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City of Chico pandemic impacts

We spoke with the public works department about the sewer system and park updates, and the mayor touched on future revenue impacts from the pandemic.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 5:09 PM

CHICO, Calif. - We spoke with the public works department about the sewer system and park updates, and the mayor touched on revenue loss due to the pandemic.

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SEWER SYSTEM:

Public Works Director of Operations and Maintenance Erik Gustafson sais they have a special saying, 'wipes clog pipes', it's a phrase that will hopefully stick with you to help keep our drains working.

Gustafson says they've been monitoring the pipes and their system is looking good. Gustafson reminds people that items labeled flushable should still not be flushed.

"We continue to encourage people not to flush foreign debris down the sanitary sewer system again only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet," he said.

Gustafson says the city maintains over 300 miles of underground piping that could cause a public safety hazard if they start clogging up.

The city thanks people for cooperating even with the limited supply of toilet paper out there.

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PARKS UPDATE

Gustafson says Children's Playground and Caper Acres remain closed.

Gustafson says those parks are heavily used and for safety precautions, it was best to keep them closed for now.

Chico has 3,600 acres of parks, so they say rangers are monitoring the areas as best as they can.

"It's hard to keep eyes and ears on the entire park at all times but rangers are patrolling along with the chico police department to remind people to stay six feet apart and practice social distancing," he said.

Gustafson says no citations have been given out at this point, and everyone has been pretty compliant.

Trail systems are open and Upper and Lower Bidwell remain open to the public as well.

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FUTURE OF REVENUE

The pandemic has forced many businesses to close with many still struggling to stay afloat.

We spoke with Mayor Ann Schwab about Chico's future economy. She says its really too soon to tell, but they're hopeful.

Schwab says the city is going to need to be very careful and conservative in the next budget forecast.

Schwab says the city manager has told the council to plan for a flat budget, if not a decreased budget.

"Chico is a strong community we have each other back when we open those doors I know our community is going to want to embrace the small businesses like we have in the past and as we will as we move forward," she said.

Schwab says the council is going to have to be very careful making sure the city continues to provide the services they need while staying in the budget.

The council needs to approve a budget by July 1st.

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We have beautiful weather around northern California right now, but it will get a lot more unsettled this weekend as a storm moves overhead. We can expect gusty wind, a big cooldown, and areas of light to moderate rain.
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