Cost of pumping your septic tank will roughly double under new county deal – city of Chico refuses our septage while laying plans to run a sewer pipe from Paradise

19 Apr

Well, I found out why the county treated my questions about their new septage deal  like poison ivy – they’re about to double the cost of pumping a septic tank in Butte County.

Butte County is taxpayer and citizen hostile. I can’t believe how they handled two simple questions I posed to our once casual and friendly county CAO, Paul Hahn – “could you give us an idea of what it will cost to pump out  tank once the septage ponds are closed and the transfer station is sending our septage to Lincoln?” and “where exactly in Lincoln?”

I also asked Hahn in conversation, why isn’t our septage going to the Chico wastewater treatment plant.

Well, you saw Hahn’s response. It was huffy –  county counsel, Bruce Alpert, was positively hostile. He lectured me about the public relations act.

“The public records act does not require a public agency to provide responses to questions…”

Wow. I wish I could ask him, how is a citizen supposed to get public information without asking a question, but he threatened to charge me next time! 

I can’t post the letter cause it was loaded in such a way that it can’t be cut and paste, but maybe I’ll take a picture of it later or load it in with my scanner. I can’t believe how nasty Alpert got over two simple pieces of public information.

This information was all discussed at public meetings by the board of supervisors, I asked Hahn if he could direct me to the conversation. I couldn’t find any reports regarding shipping our septage to the Chico wastewater treatment plant – apparently there has been no real conversation about that. Sounds like the city is just flat refusing to take our septage, while making a deal with Paradise to run a sewer pipe all the way to the river to accommodate their sewage.

The city is “concerned that the biological strength of septage waste may upset their treatment system…” Wow, so Paradise’ poop is cleaner than ours? What?

So, the county has walked away from discussions with the city of Chico and contacted a firm in Lincoln – Invirotec Facility. 

And now we know why they were so touchy about answering my questions – all this is going to double the cost of pumping your tank – the current disposal fee at Neal Road dump is 15 cents a gallon, the new deal will raise it to a minimum of 24 cents a gallon but a maximum of 32 cents a gallon. The cost of a truck load will go from $211 to $450. Depending on the size of your tank, you could be paying an increase of $34/per year, and that’s if you follow staff’s recommendation and only get your tank pumped every 7 years. That’s staff’s  analysis – most experts say you should pump your tank every three to six years, depending on the size of your household. 

I believe they want to force Chicoans on sewer. I had thought that was crazy because the wastewater treatment plant was at capacity a few years ago. I found some notes from an old meeting, I’ll talk about that next time.

But I’ll say, the county of Butte is hostile to the citizens. This information request was just that – a citizen’s right to know. Hahn and Alpert treated me like a  rat in their pantry.   My supervisor, Maureen Kirk, sat through the whole conversation with her thumb up her ass. Kirk is a staff shill, she’s completely dependent on staff, makes no decisions of her own. She didn’t answer my questions because she couldn’t – it’s in one ear, vote, and out the other ear with Kirk.

Kirk should step down for 2018, give somebody else a chance to do a better job. 


9 Responses to “Cost of pumping your septic tank will roughly double under new county deal – city of Chico refuses our septage while laying plans to run a sewer pipe from Paradise”

  1. bob April 24, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    Of course they want everyone hooked up. Then they can jack up the fees and get even more money for their underfunded pensions. And what can you do then? Nothing but pay as you won’t be allowed to go back to a septic tank.

    It’s too bad you couldn’t just pump your septage into City Hall. It would be right at home there.

    And it looks like another pension tax increase is right around the corner. Of course it will be sold as “for the children” just like the last bond measures here. And I bet you Dogtree and Little will be all for it. And I bet the idiot voters pass it in a landslide.

    Split roll property tax proposal is really a pension tax

    • bob April 24, 2017 at 11:33 am #

      Here’s an interesting comment to that article. If I had to bet money, I’d bet the same holds true for Chico.

      Richard Rider
      I checked out my county property tax history, and found no shortage of tax revenue. Just the opposite! You might want to do the same for your county.

