Landing in Contra Costa County property owners' mailboxes this week are ballots to authorize a potential parcel tax to fund water pollution control improvements.
The 2012 Community Clean Water Initiative is designed to improve water quality and prevent pollutants, bacteria and trash from entering the streams and flowing into the Delta and the Bay. The goal is for the county comply with state and federal water purity standards.
Under the auspices of California Proposition 218 of 1996, the county will gather the results of property owners' votes, said Tom Dalziel, program manager for the Contra Costa Clean Water Program; if a simple majority is achieved, the county Board of Supervisors can levy the parcel tax in June.
For six years, the county set aside $1.5 million to fund an engineering study, funding analysis, public opinion surveys, public information campaign and election, Dalziel said.
Based on surveys of what communities could bear in a parcel tax, the proposed level is $19 per parcel in the west county and unincorporated areas; $22 per parcel in the central county and $12 per parcel in the east county. Dalziel said that revenue level will not finance the program sufficiently to bring county water up to state and federal standards — the cities and other municipalities will need to supplement revenue from general funds and other sources.
Thanks to Patch reader Bryn Thenell, who brought this to our attention.