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AndyHS @AndyHS
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Special Fresno City Council meeting regarding moratorium on water violations.
Meeting getting started ten minutes late. All Councilmembers are present for this one topic meeting. @stevebrandau says after three month survey with University of Chicago resulted in many phone calls some were from ignorance or frustrating but eventually number became to great.
Collection of three month data and will be dealt with in January Council meeting. Conservation is more important than the fines collected. Would make moratorium retroactive to first date of automated colllection. If fine already paid then it will be deducted from water bill.
@GarryBredefeld says his understanding that results would be provided before automated system began. He says lots of anger from constituents over this. Also phone calls to City Hall were not returned in timely manner. Details need to know would be if automated system is the best
way to conserve this precious resource that is water. @MayorLeeBrand says genesis of this was a State mandate called SGMA. Many people were confused on times and hours for watering. He feels we are on correct route and data will help us in finding the best way. Recharge Fresno
is also a great path that the Council in the past has implemented and puts Fresno in a great position in regards to other California cities. Public testimony beginning. Thinks average gallons per month would be better. Thinks hours of watering is troublesome for some who have
grandchildren to care for. Low income residents often don’t have automatic sprinkler systems or have to water by hand so hours are hard to fit in. Another resident says lack of phone calls returned by City Hall. Also thinks Water Meters maybe faulty as he was told he used 200
gallons of water despite not even being home. Third public says seniors like to water in middle of day as it is safer than at night or early morning hours. Fourth :Sean Stewart says GSA regulations allowed public to create own and if Council would allow public to stand on its own
@ClintOlivier says when this was originally discussed he said “Let’s not wage war on the public” and why he voted NO then. Also Recharge Fresno was greatest fee increase but He said it was well thought out with wells already being shut down and State mandates. It was supposed to
guarantee access to water supply. Did that not happen? Carbajal: doesn’t bring more water. We purchase from rivers to recharge aquifers. Wells weren’t bringing enough. Groundwater is now being preserved for future droughts. Not more plentiful water and we wouldn’t be getting rid
Of outdoor water regulations. Olivier believes some in community thought Recharge Fresno would give unlimited water. People didn’t like State mandated water meters that we needed. We can’t be draconian with this even when moratorium. Brandau says this will be discussed in January
by Council. We need to put brakes on fines and regain trust by public. Public Utility Head Carbajal says Bakersfield Cal Water supplies their water and has times where watering can not be done, not filling pools at certain hours etc. Varies a bit by cities that it supplies.
@ClintOlivier says this is not an affluent city and some residents just cannot pay fine. Creative solutions are needed. Water any day as long as it is during correct times? @GarryBredefeld asks Carbajal what is accuracy of Water Meter. A:He says they will test meters in that case
They have found that the older meters actually underreport and over Report. Only one where meter was over reporting due to wrong “manufacturing register” added. October 1-17th 20,500 notices sent out. 1840 were $50 fines 1100 $100 fines and rest $200 fines. $400,000 in fines if
all were paid. @District5Chavez says this reminded him of PG& E roll out of their meters. Also lot sizes vary so much where really large lots may have grandfathered in fruit trees that should be allowed to keep watering. Does City’s goals beyond what should be asked of public?
Carbajal says NO. Since Fresno only recently put water meters in they were able to conserve more. Chavez asks if we were already meeting goals why did we have to do this survey? A: Further State requirements mandates this year. Q: can we track what a specific resident uses and
how far back can we see? A: back to 2012. Would be monthly meter reads and not hourly reads. Chavez says most new developments are more dense and use less water. But across street is older lots that have different needs such as fruit trees. @PaulCaprioglio says Conservation is
still needed. He says he couldn’t read his water bill in he past and worked with water department to make it easier to explain. 20,000 gallons typically used per month by average home. He used only 15,000. He wondered why he got a fine even though he used 5000 a month less?
Perhaps averaging over month rather than if one day he went over the required. @MarkStandriff says ION Water app allowed residents to see what Public Utility sees and can also has a water leakage alert. Can be accessed on mobile phone or computer. Allows residents to detect it
and changes quicker. Some residents don’t know that filling pool or hosing down solar panels are all included just like outdoor watering. City will issue a permit to allow refilling of pools. @PaulCaprioglio warms that today is First day to only water once a week until Spring.
Moratorium on fines if passed today will be retroactive to October 1. @ClintOlivier asks why are we going to one day a week watering where Clovis is still two day a week. Carbajal says one a week is adequate for most plants in winter. This has gone back two decades. Olivier feels
Water Bill is price residents would pay for watering two days a week. Carbajal says Council can discuss this in January. Water usage will go up however. Bredefeld concurs with Olivier and we often over reach. If Clovis can do two a week Fresno can. Soria says more outreach is
needed. Council votes 7-0 to have a moratorium on fines for now (until January when Council will discuss it )
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