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Oakwood Shores faces state edict
Homeowners in Oakwood Shores are facing a state deadline to connect to a municipal wastewater system. - photo by HIME ROMERO

A looming deadline on a state edict to connect homes in the gated community of Oakwood Shores to a municipal wastewater treatment system could end up costing existing homeowners at least $3,961 each or $66 a month for five years.

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board gave the original developer that converted the old Manteca Waterslides into a 480-lot subdivision with two manmade lakes a temporary permit to use an existing treatment plant put in place years ago for the Oakwood mobile home park and the adjoining resort. The homes ultimately have to be part of a municipal treatment system that meets state requirements. The only viable option is Manteca.

And the only way they can obtain a connection to the treatment plant or have the city takeover the existing plant operation is by annexing to Manteca.

“We cannot extend sewer service to an area outside the city limits unless they annex to Manteca,” noted City Manager Karen McLaughlin who cited legal research by municipal attorneys.

And while the city did not instigate annexation discussions, the City Council in February 2013 made it clear they had no objections to it taking place. That’s when they authorized staff to start negotiating a development agreement with Lafferty Homes.

The city supplied fact sheets detailing costs involved with annexations. The matter, however, hasn’t been brought back to the council now for 22 months.

It is in the court of not just Lafferty Homes that has undeveloped lots but also those that have bought homes in Oakwood Shores, the Oakwood Mobile Home Park, and the existing sewer district.

The city charges a single family home $3,961 to connect to the municipal wastewater treatment system. If the council adheres to previous policy, homeowners would be allowed to pay that amount over five years interest free or $66 a month. That would be on top of the city’s flat monthly sewer rate of $43.30 should the best option be to connect to the city system.

It is not clear whether the developer would foot the entire cost for extending a trunk line to Manteca’s sewer main on Woodward Avenue that currently ends near McKinley Avenue. That line ultimately would be extended closer to Oakwood Shores when the Trail at Manteca project is started.

The other option would to keep the current treatment plant operating with each users charged a flat rate based on operating costs. That option can’t be exercised, though, unless the city is assured if the effectiveness of the current system.

Once annexed, the city expects the Oakwood Shores water system to ultimately be connected to the municipal system. That would trigger a fee of $4,065 a month to connect each home. Manteca charges for water use by combining a base monthly rate of $17.15 with actual usage.

There are also a variety of fees from community park development to major equipment that would definitely be imposed on any new construction. In previous annexations of homes that have already been built and occupied such fees were not applied.

Just under $100,000 in annexation related fees to cover processing costs is expected to be picked up by the developer.