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Lodi City Council approves water rate increase and plans for water treatment plant near Lodi Lake

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Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:14 am | Updated: 6:02 pm, Sat Jul 24, 2010.

In an impassioned speech, resident Norma Gates told the Lodi City Council on Wednesday that it was time to take a step back.

She said the council should postpone any water rate increases, put the water treatment plant on the shelf for a couple of years and slow down the water meter timeline.

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  • roy bitz posted at 1:36 pm on Fri, Jul 23, 2010.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    Another pet project approved with another 3/2 vote. The council "MEN" win--the council women and citizens of Lodi lose.
    There may be a day when this plant is needed but it is NOT NEEDED now.
    Water meters could be and should be delayed for at least ten years. They don't need to be installed until 2025 but these guys want the water treatment plant so they are going in now. Water rates will pay for the treatment plant and the ongoing cost of operating it.
    These three "gentle council MEN support one another 's pet projects all the time and there is really nothing anyone can do about it as long as they have the power.
    That these three guys had the temerity to begin pushing redevelopment again--- just a few months after citizens voted it down for a second time---is a good example of how they DO NOT represent or respect the citizens of Lodi.

  • Jim Hanson posted at 10:16 am on Fri, Jul 23, 2010.

    Jim Hanson Posts: 27

    LEUD costs, Water Treatment Plant costs and Water Meter costs..... criminal!!!

    This city council is a joke and should be locked up. WHO'S WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joe Baxter posted at 4:52 pm on Thu, Jul 22, 2010.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Perhaps this is just a ploy to increase the "base" water rate prior to the water meter mandate. After all, they want to jack up the rates as high as they can to make sure nobody pays less than they are currently paying. My take is you should pay for what you use and NOT pay for what you don't use. If I go away for a month and shut down my sprinklers and use NO water at all does that mean I don't owe the City anything for water that month? Hah, fat chance.

  • Jeff Hood posted at 2:49 pm on Thu, Jul 22, 2010.

    Jeff Hood Posts: 28

    Ms. Thomas, the City collected more than $15 million from roughly three dozen local businesses and property owners, almost all of it through their insurance. In some cases, the settlements exceeded the policy liability limits. The City's legal advisors, who have experience prosecuting and defending these types of cases, recommended the City accept insurance settlements instead of proceeding with a multi-million dollar trial with no guarantee of recovery. Going to trial could have taken insurers off the hook because of coverage exceptions written into many of these policies, and most of the time the value of the insurance exceed the value of the business assets. Also, many of the businesses likely responsible for the contamination no longer exist, such as Randtron and numerous dry cleaners. In those cases, the only remaining assets are old insurance policies. In fact, most of the settlements were with property owners who leased buildings to now-defunct businesses.

  • Jay Samone posted at 10:15 am on Thu, Jul 22, 2010.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    I hope this decision will get the voters out in November. This CC has proven time and again that they will continue to spend OUR money on projects that are unnecessary and/or costly. They are completely out of touch with the true cost of living in Lodi.

    Ms. Thomas - interesting point on the TCE/PCE clean-up......MANY years ago I wrote a LTE about this very subject. My loudly vocalized suspicions back then came to pass.

  • posted at 3:45 pm on Wed, Jul 21, 2010.


    Mr. Hood, thank you for your reply. Why is it that the businesses responsible for the groundwater contamination are not "making up the difference" for the groundwater cleanup? What is their contribution to this debacle?

  • roy bitz posted at 11:45 am on Wed, Jul 21, 2010.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    Our city council has already approved, and already spent some six million dollars on plans and preparations for a surface water treatment plant WE DO NOT NEED---according to Susan Hitchcock--- at the December 16 city council meeting.

    Hitchcock advises that this plant was approved in order to support new development on the western side of the city and it was to be paid for by new development.

    See and hear Susan Hitchcock explain why we don't need to spend forty million dollars ( not to mention the ongoing millions to operate it ) on a surface water treatment plant----until new development happens and until new development is here to pay for it.
    Go to Lodi.gov then click on council meetings---scroll down to 12/16 --click on video---click and drag the blue dot directly below the screen to advance toward the last portion of the meeting.
    As for the over drafting of our ground water----less than 10% of the total area ground water is used within the city---90% is used outside the city. Over drafting of our ground water is a rural problem---not a city problem.

  • Jeff Hood posted at 11:31 am on Wed, Jul 21, 2010.

    Jeff Hood Posts: 28

    Ms. Thomas, it is a separate line item within the water bill. For a three-bedroom residence, the water bill is $40.28, of which $10.90 is assigned to PCE/TCE cleanup. Citizens of Lodi are being charged for this because of a State cleanup order, which came after a federal judge ruled Lodi could not escape liability for the contamination, mainly because of the condition of sewer pipes. There is insurance money being used for cleanup, but it is not enough to cover the complete cleanup cost. Construction is currently underway between Oak and Pine streets to install a cleanup system to address pollution in the Central Plume. The system should be up and running in 2011.

  • posted at 10:12 am on Wed, Jul 21, 2010.


    Correction to #2 below: There is a SEPARATE charge on the utilitiy bill for groundwater cleanup. It is not factored into the water rate.

    And why are the citizens of Lodi being charged for this? What happened to all of the insurance money the City was supposedly fighting for in court for so many years in order to complete the groundwater cleanup? And what is the status of the groundwater cleanup?

  • Jeff Hood posted at 9:01 am on Wed, Jul 21, 2010.

    Jeff Hood Posts: 28

    A number of items in this story need correcting. Most significant:
    1. Councilwoman Hitchcock's concerns regarded water rates, not wastewater (sewer) rates.
    2. Wastewater revenue is not used for the groundwater cleanup project. A portion of the water rate is being used for the cleanup.
    3. A 20,000-gallon swimming pool would cost approximately $30 to fill (not a 2,000 gallon pool) with the proposed metered water rates.
    4. The proposed 2 percent water increase would go into effect Jan. 1, 2011. Any future increases depending on the change in a construction-related inflation index tracked by the Engineering News Record, an index commonly used by cities to estimate the higher or lower cost to operate utilities.



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