Federal funds for water projects in the southern region of the Central Valley could help Gustine finish the water loop line from North Avenue to East Avenue, which will create a more stable and safe water distribution system.
Congressman Jim Acosta is attempting to get a bill passed that will provide $11 million dollars to the counties of Fresno, Madera and Merced to complete water projects and fund jobs, health and educational programs. Gustine would get $950,000 for the water loop line.
Gustine has four wells and a majority of those wells are on the south end of town. For the city to maintain equal water pressure, it has to pump a little more on the south end of town. Completing the water loop line will help make keeping that balance easier.
“The water loop line will not only provide us with some redundancy that if we do have a water leak or something we can shut it off and still provide water to the city, but it’ll help us normalize an equal or equalize all the water pressure throughout the town, so we won’t have to keep high pressure there; whatever pressure we have there will be equal throughout the entire town so that’s why it’s really important,” said City Manager Douglas Dunford.
The city has been wanting to finish the project for 18 years but hasn’t had the money, according to Dunford. Congressman Acosta reached out and asked what projects would Gustine like to work on and the city sent him a list.
“He liked this one and this one made a lot of sense to try and get completed,” Dunford said. “And so, he was able to help get it through Congress and supported it, because as you know, water nowadays is the number one topic. Water conservation is everything but it’s also going to help provide better water service to our citizens here within the city of Gustine.”
The main line comes down North Avenue and stops right around Fifth street or right in front of Gustine High School. The water loop line will continue that line. It will go eastbound down Highway 140 towards East Avenue, and make a right hand turn southbound on East Avenue, and connect about 350 feet down East Avenue with our other water line.
“Why this is so expensive is not only do we have to go through the school, but we have to go underneath Highway 33,” Dunford said. “We have to go besides California Central Irrigation District property, and their line, and then go underneath the railroad. So, we have to get their permission and their encroachments and it takes a long time. So that’s why it’s been very difficult, not only it’s been expensive, but in just coordination wise.”
Some other projects the city is working on is a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 33 and 140. The project is going to cost $3 million and is mostly funded through CMAC. They are paying 88 percent of it, while the city is paying 11 percent, which is about $300,000. The city is placing a bid in early October and construction is expected to start in July of next year. There is also a sidewalk being placed by Schmidt Park.
“I’m hoping that the citizens understand that we’re out here to serve them and help them. We’re trying to make this city a bit better, but government doesn’t move fast, there’s a lot of red tape,” said Dunford.