April 10, 2023 — Clovis City Council

Documented by Ntsa Iab Vang

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Clovis City Council met on April 10 and discussed a request from the Clovis Unified School District Board to temporarily provide water and sewer services to the future Terry Bradley Educational Center. The school will open registration to 1,500 students from both the Fresno and Clovis area in 2025. 
  • The city engineer presented a water and sewer major facilities workshop with strategies to reduce the city’s debt. The current debt is approximately $20 million and is predicted to drop off in 2039. 
  • The council voted to send a letter of opposition to Assembly Bill 595, a 72-hour public notice of euthansia intended for the city’s shelter animals.


  • Council member Matt Basgall
  • Council member Vong Mouanoutoua
  • Council member Drew Bessinger
  • Council member Diane Pearce
  • Mayor Lynne Ashbeck

Follow-up questions

  • Will neighbors of the educational center be affected by the sewer line?
  • Given a five- to 15-year time frame, how is it guaranteed that there will not be any future developments affected by this project?


  • Presentation by Executive Director of Youth Voice Impact, Inc. Yasmine Creese-Brown on the Youth Empowered Affordable Housing Summit to be held at California State University, Fresno on April 21 and 22.
    • Yasmine shares a free affordable home ownership event in regards to the housing crisis.


  • Item 10: Consider – A request from the Clovis Unified School District Board for the city to temporarily provide water and sewer services to the future Terry Bradley Educational Center, located between Leonard and Highland avenues, north of McKinley Avenue, in unincorporated Fresno County and within the city of Fresno’s sphere of influence.
    • CUSD is working with Fresno to provide water service.
    • Temporary Services – Sewer: Blair, Church & Flynn consulting have preliminarily determined that the connection is feasible and the Clovis sewer system can handle the additional sewage – the physical connection point would need to be verified.
    • A full capacity and routing analysis of the sewage would need to be done.
    • Staff would need to determine connection fees.
    • Clovis would provide a point of connection – infrastructure outside of city limits would not be owned or maintained by Clovis. 
    • Project is being looked at with a five- to 15-year time frame.
      • Staff shares that this will not interfere with future plans and projects that are already in place. A discussion will be held with the city of Fresno for a more in-depth timeframe. Currently, the project is in the design phase.
      • Mouanoutoua asked how many families would be affected by the sewer line. 
      • Pearce asked what percentage of students from Clovis and  Fresno would attend the school. The boundary process will be developed when meetings with the city occur.
      • If the school does not open by 2025, Clovis East will be filled with 5,000 students. Schools are ideally built to fit the needs for a total of 3,500 students. 
      • Staff shared that when the school opens in 2025, it will limit its first year to a 1,200-student enrollment and increase over the years. Enrollment will gradually increase by grade levels.
        • Public comment: Jeff Harris of Wilson Homes said he supports the project and Clovis Unified, but expressed concern about capacity needs to be specifically defined to anticipate the growth needs. He said that his company has incoming projects that are dependent and his company would like to avoid surprises in the next couple of years. He said that Granville Homes also has a project in the works for the former “Mcfarlane property” and Lennar in Heritage Grove, which are all dependent on “having some place to put the effluent.”
        • Mike Prandini of the Building Industry Association also spoke in support of Clovis Unified and their request, but said they are also concerned because the City of Fresno is “working and stalling and delaying and deferring because of SEDA.” He said the area will provide students and residents to the educational center, but the council now does not want “development on the fringe.” “At the present time they don’t have any water to serve anybody out there,” he said.
        • He said that they are concerned that the growth in the area may never come about and what will happen in 15 years. 
        • Prandini said he was concerned about the effluent flowing into the trunk line and said he heard estimates from the Fresno Mayor’s Office that the infrastructure improvements needed in the SEDA area are $600 million. 
        • “There are concerns that this could turn out to be a real mess in 15 years so whatever you do, you need to tie the City of Fresno’s hands and mail them to the ground and they cannot escape,” he said. 
      • Motion passes with all in favor 5-0
  • Item 9: Receive and File – Water and sewer major facilities workshop.
    • Sewer Key Takeaways:
      • The city has a policy that new development will pay its own way by way of Development Impact Fees (DIFs);
      • The current fee structure does not support the full cost of all current and future needed capital projects.
      • When DIFs are below what the annual bond payments are, the city borrows from existing users. The current debt is approximately $20M.
