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Water tank needed for development, period

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POSTED February 22, 2013 7:57 p.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

During the Tuesday Council meeting regarding the $255k and new water tank project at Moffat and Woodward, staff indicated existing residents are not paying for the improvements. Not entirely true. Let me explain.

Existing wells #20 and #24 do not currently meet present demands today because both wells were already short of meeting demand requirements for development existing at that time. As such, the two wells do not always meet the needs for that area today, and do not meet the needs of future development. The new tank is not due to the loss of the elevated water tank; in fact, staff previously told Council the elevated tank was no longer needed, because the new water system automatically adjusts to meet peak demands.

The inherent problem is that Wells #20 and #24 were constructed years after development had begun, and their capacity had already been achieved and any future development capacity was already exhausted. Most of the water wells in the past 30 years have been built under this same scenario. The developers have been able to “negotiate” staff and Council out of needed well(s) or to delay the installation of well(s) for several years. Also, the city does not collect sufficient funds from new development to pay for the service impacts to the existing community; because the developer “complains” to city hall that the upfront cost of developing their project is too high, and they can make it pencil only if they are not required to install certain improvements or can delay the improvements to the end of their development project. This is only a partial explanation as to why the residents are paying the costs today.

Frankly, the new tank is needed because new development needs the water and the existing neighborhoods need the water because they were already behind the curve when developed. The truth is that when there is any service deficiency it is not the developers coming back to pay up, it is the existing residents that make up the loss.


Benjamin Cantu


Feb. 22, 2013

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