"While much work has been done to reduce the likelihood and severity, the City has a history of flooding," said Visalia Mayor Amy Shuklian. “Thanks to the property owners who voted to support this fee extension, it will make a real difference in our ability to adequately maintain the waterways and reduce the risk of flooding. We appreciate the support.”
Property owners in the City have paid a monthly fee of 48 cents per parcel or dwelling unit for the critical flood control project that was constructed on Terminus Dam at Lake Kaweah. With that project now complete, a mail ballot went out on Jan. 31 asking if they were willing to continue the fee for local flood control purposes.
The mail ballot was conducted according to the provisions of California's Proposition 218 which requires all property-based fees be approved by the property owners. On Tuesday, 6,652 valid ballots were counted, which represented 8,440 votes. The difference is because some parcels are charged more than one fee based on the number of units on the parcel and therefore have more than one vote. The ballots were counted Tuesday by TrueBallot, the consultant which conducted the ballot measure on behalf of the City.
As part of its informational outreach efforts, the City gave a total of 16 informational presentations in January and February, held two community meetings, created and distributed informational flyers in English and Spanish, established a webpage with information on the City’s storm drainage system and the mail ballot, and established a resource phone line to provide property owners with information on the mail ballot.
The new use of the fee approved by property owners will enable the City’s storm water system to be better prepared to handle large volumes of water that could otherwise overwhelm it, causing pipeline and manholes to plug up, leak, and break. Consistently maintained systems also reduce the likelihood that creeks will overflow into homes and businesses.
The City Council will officially certify the results of the mail ballot at its April 1 meeting.
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