Since it was founded in 1871 by prominent grain farmer John William Mitchell, the City of Turlock has relied on well or ground water to meet the water needs of its citizens, farmers and businesses. Today, with the growth of Turlock to nearly 75,000 residents, successful farming, a growing local business community, including the Turlock Regional Industrial Park (TRIP), Turlock needs more water and must move to surface water usage.
Presently we have two options to acquire surface water:
1. Build our own plant through the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SRWA).
2. Partner with the City of Modesto through the use of their surface water plant.
Prior to my election as Mayor, a decision was made to move forward with building our own surface water plant. While this decision will meet Turlock’s water needs now and in the future, I have always been concerned on the impact building our surface water plant would have on our rate payers.
As I mentioned earlier, the City of Modesto has a surface water plant that would appear to be capable of satisfying our surface water needs in a manner that would be beneficial to rate payers requiring a smaller monthly water rate increase.
The concern with partnering with Modesto on surface water aside from cost, is that if we enter into a partnership with Modesto they must guarantee they will meet our future water needs with rates at a reasonable cost.
To answer this question, and to insure we select a surface water solution that not only provides us clean quality drinking water now and in the future, I have called a special meeting of the City Council for this Thursday, June 11 at 4 PM.
The purpose of this special meeting is to allow Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold and his team to make a comprehensive presentation on their plan to partner with the City of Turlock to provide surface water to our residents and businesses.
Following Mayor Brandvold’s presentation, representatives from the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority will make their case for continuing the process of building our own Surface Water plant.
This hearing can better inform us of our best option to secure water of sufficient quantity and quality for our communities future. I am hopeful you will take the time to watch the meeting on Spectrum channel 2 or YouTube, and participate in the discussion through Zoom, so we as a Council have public support for which offer we select. Complete instructions for participating in the meeting are available at www.cityof turlock.org in the City Council section.