“It will pretty much answer a lot of the questions that have been asked,” said Nina Jazmadarian, Foothill Municipal’s general manager.
About $7 million in upgrades to the district’s aging infrastructure, some of which are already underway, will still move forward and will be reimbursed through bond proceeds if the measure is approved by voters, she said.
This week’s announcement is the second time the district has delayed a decision on the bond, which officials had originally planned to float to voters last fall.
Officials have said the proposed bond will help the district reduce its dependence on imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which continues to raise wholesale rates and limit shipments in response to the state’s water shortage.
But at a series of community outreach meetings, water officials were confronted by concerned residents and directors from member agencies, who said they were frustrated by a lack of details on the bond.
If approved by voters, the bond would be repaid over 30 years through a monthly property assessment — an average of $4 depending on the size of the property and the amount of Foothill Municipal water received.
Foothill Municipal board President Bob Gomperz said a 30-year bond could also be repaid through rate increases, which would not require voter approval, or the district could decide against the projects entirely.
“I just want to make sure that everyone understands we are not committed to the parcel tax as the only way to fund any projects we undertake,” he said.
A recent $75,000-state grant will help pay for a recycled water facilities planning study.
That report is expected to provide a description of proposed facilities, pipeline routes, cost estimates and potential users.
Gomperz said the study is key in ensuring that the proposed $50-million effort to boost recycled water use makes financial sense.