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Flood pumps pushing maximum capacity as officials look for funds to replace them

The property-related fee would cost most single home families an additional $12 a year, but it can vary.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Homeowners could see an increase on their bills as Reclamation District 1000 launches Proposition 218 to make improvements.

The district is currently pumping out the canals to make sure there isn’t any flooding.

“We have been pumping pretty consistently since the first of the year since that big storm on New Year’s Eve. At one point, we pumped for about seven consecutive days,” said general manager Kevin King.

The district is missing almost 35% of its pumping capacity.

“We are 30 years behind on deferred maintenance and capitol replacement,” said King.

That’s why residents are now getting notices about the 30-year capital improvement plan. It’s to deal with overdue maintenance and a move towards automation. It could also address issues that have happened recently, such as an electrical explosion that ruined their breaker bar and electrical cabinet, according to King.

They were relying on that pump while two others were offline. If they couldn’t make the repair, all the equipment would run until it failed.

“A lot of them now are obsolete, so there aren’t any spare parts available to us. In fact, we just bought one component for that pumping plant off of eBay because it’s the only place we can find it,” said King.

The property-related fee would cost most single-home families an additional $12 a year, but it can vary.

“If they actually use it to replace pumps that would be fine but who knows, they drive new trucks every year so I kind of feel that that is not necessary,” said Lee Stearn, who's been within the district for two decades.

The district will know if voters approve the increase in funding by March 10.

“If we are fortunate to get grant funding or state or federal appropriations, then the fee wouldn’t be implemented at the highest rate every year,” said King.  

A backup generator is also on its way from the U.S Army Corp of Engineers and is expected to arrive next week to help the district get through the rest of flood season. They are hopeful they can stop pumping water by mid-week.

ABC10 reached out to Sacramento councilwoman Lisa Kaplan for a statement. She said:

"I am aware of the new planned fee assessment for RD1000. I am very supportive of this assessment in order to upgrade and maintain all of our canals and pumping stations. RD1000 for the past 25+ years has been extremely mindful of our taxpayer dollars, having not increased the assessment amount since 1996.

The time is now to make sure RD1000 has the funding to upgrade our canals and pumping stations - as there is nothing more important than the protection of our residents from flooding - especially in light of this most recent storm."


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