      My San Diego County’s property tax revenues today are higher than the bloated PRE-Prop 13 year of 1977, even after adjusting for inflation and population growth. Indeed, in this latest 2015-16 fiscal year, San Diego property tax revenues grew another 5.9% For every dollar collected in 1977, today the county collects $8.90!

      • Juanita Sumner April 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

        At first I thought, what about people who can’t hook up to sewer – then I realized, if they can run a sewer pipe down the Skyway from Paradise, they can run it anywhere. Imagine, the whole county hooked up to the City of Chico sewer plant – I think that’s probably what they had in mind in the first place.

        We are having our tanks pumped soon, because our technician says the dump will stop taking septage in September, and the new fees will take effect. But, a well-maintained septic tank is still a better deal than sewer, so we’ll be taking good care of them.

        Thanks for that article, I’ll make a separate blog for it.

      • bob April 24, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

        Like I said last year, the tax increases then were just the beginning. I said there would be an orgy of tax increases and I was right.

        We just had huge fuel and car tax increases. Now this. And there’s plenty more where those came from.

        By cutting back the expected rate of return a mere half percent CalPERs took a huge hit. That’s one of the main reasons we are getting all these tax increases now. Can you image what will happen when the market hits another bear market? If it’s anything like the last one it will blow a huge hole in CalPERs.

        What’s incredible is that the Demorats are seriously going to push for universal single payer health coverage in this state. And when they say universal they mean illegal aliens, too. They are talking about massive payroll tax increases and other tax increases to pay for it. Considering the already incredible tax burden in this state and the fact that even with it the pensions are massively underfunded, this idea is pure lunacy. It’s so crazy that even Jerry Brown is questioning it but the Demorats in the legislature and the likely next governor Gavin Newsom are hell bent on it.

        We are going to be taxed into oblivion.

      • Juanita Sumner April 25, 2017 at 4:54 am #

        How do we get the public to pay attention, is my question.

        My son just wrote a paper about the “issue attention cycle”. According to economist Anthony Downs, “public attention rarely remains sharply focused upon any one domestic issue for very long.”

      • bob April 25, 2017 at 7:18 am #

        The public is hopeless. Plus the system at this point seems too corrupt to be saved.

        If you get a chance check out this book

        Front page news on the Bee’s Web site gives more ammunition to my point that more tax increases are coming.

        The school pensions are really starting to get out of hand. It’s just the beginning.

        New warning: Schools face ‘mini-recession’ tied to pension costs

        And then there’s the Oroville dam.

        Fixing Oroville Dam will cost hundreds of millions. Who should pay the bill? Um, that would be you. And it could wind up costing a billion.

      • bob April 25, 2017 at 7:29 am #

        Yet more evidence of more tax increases from another Bee article and proof that a temporary tax increase never is…

        Can you imagine if we have another stock market crash and instead of the investment return going from 7.5 to 7 it goes negative? What if stocks crash and take twenty years to recover?

        “The big additional cost coming at the city is its payment to CalPERS – from $67 million in the general fund in 2017-18 to $129 million in 2022-23. Nearly half that increase, a projected $29 million, is due to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board voting to cut its expected investment return from 7.5 percent to 7 percent.

        Plus, labor costs are bound to rise later this year because of new contracts for all the major unions, except for firefighters.

        Read more here:

        It’s already a given that the city will ask voters to renew Measure U, the half-cent sales tax that brings in about $40 million a year; that restored police, fire and parks funding after the Great Recession; and that is set to expire in March 2019.

        Chan also raises the possibility of increasing the tax rate on recreational marijuana businesses, from 4 percent to as much as 10 percent. That would also require approval from voters.”

      • bob April 25, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

        Hah! The Bee changed the title of that article from “New warning: Schools face ‘mini-recession’ tied to pension costs” to “Money short for raises, pensions? Teachers say school districts are ‘crying wolf’”

        The teachers union must have made an angry phone call.

      • Juanita Sumner April 26, 2017 at 4:24 am #

        I need to get busy writing a letter to the editor about what Bultema said – if we don’t give more money they cut programs for the kids.

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