By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

A failing water supply system near Del Norte High School is the main reason the area is Crescent Citys first choice for annexation, said city officials.

The privately owned Roosevelt Water System, which serves much of the area bordered by Washington Boulevard to the north, Northcrest Drive to the east, Del Norte High School to the west and Coolidge Avenue to the south, is antiquated and faltering, said city officials.

The area has had varying degrees of meeting water quality standards for some time, said Crescent City City Manager Dave Wells. The state was interested in seeing it get into the municipal water system.

Gene Parham of the state Health Department, Division of Drinking Water, said the shallowness of the Roosevelt well made it prone to contamination.

With the well being so shallow, the water has to be chlorinated to protect it from surface water during high rains, Parham said. Its nothing against the owners of Roosevelt. Small water systems have a hard time complying with state regulations that have become more stringent in the past 10 to 20 years.

Parham said the willingness of Crescent City to annex the area is extremely lucky for the residents.

There really are no other options for them. There is very little ground water out there for them to drill wells, and if they didnt come into compliance it would probably end up in court, Parham said. The cost to bring them into compliance is just under $500,000. The state is willing to grant 100 percent of that amount with the annexation. Public Works Director Mike Young said the current system is serving far too many homes and businesses and needs an overhaul.

It has its own well and its not enough for the area, Young said. Its serving about 60 homes, where a well that size would normally serve only a couple or a few homes.

This has also led to water-pressure problems, which some residents of the area complained about yesterday. Young said pipes in the current system are too small; only three-quarters of an inch to 3-inch pipes, where the city uses 6-inch pipes.

Crescent City sent out a newsletter yesterday to residents in the proposed annexation area which lists some common questions about the annexation process.

The newsletter says property taxes will not go up as a result of the annexation, police and fire services from the city will replace county services and sewer bills should remain at about the the same rate. Wells said the city and countys intentions are to make the transition as revenue-neutral as possible without any disruption of services for residents and business owners.

Wells said the completion date for the annexation is unknown at the moment.

LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) has to be satisfied in several steps along the way, Wells said. If everything goes smoothly, our end could be done in six months. But then it has to go to the state for approval, and that could take another six months.

There are two more candidate areas for annexation after this one is complete: Crescent City Harbor and the East Lauff area, which is the heavily developed residential area between the city and Del Norte High.

A public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Nov. 1 at Bess Maxwell School at 1124 El Dorado St. concerning the Roosevelt Water System area. For information about the meeting, Wells can be contacted at 464-7483.