The City of El Cerrito is hosting a community meeting Monday night at City Hall to provide an overview of the city's efforts to reduce pollution from rain run-off and hold a question-and-answer session with City Engineer Jerry Bradshaw.
The meeting will be held from 7-9 p.m. at City Hall.
According to the city's notice about the meeting, the city wants "to to start a dialogue with residents about Stormwater Pollution/Clean Water efforts."
The notice also says the meeting will discuss "the County’s '2012 Community Clean Water Initiative' as a possible model for new funding to improve water quality."
The county's 2012 Community Clean Water Initiative was special-election mail ballot sent to property owners in the county in February and defeated with a 59-percent no vote. The measure would have added between $6 and $22 per year on the property tax bills of most parcels. The money would have been used to help local governments meet stricter federal and state standards for water run-off entering streams and the Bay.
Local jurisdictions in Contra Costa County say they need increased revenues to meet the tighter water-quality requirements. The defeated initiative was sponsored by the Contra Costa Clean Water Program, a consortium of the county's 19 cities plus the county government and the county flood-control district.
The defeat represented "a serious setback for clean water efforts in Contra Costa County," said Tom Tom Dalziel, Program Manager of the
Contra Costa Clean Water Program, in a statement on the agency's website. "This now means that cities and the county will need to look for other funding sources to offset the rising costs of State and Federal permits or risk the fines associated with not implementing these stricter standards."
The stricter federal and state standards reflect increased official attention to the need to control pollution before it reaches waterways.
"Each year, tons of harmful and dangerous pollutants, bacteria and trash are carried through our neighborhoods and enter local creeks, reservoirs, lakes, the Delta and Bay," according to the Contra Costa Clean Water Program. "As water drains from streets, parking lots, and lawns, pollutants are picked up and enter the drainage system through thousands of catch basins throughout Contra Costa County. From there, this polluted water flows through a system of pipes, channels and creeks straight into the Delta and Bay."
Those who wish more information about the Monday night meeting at El Cerrito City Hall can call the city's Public Works Department at 510-215-4382.
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