      • The city is unable to bond for any sewer projects until late 2030s because of current indebtedness.
      • Challenges associated with providing the Wastewater infrastructure and meeting the demand of new development.
      • The city uses DIF revenue to pay for annual bond payments for past projects similar to a mortgage payment.
    • How Sewer Major Facilities Projects are Paid For:
      • Longstanding city policy is that new development pays its way.
      • DIFs are imposed on new development and pay for needed infrastructure.
      • Large projects must be financed.
      • Revenue from fees is now always sufficient to cover annual expenses.
      • User fees pay for maintenance and operation of facilities and infrastructure – Not part of the DIF system.
    • Status of Sewer Major Facilities Fund:
      • 2022-23 Year-end estimated fund balance is $3.2 million
      • Debt service – $7 million per year until 2039.
      • City cannot incur more debt until debt is reduced.
      • $20 million borrowed to-date from users through sewer bond charge.
      • Millions of dollars in projects needed over the next 20 years
        • $13 million between 2021 and 2029
        • $50-60 million between 2030 and 2040.
        • Participation in regional plant improvement projects.
    • Capacity Strategies Sewer
      • Debt drops off in 2039
      • Annual fee updates need to keep pace with construction costs
      • Implement interim/permanent projects to delay need for large projects.
      • Strategically implement 3% annual user rate increase to accomplish a minimum of 120% revenue to debt ratio to secure bonding.
    • When there is a revenue shortfall, debt must be covered by ratepayers.
    • Reimbursement Priority:
      • First Priority – Bond debt payments
      • Second Priority – Funding of needed projects
      • Third Priority – Reimbursement to developers who install facilities above their obligation or fair share. 
      • Fourth Priority – Enterprise fund (rate payers).
    • Water Key Takeaways:
      • Water Supply: Groundwater,  Surface water (Kings Dam), Recycled water.
      • Surface Water: Fresno Irrigation District
        • Conveyance Agreement
        • Firm Water Supply Agreement
        • Waldron Banking (Drought Supply)
        • Boswell Banking
        • International Water District (Future)
        • Garfield Water District (Future)
      • Overview of Water System:
        • 36 active groundwater wells
        • 22.5 mgd Surface Water Treatment Plant
        • 4 water storage tanks
        • Over 570 miles of water mains (up to 42 inches in diameter)
      • Funds for Water Infrastructure:
        • Water Major Facilities Fund: DIFs pay for infrastructure needed for new development
        • Water Enterprise Funds/User fees (ratepayers): Pay for maintenance and operation of facilities and infrastructure that support current residents/customers.
        • Fund Balance in Water Major Facilities Fund – $7 million
        • Debt service: $3 million per year until 2028 (25% paid by enterprise)
        • Firm Water Supply: $35 million total ($5 million paid by enterprise).
      • Groundwater Challenges
        • SGMA – Must be sustainable
        • Wells – Groundwater contaminants, hydrogeology
        • Recharge Basins
      • Capacity/Water Supply Challenges
        • Enterprise canal maintenance
          • Plant shut down minimum one month each year
          • Future development will require the city to operate the plant all year.
        • Friant-Kern water availability
          • 2017 Water Master Plan address canal outages by importing Friant 
      • Future Plans
        • Audit of Water Master Plan
          • Determine sequencing and timing of infrastructure to best serve growth areas
          • Identify and confirm challenges and develop strategies.
        • Continue to pursue water supplies to support development
        • Confirm bonding capacity for future projects
        • Update master plans after completion of new general plan
      • The city is unable to bond for any sewer projects until late 2030’s because of current indebtedness. 
    • Public Comments:
      • Jeff Harris: recommends putting a policy in place.
  • Item 11: Consider approval – Change of Council Meeting Schedule
    • Special meeting on Friday, cancellation of April 17 meeting.
      • Motion passes with all in favor 5-0
  • Item 12: Consider Approval – To submit a letter of opposition to Assembly Bill 595 – Essayli – Animal Shelters: 72-hour public notice: Euthanasia: Study.
    • AB 595 will likely increase euthanasia of the city’s shelter animals.
      • Creates a reimbursable state mandate
      • AB 595’s criminal provisions are vague
      • Does not address the cause of shelter overcrowding, or of euthanasia, in California.
      • Staff recommends a letter of opposition.
      • Pearce asks about the intent of AB 595.
      • Motion passes with all in favor 5-0

Public comments

  • Don Watnick, chairman of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District for 11 years, asked for consideration to look into crosswalks in the district area.

The meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m..

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