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City to rehab Sequoia Tract water system
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Water pipes will be upgraded in the Darrah, Sequoia, Hollister and Memorial Drive area west of Central Avenue now that the Ceres City Council has approved a $588,878 contract with Mozingo Construction, Inc., of Oakdale.

A water master plan calls for the city to abandon the old undersized steel water main lines, connections and wharf fire hydrants located in alleyways.

Deputy City Manager/City Engineer Toby Wells said the Sequoia Tract has corroding two- and four-inch lines that will be replaced with new six-inch mains in the street. The city will then run new one-inch lines to each property.

"It's a system well past its useful life," commented Wells.

The work should commence this fall and winter.
With a contingency the contract could cost as much as $647,765.

In July the council took action to increase Public Facility Fees paid on all future construction projects. The PFF hike is on the heels of the water and sewer rate increases enacted on all Ceres residents. The increases will help the city pay for needed infrastructure projects to keep both water and sewer systems functioning well into the future. The city increased the water connection fee from $4,986 to $6,697 on each new single-family house. The fee is arrived at by considering that $101.5 million in future growth projects are needed, divided by the expected 15,161 future units.

The city of Ceres adopted water and sewer master plans to correct deficiencies in the city's sewer and water systems which have been stressed, said Wells. They also plan for future growth of Ceres. The plans will be implemented in three phases that include beyond 2022 and the full build-out of the 1997 General Plan.

Over $200 million in capital projects are required to ensure that Ceres can continue to provide enough good, clean water for existing and future customers. Needed improvements include $18 million in additional wells, $99 million in pipelines, $19.5 million in wellhead treatment to remove contaminants, a new two million gallon water tank at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park and two new reservoirs on the west side where new development is expected to take place.

To help pay for those improvements, the City Council approved a series of water and sewer rate increases.