Water for Town of Weed Comes at a Price

Posted by Kassy Perry

News Headline: Water for town of Weed comes at a price
Date: 3/4/2016
Outlet Full Name: KTVL
Author: Ariana Rakhshani

WEED, Calif. — We’ve all heard the saying, ‘don’t leave the water running.’ For Weed, California residents — that’s a reality that has nothing to do with the drought.

“Last year, we had limitations that said you could water your lawn on an average of once every three or four days. This summer, there will be no outside watering,” City Administrator Ron Stock said.

Stock says the city extended its water lease with Roseburg Forest Products. The new 10-year contract comes with significantly less water– about 200 gallons per minute in a 24 hour day less.

‘They will have less water, but they won’t have to boil water,” Stock said. “They won’t have to have bottled water delivered to their house. Because those were some of the alternatives.”

“Roseburg Forest Products says the city of weed has not really had to pay for water,” Stock said. “The city has been getting it almost free of charge for over a decade. Now, the prices are being raised and Roseburg Forest Products say the prices are generous but some disagree.”

“$9 a month doesn’t sound much but to a lot of people, it’s a lot of money.”

Former mayor Bob Hall says in the current contract with Roseburg Forest Products, the city of Weed has been getting its water supply for just one dollar a year. The new contract ups that price to almost $97,500. Now residents pay $22.78 a month as a base rate. Once the new contract starts, that monthly payment will jump to $31.78 a month.

Hall’s issues with the new contract go deeper than cash. He has the original paperwork from 1982 typed up by the water supply’s previous owner. It says the city of Weed owns the water.

“It’s our water,” Hall said. “It’s the community’s water. And if you use it for over 100 years, there’s gotta be some value to that.”

But according to Roseburg Forest Products, it owns the water. When the company purchased the site and facility, it says the water rights were transferred to the company. It says the water rights were adjudicated and the courts also agree.

For now the issue is settled. Roseburg Forest Products will continue to supply water for the next 10 years, but the long-term solution is still unknown.