News Briefs
September 15, 2019
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Public safety power shutoff Volunteer’s corner News Briefs News Briefs New backpacks, laptops and tablets “Score!” Friday drawings Discharged hazardous waste in K section Scammers claiming to be “Captain Darin Dougherty” from the sheriff’s office Fundraiser for Divine Nov. 4 It is creek week News Briefs Volunteers Public education on pedestrian traffic laws USCIS guidance on discretionary employment for parolees Helicopters to patrol electric lines News Briefs Second closure of Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Help with fundraiser ride News Briefs August 10 6th St. Playhouse to audition dogs for Sandy in Annie A. G. Becerra protecting women’s access to birth control Bauman shares tips for allergies Tutor, mentor students News Briefs August 3 News Briefs Oct. 5 Local news briefs So. C. 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Jones best company Thompson urging to submit artwork Summer lunch is back for Sonoma County children Answer calls Volunteer's Corner Legislation helps people with disabilities move back home Train as a coach to help older adults prevent falls Californians traveling get fully vaccinated for measles Sonoma County Airport expands options with Uber access Volunteer to drive and save lives News Briefs September 7 On line dating scams Four grant programs open for applications News Briefs Fake check scams PG&E expanding weather station and high def camera network Slow down and celebrate responsibly Work at gift shop News Briefs, Volunteer's September 7 SweetPea needs volunteers Raley’s agrees to settlement Summit promotion Cotati spring curbside cleanup June is Elder Abuse Awareness month PG&E encourages customers to update their contact information Festival needs volunteers 17 new laws took effect on Jan. 1 Winter weather, illness drastically impacting blood supply USCIS gives free training on how to apply for citizenship Recruiters needed Sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint Save the date for pancakes Marketing and outreach Lead lessons on nature Governor Newsom commended on wildfire safety measures Rental assistance programs remain on track despite Government shutdown Sonoma State ranked as one of the best colleges for transfer students Kidnapping scam alert Help survivors Upcoming traffic alert Grant scams Become a volunteer for the Village Network Leadership opportunity Homelessness is on the rise among the elderly Sonoma County Rental Assistance Programs continue Brush pile burning at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park Industrial work death in RP Sen. 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Call (707) 565-INFO Become a CASA volunteer Isaacs-Bennett graduates from basic military training Back-to-school prevention education guide SMART recommended to receive for $12.6 million grant Wine Entrepreneurship Program now accepting applications Be aware of lewd conduct at Petaluma Shopping Center Dodd promotes free tax assistance Educate yourself on signs of abuse CPI hosts summer group Driver arrested for DUI after hitting parked car CDPH warns not to eat La Zagala Tamarin flavor candy Stone to retire Art show features local artists The inability of students to afford food Tech support refund scam Grieving for whales Children’s pasta dinner Social sustainability, wine tech and legal experts joins business faculty Gold Ridge will not be corp. yard $20,000 donated to wine industry at SSU Vehicle fire near Tech Middle School Model trains at Children’s Museum Lend a hand at annual festival Help people with dementia Meals on Wheels needs more drivers Former Walmart employee arrested for thefts from store Deputy arrests intoxicated RP driver on drugs, weapons charges SMART will add a late-night run Cleaner community spaces News Briefs Distribute leftover meals Those prohibited from possessing firearms So. 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Groundwater fee under consideration

April 12, 2019

Thurs., April 11, the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Board of Directors considered an ordinance to allow groundwater users to be registered and would authorize the GSA to adopt a groundwater sustainability fee.

The GSA was created to sustain the quality and quantity of groundwater in the Santa Rosa Plain (generally, the valley floor stretching from Cotati to Windsor and from the foot of Sonoma Mountain to Sebastopol). This state-mandated agency is nearing completion of a year-long study to finds ways to finance day-to-day operations and groundwater planning. A groundwater sustainability fee–based on estimated groundwater use–is being considered.

Proposed fee amounts could range from $1-$3 annually for a well-owner with a small irrigation well (but whose main water supply is from a city) to between $16-$26 per acre foot for larger pumpers, like cities, towns, mutual water companies, agriculture and golf courses. (An acre foot of water is equivalent to 325,851 gallons.) Rural residents, who rely solely on a well for water, could pay between $8-$13 annually.

The Groundwater User Registration Program would ensure that the GSA’s information regarding groundwater use is correct and would help fill data gaps about groundwater users and well-owners in the basin.  The proposed ordinance would apply to landowners with groundwater wells, and to all facilities that directly use groundwater, including cities, towns, mutual water districts, wineries, farms, businesses, schools, golf courses and others. Residents and businesses whose only water source is from a city, town or mutual water district would not be subject to the ordinance and would not directly pay the fee. The full agenda can be found at www.santarosaplaingroundwater.org.

 About the rate and fee study

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was passed into California law in fall 2014. The Act requires that State-designated medium and high priority basins form a GSA and develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Santa Rosa Plain is a medium priority basin. In compliance with SGMA, the Santa Rosa Plain GSA was created in June, 2017.

GSA member agencies contributed funds to pay for the first two years of GSA operating costs. In fall of 2017, the GSA sought a consultant to conduct a rate and fee study to develop options for funding the agency for the next three years, until the GSP is completed (in 2022). Raftelis (a financial consulting firm) began the study in December 2017. In spring 2018, the GSA was awarded a $1 million Proposition 1 grant from the California Department of Water Resources for developing the GSP. The grant funds significantly offset GSA costs. Funding is needed to cover the remaining operating costs of approximately $337,000 annually.

Strict constitutional requirements on fees and taxes have narrowed the funding options to fees that would likely be based on actual or estimated groundwater use. Potential fee-payers could include groundwater users such as cities, water districts, farmers, businesses and residents with wells. It is estimated that about a third of all groundwater used in Santa Rosa Plain is used by agriculture; about a third of groundwater is used by cities and towns; about a quarter by rural residents; with the remainder split amongst other users including mutual water companies, schools, golf courses and other commercial users.

If the GSA does not impose fees, and as a result, cannot complete and implement the GSP, the state could intervene and impose fees that would range from $100 annually for residential well-owners to $300 (base fee) plus $40 per acre foot of groundwater use for agriculture, cities, mutual water systems, golf courses and commercial users.

For more information about the Santa Rosa Plain GSA, go to www.santarosaplaingroundwater.org.