Santa Clara Valley WD Puts Parcel Tax Renewal on November Ballot

The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors voted Tuesday to place a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot to renew an expiring parcel tax and help ensure the quality, safety and supply of local water resources.

The new, 15-year Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection program is aimed at improving water supply reliability, reducing toxins and contaminants such as mercury and pharmaceuticals in waterways, protecting water supply and local dams from the impacts of earthquakes, restoring habitat and providing flood protection.

In a news release, the district said any renewal of the voter-approved local funding would not increase existing tax rates, and all funds generated by the measure would be locally controlled.

 “This measure is what we need. Our revenues are simply not enough to ensure that we are providing safe, reliable water for now and the future. So, we have to rely on going to the public,” Board Chair Linda J. LeZotte said.

Noting that more than 16,000 residents and stakeholders provided feedback during an 18-month collaborative effort to develop the program, LeZotte thanked the community for “giving input and making suggestions to make the measure a better measure.”

The Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection measure was approved by voters in 2000. Nearly all of the project performance measures in the 2000 plan have been completed or exceeded, or are on track to be completed or exceeded, according to the district. These include removing more than 4,200 pounds of mercury from local streams and the San Francisco Bay; preventing other pollutants, toxins and hazardous materials from affecting local waterways; completing the Calabazas Creek Flood Protection Project ahead of the schedule; and adding access to more than 66 miles of public trails.

The funding is set to expire in 2016 unless voters renew it. 

Further details about the proposed program can be found here.