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Public hearing on Morada water rates

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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:21 am, Tue Mar 13, 2012.

A public hearing on a controversial proposal to increase water rates in northern Morada will be held at today’s San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meeting in Stockton.

Residents of the North Morada Estates and Wilkinson Manor subdivisions will face an annual water fee of about $4,500, three times the present rate, according to Lou Meyer, a North Morada Estates resident.

Currently, property owners in the two subdivisions known as County Service Area 46 pay a $1,500 flat fee annually. The county proposes reducing the flat rate to $848 per year, but add a $1.03 charge for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

Although the public hearing will be held this morning, the Board of Supervisors isn’t scheduled to vote on the proposal until March 27 meeting.

In other action, the Board of Supervisors will:

  • Add $111,600 to the Agricultural Commissior’s budget to administer the Oriental fruit fly pre-quarantine treatment program. The money won’t be financed by taxpayers; instead, participating growers will foot the bill.

The fruit fly, found last September, feeds on more than 230 host crops, including grapes, cherries, walnuts, tomatoes, apples, peppers and peaches. The quarantine is scheduled to be lifted by mid-July if no additional fruit flies are found, according to county Agricultural Commissioner Scott Hudson.

  • Consider lifting the administrative hiring freeze to give county departments greater flexibility in replacing departing employees.

The board is considering lifting the freeze because the county is $12.2 million under budget. Since November 2008, 82 laid-off people have been re-employed, 163 were placed in lower level positions, 94 remain laid off, 25 declined re-employment and six employees either retired or died.

  • Recognize Craig Ogata, who is retiring county parks and recreation director.

Today’s Board of Supervisors meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the board chambers, 44 N. San Joaquin St., sixth floor, Stockton.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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