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Rural tract could receive city water
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The Monterey Park tract, a small rural neighborhood of about 42 homes miles southwest of Ceres, will be offered water service by the city if residents there can swallow the price.

The water going to the homes presently does not meet safe water quality standards in arsenic and nitrates established by the federal government. The park has the option of going with expensive wellhead treatment or hooking up to the Ceres water system.

The Ceres City Council agreed, in concept, to offering the service during its July 25 study session. However, the Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, would have to sign onto the plan since the city would be extending water service outside its city limits.

"They have to file a formal application with the city and a draft of an MOU(memorandum of understanding) so we agreed to everything," said Mike Brinton, Public Works director of the city of Ceres.

Brinton said the water of the existing park is safe to drink but exceeds maximum contaminant levels which have gotten more stringent over the years as detection equipment has become more refined.

But the endeavor could prove costly. Brinton said the city and Monterey Park are vastly apart on estimates. For the city to supply 60,000 gallons of water per day to the enclave, the city estimates costs at $4,200 per month, or $100 per household. A report commissioned by Fremming, Parson & Pecchenino for the Monterey Park Tract board estimated the costs at $60 per month, a difference of $40 per month.

I don't think they calculated the cost right," said Brinton.

If approved, the connection would be made from the 10-inch-in-diameter pipeline in Crowslanding Road just north of the TID Lateral #2 canal. Monterey Park would pay for the construction costs of the five-mile pipeline as well as a connection fee of $5,085.69, or $254,285.

Brinton said construction would also involve a 500,000-gallon storage tank to provide enough water for domestic use and fire suppression if needed.