Jun112018

Growth, G and Plumbing Problems

by Lou Binninger

Just a week has passed since the primary and the political engines are revving-up to bait and switch voters out of more money in November. Water bonds always pass even if the funds get used for bike paths and saving frogs. And usually anything to do with a child will work, a children’s hospital bond or even to preserve the right to end the life of a youngster.

Both Sutter and Yuba County Clerks Donna Johnston and Terry Hansen said they would need more time to count thousands of ballots coming in “last minute.” That is fodder for conspiracy theories and good news to those hoping for a different outcome and for those liking larger numbers of people voting.

Based on initial returns Measure G, the Plumas Lake Elementary School Bond, appears to have failed. It needed two-thirds voter approval but a majority said no.

Many voters were poorly informed by the school district and County Supervisor Gary Bradford as to why the measure was needed. Late-coming information in the local mainstream and social media raised many questions and refuted reasons for giving the government another $250-500 per year per household for 30 years.

Pro-bond arguments suggesting future overcrowding were an intellectual stretch. Bradford was pitching the bond but knew little about the state of schools in his district. Every new slab poured in Plumas Lake (PL) does not transfer to student population growth. There are many empty school seats now.

There is no guarantee of student numbers growing because under the next president and governor both likely to be Democrat, housing sales will slump. Add this to new water use penalties, higher vehicle and road taxes and on and on, more middle income people will be leaving the state. Those left will need subsidized low-income housing. PL is far from that.

Inter and intra-district transfers can be ended to create more space if ever needed. Modular classrooms can offer a buffer for years to come should the “predicted” student attendance boom occur.

Some PL residents were naïve when debating the myriad of taxes, fees and assessments added to their property taxes. One bill showed that the fees on top of property taxes doubled the total amount owed.

Basic tax on one PL home was 1,871.70. However, the total figure owed the county was $3586.86. Whew, that was a sleeping dog now bothered. Some people had simply lost track of what they were paying and for what.

Another huge expense when it comes to living in Yuba County’s PL and Edgewater developments is the Kitec Plumbing system. Thousands of the homes have the flawed plumbing. Once touted as a superior product to copper and much faster to install, the plumbing is prone to premature failure.

It is now off the market and there is a class action suit against the manufacturers. See kitecsettlement.com and bpelaw.com/kitec-plumbing-should-you-be-concerned/ for more information.

The property with the tax bill noted above was built in 2004 and in 2017 its Kitec Plumbing gave way flooding the home. It took thirty thousand dollars and months to remove and replace concrete, siding, sheet rock and carpet to re-plumb and renovate.

The Plumbing Doctor in Yuba City said they were hired to replace a Kitec Plumbing system before a break occurred. The job cost $10,000. However, every fix would be a different cost based on design and size.

Sun City Lincoln Hills Community Association just south of Yuba County notified all their residents once failures began. It’s not if there will be a failure but how soon it will occur.

Edgewater and Plumas Lake developments are attractive and new compared with the rest of Yuba County. However, the taxes and assessments combined with flawed plumbing on many homes make the communities the most expensive in the region.

Regarding Measure G, pollsters tell politicians that primaries are the poorest time to get bonds passed. Most of the primary voters are old angry conservative white guys who know better. However, November is the better election to shear the sheep since the young naïve and more liberal come out.

So, look for up to 20 measures on the November ballot wanting your money and suggesting people will starve, be murdered, die of a heart attack or be molested unless voters say yes.

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