Among the local measures at the bottom of the November ballot is Measure CW, a parcel tax to help pay for the infrastructure needed to meet the federal clean water requirements. A meeting offered by the city to present information and answer questions on Oct. 13 was sparsely attended, but those present asked insightful questions, and Public Works Director Charles Herbertson and his staff answered. The hesitation to agree to another parcel tax framed inquires about cost, accountability, and the city’s portion of responsibility for an area-wide mandate on cleaner water.
Bacteria (pet feces), pesticides (lawn chemicals), toxic chemicals (auto repair and other small businesses), and other pollutants are currently deposited into local water resources through the city’s aging storm drains. Major infrastructure projects are crucial to bring local water up to a higher and safer standard. A dedicated source of revenue is needed to fund improvements and projects to upgrade and construct new infrastructure. Measure CW proposes a tax of $99 per parcel, with a partial exemption for senior citizens.
Herbertson noted “We have a lot of needs in capital projects, we need to address long standing problems with our streets our street lights, our building maintenance; if we don’t get [the parcel tax’s expected revenue of ] $2 million for the stormwater, that’ s $2 million less for all those other things. Producing a dedicated source of funding takes the pressure off the general fund.”
More than just meeting the federal requirements for clean water, the city is also focused on creating ‘green streets’ by looking at everything from the use pf public and residential parkways to the creation of catchment basins. The city is currently working in partnership with Costco on the creation of a catchment basin that would harvest and hold rainwater to be added in to the water resources for public use.
There are grant monies available to help build the infrastructure, but Herbertson emphasized that these are grants that need matching funds. “Without the parcel tax money, the city will be missing out on possible support and further straining the general funds.”
More town hall meetings are scheduled for people wanting to ask about Measure CW – Monday, October 17, 2016 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Mike Balkman Council Chambers, City Hall, 9770 Culver Boulevard, and then a final meeting on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at the Syd Kronenthal Park Recreation Building, 3459 McManus Avenue.
For more information regarding Measure CW, please visit www.cleanculvercity.org.