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IN THE NEWS
May 26, 2015
Rendevous was Great
Water and Sewer Rates Jump
Abandoned Story Torn Down to Make Way for
By Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
BURNEY — Like most public hearings revolving around rate
increases in the Intermountain Area, few showed up. In the case
of last Thursday’s Burney Water District meeting there were two
who spoke to the issue. One was firmly against a rate increase
and the other had a number of questions. A fourth listened
without making comments. District Manager Willie Rodriguez told
the board he had also received two letters of protest citing the
burden an increase would put on people with fixed income. He
said another person had talked to him, opposing the increase for
basically the same reason.
The board unanimously passed the increase after they and
Rodriguez had answered the questions and acknowledged the
concerns. This year’s increase, the second in a five year plan,
amounted to 8% for water and 20% for sewer. Last year the water
increase was 10% and the sewer increase was 20%
For water most residential users will pay either $15.50 per
month base rate plus 83¢ per 100 cubic feet of water used. The
sewer rate is calculated by averaging the December 2014, January
2015 and February 2015 water usage. It is calculated by
multiplying the average cubic feet of water used in those months
by .017 and added to a base figure of $24.23.
Rodriguez said that the increase is justified for a number of
reasons. The independent auditors doing the district’s annual
district audit had noted a deficiency every year for a number of
years because the district had been unable to budget replacement
(depreciation) expense in their budgets, which meant that the
district was not putting enough money aside to replace aging
infrastructure such as pumps and pipes. Additionally the Shasta
County Grand Jury had written the district up for not putting
the depreciation aside.
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BURNEY — Once proud variety store, known as Sprouse Ritz and
then Ben Franklin, disappeared from the center of town landscape
The once proud store had been abandoned after its roof fell in
during the December 2012 ice and snow storm.
Construction planners associated with Dollar General Stores had
researched the location’s potential and taken their plans
through the local and county process, beginning demolition May
4. Now reduced to a few piles of rubble, construction on the new
building is expected to follow immediately with an opening date
for Dollar General in December.
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Four Busted by Joint Task Force
— On May 21 at about 8:00 a.m., Shasta Interagency Narcotics
Task Force (SINTF) agents along with agents from the Shasta
County Marijuana Investigation Team (SMIT) and Deputies from
the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Burney Division, served a
Shasta County Superior Court Search Warrant at a residence
located on Sand Pit Road in Cassel.
During the service of the search warrant agents detained 4
subjects later identified as; Kenneth Scott Elrod (shown
left) 63 years old, Stephanie Louise Isbell 23 years old,
Elizabeth Ann Bednar 42 years old, and Jayson Scott Elrod 38
years old. All subjects are from Cassel.
During the search of the location agents located about ½
pound of crystal methamphetamine which had been buried on
the property. Agents also located packaging materials and
evidence of sales of methamphetamine.
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Details weren’t immediately available on this crash in the
Canyon Saturday, but a couple and their two granddaughters went
off the roadway into the thick undergrowth. the 8-yearold was
thrown from the vehicle and suffered a broken femur. A
helicopter and fire rescue units from Round Mountain helped
locate the vehicle.
Girl's Leg Broken in Vehicle Crash
3/4 Irrigated Farmland Loses 80% of Water
survey results released today by the
California Farm Water
Coalition, almost threequarters of the state’s 9.6
million acres of irrigated farmland has had its
water supply cut by at least 80 percent and 44
percent will receive no contracted surface water
deliveries at all in 2015.
California farmers within the survey area are seeing
a loss of an additional 941,000 acre-feet from the
scarce supplies they received in 2014.
In 2014, 5.8 million acres of Central Valley
farmland from Redding to Bakersfield received about
4.2 million acrefeet of water. This year that amount
has fallen to 3.3 million acre-feet.
The new numbers were part of comments presented
today by Coalition Executive Director Mike Wade at a
State Water Resources Control Board workshop in
“The steep water supply cuts have caused hundreds of
thousands of acres of farmland to be fallowed in
both 2014 and again this year,” Wade said.
“Satellite data reported by the State Department of
Water Resources and NASA in a November 2014 drought
update showed drought-related fallowing encompassing
as much as 692,000 acres more than levels seen in
2011, California’s most recent wet year.
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