to $2 Million dollars in water projects throughout the state and will help Fullerton by assisting the following types of projects:
- Ground water basins
- Ground water recharge
- Fixes on the Delta
Based on this information, the City is in support of the Proposition.
MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether)
The Committee discussed how MTBE was becoming an issue with water quality. Water Systems Manager Carlson addressed the committee's concerns.
Mr. Carlson reported that while one trace of the MTBE additive has been found in Orange County's water supply, it has also been found in Lake Tahoe and Santa Monica. An MTBE testing program conducted by the Orange County Water District has been in place since September 1995.
Vice Chairman Pugh shared an article from "THE DAILY OIL" magazine on MTBE, which stated this additive will be phased out of the gasoline mixture by year 2003 in California.
Water Systems Manager Carlson reviewed the status of Hillcrest Reservoir, a hard storage water reservoir located at Hillcrest Park. Mr. Carlson distributed an outline of a study of Hillcrest Reservoir. The consultant's findings and options to fix the reservoir were explained in detail by Mr. Carlson.
Recommendations from the engineers were to look at the long-term effects and build a new reservoir, which would have a life expectancy of 75 to 100 years. Funds provided by a series of modest water rate increases over the next three years would provide the financing for this project.
Proposed Rate Increase
Based on the discussion of costs associated with Hillcrest Reservoir, Mr. Carlson discussed the proposed water rate increase with the Committee.
Mr. Carlson explained how the yearly water rate increase of 2 % over three years would be an average of $1.50 each month per household. He also stated these increases would provide enough surplus money to fund future Capital Programs and a bond for the reservoir.
Several questions were asked at this point including:
- Is there any funding available in any account to pay for rebuilding?
- Is Hillcrest in the right place for a reservoir?
- What would be the impact of water needs if large businesses continue to leave Fullerton?
- How is pure water maintained in a reservoir?
- What is the next action by the City Council?
- Has City Council already said they are in favor of the proposed solution for Hillcrest?
- Is it possible to tie Hillcrest Park into the Sanitation Department as well, due to the need of more restrooms and water fountains?
- Are there any grants available for the reservoir?
Mr. Carlson suggested that Associate Planner Viado place an overview of the Hillcrest Park remodel project on the agenda of a future meeting, since it details many aspects of how the reservoir will be incorporated into the project.
Rates, Rules, and Regulations
Mr. Carlson informed the Committee that the RATES, RULES, AND REGULATIONS booklet will be brought to the City Council for updating of water rates, new rate categories, billing language, trash rates, and City organization restructure. Mr. Carlson discussed the proposed changes with the Committee.
Patrick McNelly of the Orange County Sanitation District spoke briefly about the status of the current sanitary sewage program, and what changes might occur in the next 2-3 years. He stated that Orange County has a " zero tolerance" level for sewage spills, both in regional areas as well as in our member cities.
Mr. McNelly distributed information on CMOM (Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance Programs for Municipal Sanitary Sewer Systems). CMOM is a consensus of recommendations from the SSO (Sanitary Sewer Overflow) Federal Advisory Subcommittee.
Vice Chairman Pugh invited Mr. McNelly back to a future meeting for an in-depth presentation.