Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors puts off groundwater rules

kcarlson@modbee.comSeptember 29, 2013 

    alternate textKen Carlson
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: County government, health and medicine, air quality, the environment and public pension systems
    Bio: Ken Carlson has worked 13 years for The Bee, covering local government agencies in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. His in-depth reporting has focused on access to health care and public employee pensions.
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  • Board of supervisors watch

    The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto. The following items will be considered:

    • Approval of this year’s provider agreements for home-delivered meals and homemaker, senior law, health promotion and employment services funded by the federal Older Americans Act.

    • A grant agreement with the California Department of Public Health for nutrition education and obesity prevention.

    • An agreement between Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties for engineering and right of way for the Victory Road bridge replacement near Escalon, about a mile and a half north of Highway 120. The cost: $328,000.

    • A closed session to discuss a possible appointment of county assessor. Assessor Dave Cogdill Sr. has resigned to become president and chief executive officer of the California Building Industry Association. His last day with the county is Oct. 18.

Stanislaus County supervisors won’t take up a groundwater ordinance on Tuesday as previously intended. The long-awaited ordinance dealing with groundwater exports has been pushed back to Oct. 29.

The county’s legal experts have fine-tuned the language, and a committee including local water district officials will take a final look, said Keith Boggs, an assistant executive officer for the county.

Boggs said the final draft was revised for grammar and clarity. There were no substantive changes to the proposed groundwater policies, he said. After Tuesday’s meeting, the county Board of Supervisors has no meetings set for Oct. 8 or Oct. 22.

The ordinance has been four years in the making. Proponents maintain it will protect a vital resource by banning out-of-county water sales and transfers that threaten to deplete aquifers.

Stanislaus would become the 29th county in California to adopt a groundwater ordinance. The proposal has numerous exemptions for irrigation districts so they are not restricted from pumping that’s consistent with sound use of groundwater, officials have said.

Tuesday, supervisors could approve a contract not to exceed $1.62 million for Modesto-based Simile Construction Service to renovate a county-owned building in Ceres for a 16-bed psychiatric health facility. The county plans to modify a former residential facility at Stanislaus Recovery Center on Richland Avenue.

According to an analysis of bids from six companies, Simile made the lowest responsible proposal. Other bidders were Acme Construction of Modesto, Iomlan Construction Services of Oakdale, Diede Construction of Woodbridge, Pacific-Mountain Contractors of Concord and Zovich & Sons of Hayward.

The county will pay for the $2.43 million project by using proceeds from the 2007 sale of Stanislaus Behavioral Health Center to Tenet Healthcare Corp., plus carry-over funds. That amount includes design, construction, inspections and construction management.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at or (209) 578-2321.

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