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Why doesn’t Redding offer a rebate for turf replacement?
Q: Why doesn’t Redding or Shasta County offer a replacement turf rebate to their residents? Many cities and counties in California are giving rebates to replace turf during this drought.
Hi, this is Michele Chandler.
A: The municipal Redding Water Utility simply can’t do that, said water conservation specialist Candice Delello. Indeed, any program funded by the agency must be covered by higher tariffs, she said.
“You have to think about how much it would cost,” Delello said, if many of the city’s 30,000 customers asked for a cash rebate or incentive to replace their lawns. The cost of the rebate program should be built into the city’s rate structure, she said, because the utility company must be self-sustaining.
Depending on the type of grass, the size of the yard and the amount of preparation required, an artificial grass installation can cost between $2,814 and $7,058, according to HomeAdvisor, a home improvement contractor. People who do DIY would pay less.
In addition, Delello said, any proposed increase in water services must first be justified to the state as part of the approval process.
“Most people really don’t want to pay higher rates to give others money for lawns,” she said.
The state has offered turf replacement rebates and drought incentive programs, most recently in 2015.
California Governor Gavin Newsom warned in May that mandatory water restrictions could be imposed across the state if conservation efforts do not improve soon. Last year, Newsom called on Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15%, but the state fell short of that goal.
In April, Redding voted to enact mandatory water use restrictions for city residents and businesses. The council has approved penalties for those who abuse.
Shasta County does not offer any incentives for people to get their lawns out, spokesman Tim Mapes said.
“I keep hoping the state will come up with something” to give customers incentives, Delello said. “That’s something a lot of people, especially in the upstate with the heat, would like to know.”
For now, Redding maintains a list of suggested water-absorbing native plants, she said. This information, along with details on Redding’s water restrictions, can be found at https://bit.ly/3zRGZZg.
More mile markers on the North Sacramento River Trail?
Q: I noticed the new mile markers that say North Sacramento River Trail near the Sundial Bridge. Where do these markers start and end? Where is kilometer zero?
Hi, this is Jessica Skropanic.
A: The north trail starts at the top of the cliff on Hilltop Drive and ends at the Stress Ribbon Bridge near Keswick Dam.
The new markers are the first in the City of Redding’s project to place new signage along the Sacramento River Trail. They are intended to guide hikers and cyclists to points of interest and to help them record their progress on the trail.
When completed, the quarter-mile posts will start at zero at the furthest points on each branch of the trail network from the city limits, said Travis Menne, Redding’s community projects manager.
Messages are manufactured and installed in batches, he said. More are coming this summer,
The city plans to remove the wooden mile markers still in place along the trail or modify some to accommodate the new system. “Since the trail is no longer a long loop, it didn’t make sense to keep the old (circular) mileage system,” Menne said.
There are 15.93 miles of trails within Redding’s city limits, he said. “This does not include the Sacramento River Rail Trail, which is another 11.1 miles.”
For more information or updates, call 530-225-4512.
Where does the money come from to bring airlines to Redding airport
Q: For the past few years, the city has given airlines revenue guarantees to fly here. where does this money come from?
Hi, this is David Benda.
A: Called minimum income guarantees, the town of Redding has had two contracts in recent years, according to public works director Chuck Aukland.
The most recent began when Alaska Airlines began flying once daily to Seattle in June 2021.
City Council approved a $400,000 revenue guarantee. Of that amount, $364,900 came from the city’s general fund, while the balance came from Redding Electric Utility and the city’s water, sewage and solid waste divisions, Aukland said.
“The general fund portion also included $25,000 for marketing, for a total of $425,000,” Aukland said in an email.
In 2019, United Airlines launched flights from Redding to Los Angeles.
This service was made possible largely through a $1 million revenue guarantee, with community donations providing $890,000.
Bethel Church, which draws people from around the world to Redding, was also another major contributor, donating $450,000 to the fund.
“If it hadn’t been for Bethel, we wouldn’t have a flight to Los Angeles,” Redding City Council member Francie Sullivan said at the time.
The city provided the rest of the money for the Los Angeles flights, with $60,000 coming from the general fund and $50,000 from utilities, Aukland said.
“We used all but $10,000 for the service,” he said.
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David Benda, Michele Chandler and Jessica Skropanic are part of a dedicated team of reporters at Record Searchlight whose work focuses on local issues, including business, government, housing, land use planning, politics and the criminal justice system; and breaking news coverage. They also bring inspiring and enjoyable news and media content from across the Upstate. Consult the staff directory to contact them. To support and support their work, please sign up today!