Thursday, June 16, 2016
[Shasta County] Water restrictions eased; county hires forensic pathologist
Blog note: this article references a recent Shasta County Grand Jury report regarding water management and billing.
Shasta County supervisors eased water restrictions for county residents after late spring rains brought some relief to the North State. But the relaxed ordinance adopted by the board still carries with it conservation goals and restrictions for county service area customers.
Under the new ordinance residents can water their lawns whenever they want.
Tuesday's easement comes after an executive order from the governor's office last month. That set in place a voluntary 20 percent reduction to 2013 water use for the entire state.
Public Works Director Pat Minturn said this could be a new standard for the entire state.
"Perhaps this is the new normal. Many legislators feel that California is a semiarid state and these sorts of conservation measures should be normal business practices," said Minturn.
Either way, the new ordinance and state mandate is a reminder to conserve water, Minturn added.
Supervisor Les Baugh called the mandate a bitter pill to swallow and unfair to force a one-size-fits-all approach to water conservation.
"This is only a piece of paper that nods to the governor of the state of California and doesn't accomplish a single thing," said Baugh, who still voted in support of the ordinance. The motion was approved unanimously.
Linda Ost from Crag View is impacted by the new ordinance and said it is a far cry from last summer's restrictions imposed on her and her neighbors.
Last August the residents of Crag View were placed on water rationing after the Board of Supervisors said the CSA was close to being insolvent and unable to pay for supplemental water. Residents faced civil and criminal penalties during the rationing, which was lifted at the end of September.
The county said residents delayed the purchase of water from the McConnell Foundation by protesting a rate increase and the water restriction not only extended to landscaping, but all water use for residents.
The relaxed ordinance will affect residents of all CSAs. The management and billing of those CSAs is the subject of a Shasta County Grand Jury report that calls for the audit of how the county bills these residents.
County Executive Officer Larry Lees said the board will address the grand jury report at a future board meeting.
Since 2014, all CSA customers could only water their lawns twice a week. Now that the ordinance has been relaxed, residents only have to worry about water runoff or having a shutoff nozzle on their water hoses.
"This new ordinance is reasonable at least," said Ost.
Meanwhile at the same meeting supervisors approved the hiring of Dr. Deirdre Amaro to fill the county's forensic pathologist position in the Sheriff-Coroner's Office.
Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Amaro would be traveling from San Diego to Northern California and would be introduced to the board at a future meeting.
June 14, 2016
Redding Record Searchlight
By Nathan Solis