After a lengthy and serious public hearing, pitting angry citizens and against techno-babbling consultants and the city council and the Invisible Few who are paying for their re-election campaigns, the council voted 5-2 for a rate-increase scheme in which lower income and lower water users subsidize higher income, higher water users.
Nobody was talking about how "development pays for itself" at that meeting.
And nobody talked about how Safeway bottles Merced City.2. water to sell.
And the ever growing UC Merced3. sucking more and more water every year out of the city, was another taboo subject.
The evening was enlivened, as always, by an appearance of Greg Hostetler, the richest nut case in the whole county. Hostetler was whining about the rising price of water is his development in the City. We refer you to Badlands Journal, Feb. 28, 2014, City of Merced tries to bulldog Hostetler:
Last year Greg Hostetler, doing business as Baxter Ranch, graded and filled the floodplain of Fahrens Creek upstream from Fahrens Park, putting several hundred homes downstream in danger of flooding the next time we have a wet winter in Merced. It is not the first time Hostetler has ignored environmental or public health and safety regulations and dickered for the amount of fines with whatever agencies dare to confront him after the fact. Mr. Hostetler belongs to the “Sin now, ask for forgiveness later” School of Business.
Hostetler, whether doing business as Baxter Ranch or as any of his other corporations, (1) seems to have a grudge against Fahrens Creek. His graders crossed it repeatedly preparing land for development near the Merced County Club during the height of the building boom. and he planted an almond orchard around it near the new El Capitan High School on G Street two or three years ago. The wells he installed for that orchard have been drying up domestic wells in the posh, unincorporated County Club section. Hostetler is a persona non grata to some residents of Poshville.
In fact, Hostetler is a serial abuser of the county’s natural wetlands. He deep-ripped, graded and planted 1,100 acres of his own property and hundreds of acres of others’ property near Le Grand without permits. The land was seasonal pastureland that contains numerous endangered species, wetlands and vernal pools...
1.Merced Vision 2030 General Plan, Sept. 19, 2011
Some "Guiding principles"
Expansion of the Sphere of Influence and city boundary with phasing of development to avoid premature conversion of agricultural land and to plan for cost-effective extension of municipal services.
Merced as the single municipal service provider in the expanded Sphere of Influence.
New development provides or pays its fair share of public services and facilities to avoid burdening existing city residents (in short, new growth pays for itself).
2.. Commondreams.com, Jonah Owen-Lamb, June 2, 2009
MERCED COUNTY, Calif. - Wells are drying up across the county from an overtaxed and sinking water table.
Drought and climate change threaten the future of local water supplies.
And Merced has been selling its tap water since 2002 to a water bottling plant, which then sells that water at rates far above what it costs the plant to buy it from the city.
The Safeway Inc.'s water bottling plant in Merced -- one of the top five commercial/industrial water users in the city, which bottles Safeway's in-house purified and spring water brand Refreshe -- uses roughly 50,000 gallons a day, five days a week, for its bottling operation.
The plant, which provides most Refreshe drinking and spring water to Safeway stores in the state, filters city water, puts it in bottles and sells it as purified water. The bottles note that the water was bottled in Merced, but not that it was pumped out of the ground by the city. (Refreshe spring water is shipped in from a spring and then bottled in Merced.) ...
3. Merced Sun-Star, Thaddeus Miller, Oct. 16, 2016
...The city agreed to supply water and sewage service to the university, which has a city well within its campus footprint. The document also covers bus stops, the routes to be used by construction-related trucks and a number of other agreements...