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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 8, 2005 Election
Measure E
LAVWMA Export Pipeline Facilities
City of Livermore

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 18,951 / 73.4% Yes votes ...... 6,854 / 26.6% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 28 2:39pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (56/56)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the City of Livermore participate in the LAVWMA Export Pipeline Facilities Project to increase the City's wastewater disposal capacity to meet the current General Plan with the conditions that voters must approve future proposals that: (1) connect to the City sewer system any land brought inside the City's Urban Growth Boundary after November 1, 2005, that will have new urban uses after that date, or (2) change influent limits in the LAVWMA Agreement?

Impartial Analysis from Livermore City Attorney
Livermore, Pleasanton, and the Dublin San Ramon Services District are the members of the Livermore Amador Valley Water Management Agency (LAVWMA). LAVWMA operates a pipeline and related system that pumps treated wastewater from the members' sewage treatment plants for discharge into San Francisco Bay. LAVWMA's original pipeline was designed to carry 21 million gallons per day (MGD) of treated wastewater. It was constructed in the late 1970's.

Since then, the Valley cities have had to increase their sewage disposal capacity to serve existing development, as well as development expected under the Valley cities' General Plans. So, in 1998 the LAVWMAmembers negotiated revisions in their Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), which governs LAVWMA. One of those revisions authorized LAVWMA to construct a new pipeline and increase its capacity to a total of 41.2 MGD. Livermore's portion of that expansion would be 12.4 MGD. Under the amended JPA, Livermore and Pleasanton must take the question of participating in the pipeline expansion to their voters for approval. The deadline to obtain that approval is November, 2005.

In 1998, Pleasanton's voters approved that City's participation, while Livermore's voters did not. Under the JPA, if Livermore's voters do not approve joining in the expansion project by November 2005, Pleasanton and DSRSD may agree between themselves how to divide the costs and capacity that Livermore does not use. Also, if Livermore does not participate in LAVWMA's expansion, it likely will need to develop alternative treatment and disposal plans, as well as fund, construct and maintain those alternatives. The costs for those alternatives would include construction and ongoing operating costs.

One alternative the City studied is in-Valley disposal using reservoirs for recycled water. With that alternative, the annual sewer service fee on existing residents and businesses for operating costs could increase 3%-4.5% above the annual sewer service fees for LAVWMA participation. The increase depends on the in-Valley disposal alternative chosen.

Beyond operating costs, the estimated capital cost of LAVWMA participation to meet new service demands in Livermore is $26 5 million Without participation that estimated cost is above $75 million. The City typically offsets capital costs like these with fees on development that creates demand for the services.

The measure contains certain limitations on how Livermore could participate in LAVWMA. First, it prohibits Livermore's LAVWMA representatives from voting to approve any authorization to extend service to land that would have new urban uses and be brought inside the City's urban Growth Boundary after November 1, 2005. Second, it prohibits the City's LAVWMA representatives from voting to approve mutual adjustments to sewer inflow limits between LAVWMA members. "Inflow" or influent limits, under the JPA, relate to how much wastewater can be taken in by an agency's treatment plants.

A yes vote would allow Livermore to participate in the increase of LAVWMA's capacity with the above restrictions; a no vote would deny Livermore the ability under the present JPA to participate in that additional disposal capacity.

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Arguments For Measure E Arguments Against Measure E
The Livermore City Council unanimously asks for your Yes vote on Measure E. It is the safest, most economical way to meet Livermore's wastewater disposal needs. New users, not current ratepayers, will pay for this new capacity.

Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton are required to pump their treated sewage to the Bay. The capacity of the original pipeline is committed to existing or planned growth of these cities. The expansion pipeline has just been completed to accommodate future needs of the Tri-Valley cities. Now is our best chance to get additional capacity. The Council majority favors this project because 1) Livermore now has a complete Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and a vote is required to expand it, 2) our new General Plan, which revitalizes downtown and concentrates growth within our UGB, needs the capacity from the expansion project to be implemented, and 3) this measure protects the capacity needed by the General Plan because it requires a vote of Livermore's electorate before any new urban development outside of our current UGB can connect to the city's sewer system. Even those who disagree with this restriction support this measure because it provides economical capacity for new commercial and industrial projects that create jobs.

