On Saturday, April 12, 2014 the Colusa City Firefighters Association gave a warm welcome to the Walnut Ranch subdivision with a community BBQ.
“This is the first time the City of Colusa has taken in a subdivision that has been already built,” said Colusa City Interim Manager, Randy Dunn, “and we wanted to do something special for this neighborhood.”
In 2008, the residents of Walnut Ranch approached the City of Colusa for annexation after the neighborhood began experiencing poor water quality and septic issues.
However, the topic seemingly was put to the back burner over the last several years.
That was until Interim City Manager, Randy Dunn took on the project.
“The annexation process went through many City Managers and once Randy Dunn took the reins things finally happened,” said Walnut Ranch resident, Jennifer Venery, “we now can address and fix the water and sewer issues within our community.”
On February 11, 2014, Walnut Ranch officially became part of the City of Colusa.
A total of 51 acres, the Walnut Ranch annexation is made up of 82 lots. The annexation zone is a combination of mixed agriculture use, and a mature and fully developed subdivision consisting of all single family estate sized lots.
Since 2012, the City of Colusa has been supplying water to the residents of Walnut Ranch after the well owned by Del Oro Water Company became unavailable.
Prior to its emergency interconnection with the City of Colusa, Walnut Ranch residents were faced with high levels of arsenic, manganese and iron in its water supply.
“Almost every resident was buying bottled water,” said Paul Harmon, a Walnut Ranch resident, “many residents were replacing their water heaters about every two years.”
“The water was eating our sidewalks and killing our plants,” Venery added.
With the annexation process completed, residents will continue to have their water supplied through its Emergency Interconnection water through Del Oro Water Company – that is until a new water system is designed, and the buyout of Del Oro has been negotiated.
According to City Documents pertaining to the Walnut Ranch Annexation, the City of Colusa has the capacity to service the Walnut Ranch subdivision without any supply issues.
However, the existing 6” water main located throughout Walnut Ranch will have to be upgraded to the City standard of 8” to supply large populated areas and to provide adequate water pressure for service.
A flushing problem.
Walnut Ranch residents are currently not connected into your typical municipal sewer system, residents are serviced by individual septic systems – many of which are failing.
At this time, the City of Colusa does not have a main sewer line that services the neighborhood. However, the City of Colusa is researching the opportunity to connect into an existing sewer main line located in Wescott Road, fronting the subdivision.
In documents pertaining to the Walnut Ranch Annexation, the main sewer line on Wescott Road has been determined to be adequate in size to handle the expected increases in sewer flow.
This annexation process of Walnut Ranch has been financed through an assessment put into place from its residents.
“The issue has never been about funding,” said Harmon, “we just needed the approval to move forward.”
Many residents credit City Interim Manager, Randy Dunn for his phenomenal execution of the process.
“Several people worked real hard the last several years to see the annexation through,” Venery added.
Those individuals involved were Brian Stice, Colusa City Planning Director; Jessie Cain, Colusa City Public Works; Toni Benson, Finance; Colusa County Board of Supervisors Tom Indrieri, and Denise Carter.
The Walnut Ranch Annexation Committee included: Fred Leonard, Len Bolen, Jennifer Venery, and Paul Harmon. In addition to many other residents and individuals.
As of today, Walnut Ranch will begin receiving trash collection services through the City of Colusa/Recology which expands their collection services to include full recycling and yard waste. Additionally, fire and police services will be provided through the City of Colusa.
“The annexation is the first big step,” said Harmon, “then everything will fall into place.”