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Plymouth City Council reduces Fairgrounds wastewater charges

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Jenny Price
07/03/2014 10:58 AM

CEO of Amador County Fair Troy Bowers (Right), and Special Project Manager Richard Prima converse before the meeting, June 26. Photo by Tessa Marguerite

At last week’s Plymouth City Council meeting, a request was made on behalf of the Amador County Fairgrounds for an adjustment to the wastewater charge, reducing it from the present 24 EDU’s (equivalent dwelling units) to 10 EDU’s. Richard Prima, Plymouth resident and special project manager, addressed the council with information to support the request, including water system leakage information, and estimates of wastewater generated by various activities held at the fairgrounds. Prima’s data showed a constant leakage estimated to be 11,790 metered cubic feet each month. The fairgrounds’ average water use is approximately 32,456 cubic feet.

Amador County Fair CEO Troy Bowers acknowledged the need to work on reducing water system leakage. “We are very motivated to fix these problems,” he assured the council, However, he also stated that the installation of sewer meters is not immediately feasible, due to the high number needed and the high cost, which would be roughly $150,000.

Frank Halvorson, Vice President of the Amador County Fair Board of Directors for 22 years, agreed with Prima and Bowers. “The issue is not about water leakage,” said Halvorson. “It is about water usage and the amount that is going into the sewer system. I believe that 10 EDU’s is a reasonable number that we can live with that still favors the city.”

After the council had expressed some concerns and questions as to the reliability of the readings of wastewater generated at the fairgrounds, councilman Jon Colburn made a motion to reduce the fair’s EDU’s from 24 to 10 effective on July 1, to be back-credited to October 2013, by means of future credits, amounting to 14 credits per month at $75.59 per EDU. The fair board is required to put in meters in practical areas before the end of the year. The motion passed unanimously, thus continuing the collaborative efforts of the city and fairgrounds in Plymouth.

Earlier in June, the council reviewed the Mandatory Garbage Disposal Ordinance draft and debated about how the final draft should be conceived. Boardmembers Sandy Kyles and Colburn were against the ordinance that would charge homeowners and businesses fines if trash was not disposed of on a regular basis. Kyles felt that the ones who do participate in trash disposal should not be punished because of a few bad apples. Mayor Peter Amoruso emphasized the importance of the ordinance, explaining that it would reduce the public’s ability to burn garbage and prevent it from accumulating in people’s back yards. A few townspeople spoke on behalf of the draft and expressed concern that a mandatory fine would ultimately serve as an unnecessary force. 

The council discussed the details of the draft for 45 minutes before deciding that, at this point, a committee of three-to-four people would be a better solution. Together, the committee will be expected to write a draft that not only addresses public concerns, but council concerns as well. 

Their findings will need to be reviewed at a later date, before a final draft can be submitted. 

The city budget, scheduled to be the next item on the agenda, was postponed until the July 8 meeting.

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