Santa Paula: Water Tanks, Greenbelt Changes, Fire MOA, Trash

By Sheryl Hamlin

The agenda for the three hour Santa Paula council meeting of December 18, 2017 included four items with near and long term impact: 1) new water towers, 2) green belt modifications, 3) MOA (memorandum of Agreement) between Santa Paula and Ventura County Fire Protection District and 4) Athens trash service extension.

Mesa Water Tank Project

Identified in 2004 by the city as deficient, these two tanks together hold .46 MG (million gallons) of water. In 2014 the State Water Control Board Division of Drinking Water identified both tanks to be in poor condition. The City has been given a timetable to bring the water tanks into compliance. (Note, the date not in staff report.)

The agenda item was to approve $427,790 in fees to Kennedy Jenks Consultants for design consulting services. A detailed set of deliverables was included in the staff report.

One of the challenges to the project is the location of the tanks. There is only one way of ingress-egress and there are four homes near the construction. Heavy equipment and materials must be brought to the site.

Water Tank Location

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-2018 approved budget has $519,500 for Mesa Tank Study. Monies are to come from Fund 620 Water Enterprise Fees (ratepayer payments). There is no date for construction nor funding in the FY 17-18 budget. To see the budget, click here.

Greenbelt Modification

The greenbelt between Santa Paula and Fillmore is 32,649 acres of unincorporated land. The agreement to establish the greenbelt is between the two cities and the county. Ventura County has seven such greenbelts.

In 2009, after the Measure G vote to approve East Area 1, the EA1 land was removed from the greenbelt. Now, due to changes in county land use definition, Thomas Aquinas College (TAC), which has been inside the green belt operating under a conditional use permit, is now considered “non-conforming” because the county does not allow “assembly” in greenbelts.

The way to rectify the non-conforming status is to remove TAC from the greenbelt.

The item was approved.

Ad Hoc Committee for Fire Annexation MOA (Memorandum of Agreement)

In addition to the Tax Sharing Agreement and the Levels of Service Plan, the city of Santa Paula and the VCFPD must create an MOA which enumerates many details, like pensions, equipment, land and leases.

During the November 15, 2017 LAFCO meeting, the lack of the MOA prior to the vote on the annexation was one of the major issues LAFCO took no action on the annexation. Read the meeting report here. The City of Moorpark wrote a detailed response on issues they deemed incomplete in the application, which includes the MOA. Read the Moorpark letter here.

Mayor Gherardi suggested she and Vice Mayor Garman populate this subcommittee. This was approved.

City Manager Rock noted that the January LAFCO meeting on the annexation was moved to February 2018.

Athens Trash Service

The three month trial period for Athens has ended with no complaints, so the city voted to extend their franchise agreement for two years. This may be canceled at any time, according to City Attorney Cotti. It was noted that the city’s conversion rate is still around 60%, which is low. This is the percent of material which is recycled rather than sent to the Toland landfill.

To read the staff report for this project, click here.

To read a previous report on this meeting, click here and here.

For more information on author click sherylhamlin dot com


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