CHAPMANTOWN, Calif. - By 2019 the neighborhoods inside Chapmantown and Mulberry, which comprise 138 acres and nearly 1,300 residents, will likely be annexed into the city of Chico.
The driving push for annexation is water that comes from the septic tanks that are used by residents there. The nitrates get into the ground water and contaminate the city's sewer system. The state has been pushing for a solution for years but there's been resistance.
Butte County Supervisor Larry Wahl serves most of the Chapmantown area and supports the annexation but is concerned about the rights rural families could lose as a part of the city.
I do have some reservations to people who have certain animals and people who want to burn on Saturday morning, that sort of thing," said Wahl. "If those things can be grandfathered, I think it can be worked out."
Mark Wolfe, the planning services director for Chico, put together the annexation plan. He thinks annexation is a net positive for those who live in Chapmantown and Mulberry.
"The people who live in these neighborhoods are limited in terms of their ability to serve on committees and vote," said Wolfe. "By incorporating them into the city they would have that voice that they don't have right now."
If these neighborhoods become part of the city, that means they not only get the improved sewage system, but other city services.
"Certainly if they're going to be taxed by the city they want the services that the city is providing," said Randall Stone, one of the seven Chico city council members who will vote on the issue at Tuesday night's meeting. "They'll want police and fire protection, upgrades of streets [and] there are no curbs and gutters."
According to Wolfe, those additional costs would range between $5,000 to $600,000 per year although he says it would probably be on the lower end of that scale.