Chico City Council

Cal Water Proposes Rate Increase

Oct 5, 2015
Bart / Flickr, Creative Commons

Cal Water customers in the Chico area may soon face higher water bills. The investor-owned company, which provides drinking water to Chico and several other communities in the North State, has filed for permission with regulators to raise rates.

The rate increase is only one facet of Cal Water’s proposal. The application before the California Public Utilities Commission also seeks to merge several distinct divisions and standardize rates.

Several elected officials oppose the internal consolidation, saying it would push rates higher for most customers.

Group Pushes For District Elections In Chico

Oct 1, 2015
Marc Albert / NSPR

Less divisiveness, more productive debate and the end of the road for political kingmakers are all promised by a group pushing to bring district elections to Chico.

Following a failed bid to blunt students perceived political influence by moving elections to summer vacation, a new group has emerged with another prescription to heal Chico’s body politic: district elections.

Council Approves Crackdown On Vagrants

Sep 16, 2015
Courtesy of Steve O’Bryan

To hear some tell it, Chico’s bucolic parks have become lawless and scary. But a proposal aimed at restoring civility and clamping down on homeless camps raised charges Tuesday that city leaders are criminalizing homelessness.

After hearing well over an hour of impassioned pleas from all sides in a debate that has roiled American cities large and small, Chico’s City Council approved a measure to clean up its waterways that is also likely to make life more complicated for those living at the margins.

Chico Considering Tighter Vagrancy Laws

Sep 15, 2015
Courtesy of Steve O'Bryan

Poised to launch a legislative counter-offensive against transients and ne’er-do-wells, Chico’s proposed solution may run afoul of constitutional protections.

As in scores of other California cities and towns, there’s a perception that homelessness and crime are on the upswing in Chico. After approving a sit/lie ordinance in 2013, officials are back with a more stringent proposal, one clearly aimed at evicting transients from the city’s creekbeds, flood control channels and other open space.

The situation at Bidwell Ranch won’t change soon. That’s the short version of more than an hour of discussion at the Chico City Council meeting Tuesday night where the 756-acre parcel was front and center.

The council voted to give a new public agency a crack at lining up the money to buy the property and essentially run it as a preserve. The parcel, adjacent to Upper Bidwell Park, is home to several endangered species including Butte County Meadowfoam and fairy shrimp.

City Proposes New Options For Bidwell Ranch

Sep 1, 2015

Discussion of a large, undeveloped property on the east edge of Chico may be headed from contentious to consensus.

The 756-acre Bidwell Ranch is among the issues up for consideration by the Chico City Council Tuesday evening with city administrators offering a recommendation that may prove palatable across the local ideological divide.

The embers of partisan rivalry flared into full conflagration Tuesday night, drowning out a pretty routine agenda at the Chico City Council and perhaps setting the stage for a rancor-filled election season.

Chico Sustainability Report Indicates Progress

Aug 4, 2015

Chico’s going to need to put in significant work to meet sustainability goals included in a new general plan report, but progress is being made. The council will receive the report at its meeting Tuesday.

It notes strides in air quality, waste diversion and water conservation. Chico residents’ water consumption has dropped by more than a third since 2004.

The report gave the city good marks for promoting local agriculture and access to farmers markets.

Chico falls short on managing open space and street trees, and on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The removal of a decade’s worth of Chico campaign finance disclosures has sparked a kerfuffle.

The documents are still available, just not electronically. Interested parties must now request them in person at city hall and pay for photocopies.

Writing on social media earlier this week, Chico Councilman Randall Stone noted the disappearance and described it as inexcusable.

Action On Bidwell Ranch Further Delayed

Jul 8, 2015

Updated 10 a.m. on July 9

It could have been the clock nearing 11, or fatigue and frustration at a vexatious land use dispute stretching back three decades, but the 759-acre Bidwell Ranch property inched a hair closer to being formally added to Bidwell Park at a City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The property has been a local political lightning rod test since before preservationists blocked a 1,500-home subdivision and 14-acre commercial development with a citywide referendum in 1988.

No formal action was taken on the issue Tuesday.