Modesto sewer vote might cost $33,000

Asking voters whether south Modesto's Parklawn neighborhood should get city sewer will cost a lot more than City Hall thought.

Modesto previously estimated the election, which will piggyback on the Nov. 2 ballot with state and national votes, would cost as little as $10,000. Split three ways -- among the city, Stanislaus County and Parklawn neighbors -- each might have been billed just $3,333 by the county's elections department. But elections officials recently said a more realistic estimate is $33,000.

Parklawn United Neighbors can't afford to pay its share, so the two government entities now expect to pay $16,500 each.

Overflowing sewage from failing septic systems has caused some homes to sink in the 80-acre, unincorporated area.

This morning, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors will consider upping its contribution. Modesto City Council members are expected to vote on the item Oct. 5.

Also on today's county agenda:

• Reviewing a plan for child welfare services, as required every three years by the state. Officials are fairly pessimistic in the latest version because of "greatly diminished resources," such as fewer substance abuse counselors who deal with parents at risk of losing their children. Another evaluation indicated that some foster care placements "are not consistent and require more thorough review."

• Calling for bids to renovate a boat launch at Woodward Reservoir north of Oakdale, expected to cost about $1.8 million. Heron Point's single-lane launch would be widened to two lanes and the project would add a floating dock, parking for 40 vehicles and trailers, restrooms and fish-cleaning stations.

• Hiring two firms to study the county redevelopment agency's finances, for a combined $30,500. State law would hamper the agency's ability to secure large bonds after June without the studies. The county has used such bonding for storm drain projects in Salida costing $4.5 million and in Keyes costing $15.6 million.

• Giving the Housing Authority of Stanislaus County $600,000 for housing rehabilitation.

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors meets today at 9 a.m. in the basement chamber at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto.

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at or 578-2390.