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City to reluctantly extend water line to rural park
water lines
A city map showing how the water lines will be extended from the city to a rural mobile home park.

City water will be flowing to yet another community living in county jurisdiction with the state forcing the City Council’s Monday action to supply water service to the privately owned Ceres West Mobile Home Park.

Last year the State Water Resources Control Board told the city it will extend water lines outside of the city limits to the 47-unit park at the southwest corner of Central and Grayson roads south of Beaver Elementary School or else. The park, which was approved by the county in 1969, had limited options to supply drinking water to its residents because water from an on-site well exceeds state limits for arsenic and nitrates. The city previously told park owners KS Mattson Partners LP that it wouldn’t voluntarily supply the water.

The precedent of Ceres extending water lines into the rural area of the county was set years ago when Monterey Park Tract Community Services District arranged a connection after the county guaranteed it would step in and help pay for water service should the district default on payments. 

City Manager Toby Wells said the agreement worked out between the city and the park is a better one than would have resulted had the state taken the next step of mandating the connection. The park will pay for the 3,000-foot extension of the water main from Central and Redwood avenues. Owners are responsible for long-term maintenance of the line and must record the water agreement to the property deed for when it changes hands.

Wells said Ceres West Mobile Home Park is depositing $15,000 cash that will cover six months or longer of the estimated water bill for the park as a default backup. 

While the county approved the park 50 years ago, it does not have its own water system to help out the park, said Wells.

Mayor Chris Vierra condemned the state’s dictates and said the city has been faulted for water quality issues at Monterey Park Tract. In January Gov. Gavin Newsom made a surprise visit to the Monterey Park Tract to draw attention to water quality issues in the state. There leaders of the park complained of water quality when In October when the city found 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP)  levels exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level, or MCL, the state has mandated that the city of Ceres correct that system and had to notify all customers.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” said Vierra. “Now we’re being the poster child for supplying water to a quasi-agency that says we’re providing tainted water.”

He predicted the park will make the city the bad guy also.