Council Hears Report on Tripling Water Rates; Votes $1 Million for Pardi Market Site

The Dixon City Council at its regular meeting this past Tuesday faced a bad news-worse news report on the city’s water system. According to the consultants reviewing the finances of the system, residents of the half of Dixon getting their water from it will see their water rates more than triple by 2023.
As an example, a home with a 1 inch pipe connection currently pays $47.80 every two months. That would increase on April 1, 2019 to $79.98, and eventually by April 1, 2024 to $154.05. In addition, the current three tiers of water usage rates would be combined as on rat, going from $1.40 per ccf (One- hundred cubic feet) to $5.19 per ccf. Almost quadrupling.
The rationale is the system has not been maintained properly over the past decades and requires major repairs – including wells, water mains, pumps, meters and connections. The failure to properly maintain the system is the fault of the previous Joint Powers Agency (JPA) with the city and the Solano Irrigation District (SID). While Dixon residents paid for the system up front – financed through their mortgages, maintenance was supposed to be covered by water rates and a fee tacked onto their property tax bills. Despite the dissolution of the JPA, SID continues to collect those fees despite Dixonites receiving no benefits from them.
The next step in the process of raising the rates is for the City Council to adopt the rate structure, and start the “218” process – named after Proposition 218 – which gives the property owners affected the right to object. Only if a majority of the properties – not the individual owners – object would the rates be defeated.
The council also considered increases in the Readi-Ride fees. Most were modest, but rates for field trips – such as to Cache Creek and Apple Hill – will be doubled.
Fees for use of the Senior/Multi-Use Center are also slated to increase.
A major decision was made on the Pardi Market Site, at the corner of First and A Streets in the center of downtown Dixon. The council voted to accept a bid or $938,618 from Abide Builders of West Sacramento. With additional cost, the grand total will be $1,242,396.
The completed project will include just 20 parking spaces; two motorcycle stalls; eight bike parking spaces; a “public gathering space”; an 817 square foot stage; pergolas; clock tower; shade coverings; pedestrian walkways; and 20 trees.
The council postponed until 2020 a proposed 20% salary increase for councilmembers and the mayor.

Scott Pederson

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