News About the North Bay Water Reuse Authority

County puts up money for Skyline Park pipeline

Peter Jensen, Napa Register 2/29/12

The Napa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to provide $95,000 to help pay to extend a recycled water pipeline from Napa State Hospital along East Imola Avenue to Skyline Park.

From there, the county is planning to extend the pipeline out to Hagen Road and Napa Valley Country Club, and provide 1,000 acre-feet of recycled water from the Napa Sanitation District into the heart of the water-deficient Coombsville area.

The project is being paid for jointly between the federal government, the county and the Sanitation District, and the county aims to recoup a portion of that money through a benefit assessment district, which would pay back the money over 20 to 25 years.

The federal government is using a leftover chunk of change from the economic stimulus package, passed three years ago, to pay $390,000 to extend the project to Skyline Park. On Tuesday the board approved the county’s share. The Sanitation District’s board of directors is voting March 7 to match that share. Construction of this section of the pipeline is expected to begin this spring or summer.

Coombsville residents at the board meeting Tuesday morning expressed support and opposition for the project, mostly focused on a pump station that’s planned to be located at the northwest corner of Skyline Park.

Resident Gerri Gorney supported the project, and said that people who didn’t want the pump station in the park should pay to find another place for it.

“That pipeline is going to be built,” Gorney said.

Resident Kathy Felch, whose Penny Lane residence is across the street from the park, said she opposes the pump station and questioned the project’s financing, arguing that the assessment district wouldn’t attract enough people willing to pay for it.

“This is building a pipeline to nowhere,” Felch said. “Unless you have the financing in place to continue this pipeline, we’re building something under Imola Avenue that may never be used.”

Supervisor Bill Dodd dismissed her contention.

“This is right here for the good of the 700 property owners,” Dodd said. “I think this is nothing more than NIMBYism.”

Felch also argued that the pump station’s construction violates a state law allowing the state to sell Skyline Park to the county. The sale is under negotiation. She contends language in that law states that the entire park would be used as a park or wilderness preserve.

Scott Jenny, an attorney for Felch, sent Supervisor Keith Caldwell and County CEO Nancy Watt a cease-and-desist letter Tuesday asking that construction plans within Skyline Park be halted.

The letter contends that:

• Constructing the pump station within the park violates the county’s zoning ordinance for the park, which limits uses to agriculture, parks and rural recreation, and campgrounds;
• The pump station is inconsistent with the county’s Skyline Wilderness Park master plan, which states that the park’s uses be consistent with preservation of its natural resources;
• Violates state and federal wilderness protection laws.
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