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Board of Supervisors decide against funding water pipeline survey from Paradise to Chico

Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors decided not to fund a study to build a water pipeline from Paradise to Chico.

Posted: Nov 5, 2019 4:38 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2019 4:48 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. -  Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors decided they will not fund a study to build a water pipeline from Paradise to Chico.

A study that Butte County Board of Supervisors was looking at to bring water from Paradise to down in the Valley is no longer on the agenda.

Supervisor Debra Lucero says she just wanted the study to cover more. 

"It was surprising to me the three supervisors, Supervisor Teeter, Supervisor Lambert, and Supervisor Connolly voted to end the study, if I had been given the time to make the points I wanted to make, I think we needed a broader study," said Lucero. 

Doug Teeter who is also on the Board of Supervisors was not happy with the outcome. 

"I think the spin they were willing to work was not genuine, I believe this study was pretty simple, figure out the cost of the pipeline and also if the water rights were there," said Teeter.

The county has a grant from Prop 1 for assisting with a variety of pieces related to Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Implementation within the basin and would have been able to utilize money from the grant to assist with the study if it was presented before the budget was done in June and July.

However, the study was presented to the board after the budget was made for the next fiscal year, so the Board of Supervisors had to approve to adjust the budget if they wanted to help pay for the study. 

Tuesday they decided not to approve the budget change, meaning they will be pulling out of the contract using the exit clause, and they have 30 days to exit. 

Kevin Phillips from Paradise Irrigation District said he is disappointed. 

"We have lost over 90% of our revenue, approximately 95% of our revenue, but our costs are 90% fixed. The district was formed about 100 years ago, by the people of Paradise and we are hoping to keep that control locally throughout the rebuild process," said Phillips. 

Phillips says PID is not going to give up. 

"It is a lump we are taking our lumps from the results, but we aren't down and out, we are going to look at other business models, exploring other options to use our water as the town rebuilds, and fight until there is no more fight left in us," said Phillips. 

PID and Cal Water can still move forward with the study, they will just need to figure out how they will pay for it since the Board of Supervisors was supposed to pay for half. 

In December, the Board of Supervisors will host a water workshop with all the players involved to try and find a study that will benefit everyone. 

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