By VINCE REMBULAT
During a recent stroll, Dean Uecker noticed that drought conditions are now affecting his neighborhood.
The Ripon City Councilman described homes with dried up front yards.
“It’s depressing,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting. “But it is what it is.”
For now, it’s an effort towards conserving water to achieve the state mandate of 36 percent reduction from the baseline established in 2013.
According to Ted Johnston, Director of Public Works, Ripon was at 32.4 percent for June. “This is a fair number compared to some of the other cities in the state,” he said.
However, Mayor Leo Zuber added to Uecker’s observation of the dried up front yards.
“It could get worse if we don’t achieve that extra 3.6 percent (in the coming months),” he said.
The state has mandated that Ripon water use be reduced by 36 percent over 2013 levels to help California weather the drought.
The City of Ripon is trying to push up water-saving efforts, bringing along a full-time water conservation coordinator to help educate residents.
“In the past 30 days, he’s put 300 courtesy door hangers (with tips on first-time violators on how to save water) and made 60 personal contacts with multiple violators,” Johnston said. “So far, the majority have corrected the problem.”
He noted that more education on this matter is necessary. Yard signs to remind people to conserve water will soon be posted in areas around Ripon.
In addition, public works have been patrolling the neighborhoods in the wee hours in search of those who water their lawn during those late nights.
“In next month’s water bill, we’ll be putting in reminders on the requirements and tips on how to conserve,” said Johnston.
Elected leaders also heard the following:
uNational Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the Community Center, from 6 to 9 p.m. This annual event is free to the public, Ripon police Chief Ed Ormonde said.
uPolice Activity League grants ($500 each) were distributed to the Ripon High Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Heartland Community Church, Stone Soup, and the Community and Youth Commission for various programs or events involving Ripon youngsters. The remaining balance was split up $700 each to the Ripon High and Ripon Christian High Sober Grad events.
uStaff will draft a response by next month’s meeting on the San Joaquin County Superior Court’s grand jury case involving the Charity Begins at Home. The one unattended for-profit donation bin in town is located on Main Street in front of Ripon Elementary School.
uA committee consisting of a planning commissioner, a council member, and a community member, working alongside local developers, will be formed to further look into affordable housing.
uAn agreement with Friends of the Ripon Senior Center to conduct bingo games on the property at 433 S. Wilma Ave. was inked thanks to recent changes to ordinances on gambling on city-owned facilities.
uCouncilman Jake Parks deemed the three-day Fourth of July event and carnival at the Mistlin Sports Park a “success.” He did express his concern about frequency of illegal fireworks throughout the town, in particular, the potential hazard with the current drought condition.
For more information, call the City of Ripon at 209.599.2108 or log on to www.cityofripon.com.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, email email@example.com.