The Davis City Council should be applauded for delaying a decision on the surface water project. The proposal would pull water from the Sacramento River, treat it and then pipe it to Davis and Woodland, this would eliminate both cities dependence on ground water. This ill-advised project would cost an estimated$337 million with the expenses split between the two cities and paid be each ratepayer with a huge increase in water rates.
The City Council took into consideration the official protest and local revolt from citizens that felt this project was too costly. The original protest was ignored by our elected officials but a referendum campaign to halt the rate hikes was successful. The rate hike and surface water project will be put on the local June ballot and decided by voters. With the economy still teetering, an increase in rates would have certainly affected many Davis and Woodland households.
Many elements of the current plan should be researched with cost effectiveness being the most compelling concern. There are a number of issues that should be studied and evaluated before moving forward. Few companies are capable to undertake the design, construction and operation of such a massive project. Part of the humongous cost includes several million dollars just to develop the design part of the bid. With so few firms providing this type of service, the availability of bidders are limited. This has resulted in only three competent and able companies to consider, with only two providing bids. More time should be spent searching for competing bids from local and out-of-town construction companies which would lead to lower cost options.
Cash strapped residents from Davis and Woodland cannot afford to have water rates tripled, as would be required to pay for the proposed surface water project. Local ratepayers should express themselves at the ballot box in June. Are there other alternatives being examined? Should cost be the most important factor? Any one have any ideas or suggestions that should be considered? Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my other informative blogs or view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities