Dixon Sewer Referenda Headed for November Ballot

Sewer PlantOver 1,600 Signatures Gathered. Over 1,300 Likely Valid

The two referenda on the Dixon Sewer controversy have succeeded in gathering more than the required number of valid signatures of registered Dixon voters, according to a preliminary review by the petitioners – the Dixon Chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association (DC-SCTA).

The group has filed petitions with over 1,600 for each of the two referenda. They verified that over 1,250 were verified on each referenda as being registered. The group compared the signatures with a list from the Solano County Registrar of Voters.

Only 915 valid signatures were required. The final total will be about 45% higher than the requirement.

The two City Council resolutions being challenged – Resolution 14-061 and 062 – will be suspended until subject to a vote of the people in November.

Resolution 061 doubled the sewer rates – those rates now cannot be imposed pending that vote.

Resolution 062 authorized the City to agree to loans of $30 million from the State Water Board’s Revolving Fund. That resolution is also now suspended, leaving the City without authorization to commit to the loans.

The signed petitions will be submitted to the City Clerk tomorrow – Monday, May 19 – and then forwarded to the Solano County Registrar of Voters.

The Registrar’s staff will perform a random verification check – a portion of the signatures will be checked. The percentage results of that process will then be applied to the total number collected – and assume the rest of the signatures will have the same percentage valid.

If that statistic shows the total will likely exceed the minimum by at least 10 percent, the Registrar will declare the petitions as qualified for the ballot. If the projected valid signatures are less than 10% above the minimum, a full check of all signatures will be done.

Besides filing the petitions, the DC-SCTA informed the State Revolving Fund and the Water Quality Board staff about the current status.

DC-SCTA President Drew Graska wrote in a letter to those state officials:

“The amount of signatures turned in were far in excess of the ten percent (10%) of all registered voters in Dixon as required by Elections Code and our group has verified over 1200 signatures as being valid. …

“As we have already identified two projects already in operation elsewhere in the United States which far surpass the benefits of activated sludge and which address a primary constituent of concern, Boron, we feel it makes economic sense to proceed with a less than $1 million solution than this $28.5 million ‘accepted technology’ solution. As the remaining amount of the $33 million total is for headworks and infrastructure improvements, for which the current rate payers have already paid with increased rates for the last five years when it was only to last three, we will not support even a loan for a lesser amount to address new development’s obligations.

“Court action on the basis of health and safety requirements, while a loser for the city and any one else who would bring those charges against us, would be welcomed as a method to “clear the air” exactly how the State Water Quality Control Board ignores the taxpayer, makes back room deals with city staff and their consultants, and ignores advances in treatment options.”

The “In-Pipe” company has already met with Dixon city officials, and will be making a public presentation in the near future.

Further investigations by the DC-SCTA have found additional new technology that will remove heavy metals and other materials at a fraction of the cost to build and operate as that proposed by city staff and consultants.

The IV website and newspaper will update the situation as it develops.

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