STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD MEETING
JUNE 19, 1997
ITEM 2: APPROVAL OF A SMALL COMMUNITIES GRANT (SCG) FOR THE GOSHEN COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT, SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM PROJECT, PROJECT NO. SCG-695
DISCUSSION: In accordance with the State Water Resources Control Board's (SWRCB) Implementation Policy for the Small Communities Grant Program (Policy), adopted on January 23, 1997, and amended on April 30 and May 14, 1997, projects on the adopted priority list need SWRCB approval to receive a SCG for construction. Construction grants can be approved by the SWRCB after the Division of Clean Water Programs (Division) has approved the facilities plan and the final plans and specifications.
The estimated total project cost per household is $10,350. Therefore, the proposed project is not a high cost project, as defined by the Policy.
The District is located in northwest Tulare County and lies approximately one-half mile north of the intersection of State Highways 99 and 198 (see attached map). The District serves a population of 2,000 and the 1996 median household income is $21,178. Based on the Policy's funding formula, the District qualifies for a SCG for 93 percent of the eligible costs.
The District is currently an unsewered community. The residents use on-site septic tank/leach field/dry well type sewage treatment systems. These systems are functioning improperly due to soil types that are not conducive to these type of systems. This has resulted in many system failures, which include open flowing raw sewage and multiple users on a single system. The County of Tulare Health and Human Services Agency documented a public health hazard by letter dated February 27, 1997. As a result, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors established a building permit moratorium for septic tank sewage treatment systems within the District on March 11, 1997. The project is included in Priority Class A on the SCG Statewide Priority List adopted on May 14, 1997, by the SWRCB.
The proposed project consists of the construction of (1) a traditional gravity flow sewage collection system, (2) a lift station, and (3) a sewage trunk line. The sewage will be collected and pumped to the sewage trunk line and transported, by gravity flow, to the existing City of Visalia Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment and disposal.
The estimated total project cost is $8.66 million. This estimate includes construction, permanent easements, buy-in-costs for treatment at the City of Visalia Wastewater Treatment Plant, contingencies, engineering, and administration. The estimated eligible SCG cost is $3 million. The remainder of the project will be funded through a grant and loan by the United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development (formerly FmHA).
The City of Visalia (City) Sanitary Sewer Master Plan (SSMP) Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which included analyses of the project, was certified by the City in May 1994.
The City prepared an EIR Supplement to the SSMP EIR to incorporate proposed revisions to the Sanitary Sewer System Project. The EIR Supplement was circulated through the State Clearinghouse, for a shortened review period, from November 22 through December 22, 1994. During the review period, the City received six comment letters from public agencies. The City provided adequate responses to all comments. The EIR Supplement was certified by the Visalia City Council on January 3, 1995.
The Tulare County Redevelopment Agency prepared an Addendum to the Final EIR, to incorporate a minor technical change" into the Sanitary Sewer System Project. The Addendum was not recirculated through the State Clearinghouse; however, the public was invited to review the Addendum and comment at a public meeting held on August 21, 1995, when the District's Board of Directors adopted and certified the SSMP EIR Supplement and the EIR Addendum. No additional comments were received. A Notice of Determination was prepared and filed with the Tulare County Clerk on August 21, 1995.
The District requests the SWRCB approve a grant of $3 million for this project.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB approve a construction grant for the proposed project?
FISCAL IMPACT: Availability of SCG funds for this project depends on other SCG proposals being considered and to be approved by the SWRCB in June 1997.
Current SCG fund balance as of May 14, 1997: $29.1 million
(Reflects deduction of 3 percent of $30 million for administration.)
Project approvals under consideration by the Board in June 1997:
Le Grand CSD SCG-630 $1 million
Goshen CSD SCG-695 $3 million
New SCG fund balance, if all the June 1997 proposals are approved by the SWRCB: $25.1 million
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the SWRCB adopt a resolution approving a construction grant for the proposed project.
June 10, 1997 DRAFT
STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD
RESOLUTION NO. 97-
APPROVAL OF A SMALL COMMUNITIES GRANT FOR SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM PROJECT GOSHEN COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT PROJECT NO. SCG-695
1. The State Water Resources Control Board, on January 23, 1997, adopted the "Implementation Policy for the Small Communities Grant Program," and amended on April 30 and May 14, 1997;
2. The State Water Resources Control Board, on May 14, 1997, adopted the Small Communities Grant Program Priority List which included the Goshen Community Services District, Sanitary Sewer System Project in Priority Class A;
3. The Division of Clean Water Programs approved the Facilities Plan, on May 19, 1997, for the Goshen Community Services District, Sanitary Sewer System Project;
4. The Division of Clean Water Programs approved the plans and specifications, on May 30, 1997; and
5. The Goshen Community Services District certified a Supplemental EIR and Addendum (State Clearing House No. 92122093) which have been reviewed and considered and it has been determined that:
(a) as stated in the SSMP EIR Supplement and Addendum, the project may result in cumulative "indirect" impacts, associated with the development of the planned land uses of the Land Use Element, with respect to: (i) loss of approximately 13,000 acres of farmland; (ii) conflicts between agricultural activities and adjacent urban land uses; (iii) increase in vehicle traffic and congestion; (iv) an increase in levels of mobile source air pollutant emissions; (v) an increase in groundwater pumping that may contribute to a long-term overdraft condition; (vi) loss of wildlife habitat by urban development; and (vii) an increase in ambient noise levels.
The SWRCB hereby adopts the following statement of overriding considerations to address the unmitigable impacts that may potentially occur from approval of the project:
1. Implementation of the Sanitary Sewer System Project would result in sewer collection system improvements sufficient to: accommodate sewage flows for future development; alleviate the threat of health and safety from failed and failing individual septic systems; and allow for the orderly and logical expansion of the community in accordance with existing Community Plans. These considerations outweigh the environmental risks associated with the proposed Sanitary Sewer System Project.
2. In balancing the project benefits against the potential significant secondary impacts regarding loss of farmland, land uses, traffic, air quality, groundwater, wildlife, and noise, the SWRCB finds the public benefits of the project outweigh the unavoidable impacts and, therefore, determines that the impacts are acceptable.
(b) changes or alterations have been required in, or incorporated into the project which would avoid or substantially lessen potentially significant environmental impacts identified in the EIR Supplement with respect to cultural resource impacts which will be mitigated by halting construction activities in the area of the "find" and consulting an archaeologist.
(c) with respect to other potentially significant environmental impacts identified in the EIR, appropriate changes or alterations are within the jurisdiction of other public agencies. Such other changes or alterations have been adopted or should be adopted by such other agencies.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The State Water Resources Control Board approves a Small Communities Grant of $3 million to the Goshen Community Services District for construction of the Sanitary Sewer System Project.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on June 19, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board