The expansion project is simpler and, according to consultants, cheaper than alternative methods of wastewater disposal. If Livermore voters reject this last chance to participate, the capacity will default to Pleasanton and Dublin to use, or, possibly to sell to Livermore at a higher price in the future.

Join us in voting for economical and reliable wastewater disposal capacity that is needed for future jobs and residents. Vote YES on Measure E.

Vice Mayor
Council Member
Council Member
Council Member

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Before you vote to expand Livermore's sewer, be sure you understand the potential impacts. This huge sewer would give aggressive developers another tool to grow our city faster and larger than you probably want to see.

With today's Council, this is not really a concern. Mayor Kamena and Tom Reitter have trustworthy reputations. They won't become operatives of the developers. A victory in November by Council candidate John Marchand would also be a hopeful sign that Livermore has enough sincere people who govern for our benefit, not at the behest of corporations like Pardee Weyerhaeuser and their "Livermore Trails" mess.

The danger comes when we elect a council that once again starts pushing housing tracts on us, claiming that more urban developments will solve the problems that were created by the previous urban developments. The developers' best friend on the Council is Lorraine Dietrich. They could be strengthened with wins by any combination of Tom Bramell, John Stein, Bill Aboumrad or mayoral candidate David Mertes as well. These people believe in far more growth than most of us want.

I believe that energy availability in the coming years will begin to substantially reshape the very nature of urban planning in this country. It will be increasingly difficult to develop in places like Livermore, which is physically distant from significant energy production, food production, potable water or valuable natural resources. As energy continues to diminish, it will be impractical for overly dependent urban communities to continue raising their populations.

If reduced development rates occur in Livermore, the existing ratepayers will be responsible for paying for the sewer since we will not receive enough connection fees to pay off the debt.

Study the issues and vote every election. has more information.

Livermore Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The Livermore City Council unanimously supports Measure E.

Joining the recently completed pipeline expansion project is the best way to get the wastewater disposal capacity needed to build our City's current General Plan. If this measure fails, we will have to design, build, and pay for a different project. Any alternative project will take two to eight years longer and, by our consultant's estimates, cost significantly more. The costs of the expansion project on this ballot are well known and will be paid by new connections to the city's sewer system, not by current customers.

Approval of this measure will reduce sewer connection fees for new users, stimulating downtown redevelopment, particularly restaurants and businesses. Without approval, fees will rise more than 50%.

The argument against this measure erroneously suggests that there may be too few new customers to pay for the pipeline expansion project. Even if this were true, rates are reviewed every two years and new connection fees can be adjusted to protect current ratepayers. Alternatively, any excess capacity could be leased to other Tri-Valley cities, which would save them money over building holding ponds they are projected to need in the future.

Every member of the City Council agrees that the inappropriate personal political comments in the argument against Measure E are not relevent.

What is relevant is that all members of the City Council agree that Measure E is good for Livermore.

Please join all of us in supporting Measure E. Vote Yes!

Vice Mayor
Council Member
Council Member
Council Member

Full Text of Measure E
LAVWMA Export Facilities Pipeline Measure: "Shall the City of Livermore participate in the Export Pipeline Facilities Project of the Livermore Amador Valley Water Management Agency to provide limited new wastewater disposal capacity to Livermore to meet its current General and Downtown Specific Plans, subject to the conditions that it must submit to the voters for prior approval any proposal: (1) to connect to the City sewer system any land brought inside the City's Urban Growth Boundary after November 1, 2005, that will have new urban uses after that date, or (2) to change the influent limits between the City and any other member agencies in the LAVWMA Joint Powers Agreement?"

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Created: January 28, 2006 14:39 PST
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