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Livermore: Sewer line extension project headed to Nov. 8 election

Measure aims to protect groundwater, expand wine country uses, proponents say

The measure to extend sanitary sewer service beyond the urban growth boundary to serve wine country uses is headed to the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

At its July 25 regular meeting, the Livermore City Council approved a resolution calling for the election and establishing the deadlines for arguments for and against the measure, as well as other administrative items that need to be conveyed to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office to place it on the ballot.

The initiative -- formally titled "South Livermore Sewer Extension Project" -- was initially proposed by the Tri-Valley Conservancy (TVC). It aims to protect the groundwater from contamination and allow a limited expansion of wine country-related businesses in the area.

TVC board chair Lori Souza spoke to the council on behalf of the organization during the meeting. "I just wanted to reassure you that we are prepared to do our part to prepare the ballot argument and rebuttal argument or defer argument in favor of the measure," she said.

As part of its vote and direction, the council appointed TVC to prepare the argument and rebuttal.

Timelines for ballot measure arguments have been modeled after the provisions set forth by California Elections Code. Accordingly, direct arguments for or against the measure are due within 14 days from calling the election and rebuttal arguments for or against are due within 10 days after the final filing date for direct arguments, city officials said in a staff report. 

At its July 11 meeting, the council had previously certified the supplemental environmental impact report and approved the ballot question and language for the initiative. The approved ballot question reads as, "Shall the ordinance amending the South Livermore Urban Growth Boundary policies in the City of Livermore’s General Plan to allow the City to extend sewer service to permitted uses within the South Livermore Valley Area Plan Planning Area be adopted?"

Should voters pass the measure, the initiative would modify South Livermore urban growth boundary policies and enable the city to extend sewer service and property owners to receive municipal services. The project would be constructed in phases and within existing rights-of-way.

Connection to the line would not be required but would be available at the request of individual property owners and subject to an out-of-area service agreement or annexation into the city, according to city staff. 

According to TVC, the construction of the proposed sewer line expansion project would have no direct impact on Livermore taxpayers. The city also affirmed its existing wastewater system has the capacity to process the additional wastewater.

The cost of construction would be split between Alameda County, which would contribute $6.5 million -- 80% of the funds needed -- and commercial and residential properties that choose to connect to the new sewer line.

The measure would need to receive above 50% of the votes in favor of it in order to pass, according to city attorney Jason Alcala. According to city staff, there are currently 56,968 registered voters in Livermore. 


Cierra Bailey

About the Author: Cierra Bailey

Cierra started as an editorial intern with the Pleasanton Weekly in 2014. After pursuing opportunities in digital and broadcast media and attending graduate school at Syracuse University, she’s back as the editor of the Vine.
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