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City Council Members Deal With Taxes, Water
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Escalon City Council members will meet for their next regular session on Monday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 2040 McHenry Avenue.

Among the items on the agenda, consideration of placing a sales tax on the March ballot; the tax would be designated for specific uses and would be set aside primarily for public safety.

Initially brought up a few months ago by Mayor Robert Swift, the discussions have continued and City Manager Tammy Alcantor said it is being brought to the council at the Dec. 2 meeting because they are nearing the date when they will have to confirm putting the measure on the March 2020 ballot for voters.

Also, at their meeting earlier this month, the council heard a pair of water-related reports. One dealt with the water rate study, which was accepted by the council, and would put in place a series of water race increases for both residential and industrial users.

Under the requirements of Prop 218, notices have gone out to all those in the city that would be affected; those notices were sent out on Friday, Nov. 22.

“It was a special mailing, with all the rate information included,” Alcantor said.

Hansford Economic Consulting LLC out of Truckee conducted the water rate study and, following a public hearing in January, the council is expected to vote on approving the study and its recommended rate increases.

A wastewater treatment plant study delivered at the Nov. 18 session was also accepted by the council. That was prepared by PACE Advanced Water Engineering out of Fountain Valley and included six different options for upgrading and updating the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

“The council directed staff to look at how we would fund the recommended improvements,” Alcantor said.

The improvement plans provided by the firm ranged in cost from $12 million to $21 million. The council did not indicate a time frame of when they wanted staff to return with funding options.