ONTARIO — The city of Ontario has agreed to pay $50,000 from its Utilities Capitalization Fund in order to increase the size of a water line which is needed for a new subdivision. The development, Treasure 200, is owned by Mayor Riley Hill, who stepped down from the dias while City Council members discussed whether to upsize the line for future customers’ needs during its regular meeting on July 13.
City Engineer Paul Woods explained to the council that the engineering design contracts to complete new water and sewer service to the Treasure 200 and Navarette parcels on March 25. He said that a recent application for the new water service alignment for Treasure 200 presents a new opportunity for the city: to partner on the improvements and reduce the cost of providing a new service.
If the council allowed the developer to increase the water line size from 8 inches to 12 inches, it would “benefit both the applicant and the city,” Woods said.
At the podium, Hill explained to the council that he can grant the city the easement needed. However, he ask that the city work through an engineer, rather than him, in order to keep things transparent.
“There’s no free rides here,” Hill said. “In fact, this is holding me up going through the process.”
With the city and Hill partnering on the water line, Hill’s engineer will contract to do the installation in the proposed Sunset Circle right of way. As such, the city will reimburse Hill “for the cost difference from the 8-inch line to the 12-inch line, as well as additional footage to the back of cul-de-sac 6.”
Councilor Freddy Rodriguez asked whether homes in the new development were going to be low income. Hill said they were not and that they would be single family homes, which will “be open to the public to buy lots.”
Rodriguez pressed Hill about why they wouldn’t be low income housing, stating the council had heard the need for such housing time and again.
“If the government has a hand in it, it increases the cost substantially,” Hill said.
He went on to state that the Ontario City Council is progressive, as “we are a growing community.”
“I am taking a chance putting twenty lots in,” Hill said.
Councilor Michael Braden made the motion to consent to make the adjustment to the Utilities Capitalization Fund for up to $50,000 in order to upsize the waterline through the Sunset Subdivision. The length of line is about 750 linear feet, and will include another 50 linear feet of new water main. The motion passed unanimously.
Had the council decided not to approve the project, a water main extension was still potentially possible, however, according to the agenda report “easements would be needed and the cost would be significantly more.”