Table of Contents


CITY OF PLYMOUTH

REASON FOR REVIEW

The Grand Jury received a citizen's complaint against the City of Plymouth covering a wide range of issues including misappropriation of funds, misrepresentation concerning the Arroyo Ditch, and other water related problems. Additionally, the complainant alleged there was "a lack of water in Arroyo Ditch was is in violation of the Controlling Agreement between the City of Plymouth, Amador County, and the Amador Water Agency."

After reviewing the numerous issues presented by the complainant, it was determined all but one had previously been investigated by the 1997-1998 Amador County Grand Jury. Therefore, only the complaint of the City of Plymouth "violating the Controlling A greement with Amador County and Amador Water Agency" was considered.

BACKGROUND

In 1987 the City of Plymouth purchased the Arroyo Ditch from Amador County and the Amador County Water Agency. Arroyo Ditch is an I 8-mile, open-water conveyance system starting at the Cosumnes River and ending in the City of Plymouth. Arroyo Ditch was acquired to serve as one of the principal water supplies for the City of Plymouth.

METHODOLOGY

Members of the 1999-2000 Grand Jury conducted interviews with the following:

  1. City Clerk, City of Plymouth
  2. Contract Grant Administrator,
  3. Public Works Director, City of Plymouth
  4. Consulting City Engineer, City of Plymouth

Additionally, Grand Jury members toured the Arroyo Ditch with the City of Plymouth Public Works Director and reviewed the Contract for Conveyance of Arroyo Ditch.

FACTS

  1. Arroyo Ditch sustained significant damage to the Middle Fork flume from heavy rains in 1997 and 1998.
  2. In 1997, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a $22,000 grant to rebuild that portion of the flume that was totally washed away. However, to date, the City of Plymouth has not received the money.
  3. Even under deteriorating conditions, Arroyo Ditch provided water to the City of Plymouth in 1998 by utilizing water from the South Fork of the Cosumnes River.
  4. When Arroyo Ditch is dry, the City of Plymouth obtains its water from two wells owned and operated by the city.
  5. A $500,000 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant was awarded Amador County to install a lift station on the Cosumnes River. This grant required a feasibility study to be completed prior to commencing the project. The study concluded that construction of a lift station was not feasible for economic reasons.
  6. As an alternative to the lift station, the State approved the use of the grant money to replace the entire flume with a 36-inch diameter pipe.
  7. Additional State grant monies were applied for in 1999 to construct a reservoir to service the City of Plymouth. The application was denied; however, the City was encouraged to reapply in the year 2000.
  8. The "Controlling Agreement" referred to in this complaint is actually the Contract of Conveyance between the three agencies defining the terms of sale of Arroyo Ditch to the City of Plymouth.

CONCLUSIONS

  1. After receiving a $500,000 HUD grant, the City of Plymouth was able to replace the flume with a 36-inch diameter pipe allowing the City to obtain water from the Cosumnes River provided water is available.
  2. The City of Plymouth was able to complete the work on the replacement of the flume by November 30, 1999.
  3. In 2000, the City of Plymouth will re-apply for $4,000,000 in State grant monies to construct a reservoir which will store water on a year-round basis.
  4. Upon reviewing the Contract for Conveyance, no violations of the agreement between the City of Plymouth, Amador County and the Amador Water Agency were found.
  5. The City of Plymouth, with assistance from Amador County, is working to resolve its water problems.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None. No response is necessary.


Table of Contents