Healdsburg City Hall sign

At its next meeting on Nov. 15, the Healdsburg City Council will consider reverting back to Stage 2 of the city’s water shortage emergency plan and will also consider adopting a revision to the rate schedule for the city’s garbage collection and recycling services.

Among other items, the council will also ponder whether or not to agendize a discussion on the allowance of food trucks in the city.

The Monday meeting will take place in person at city hall at 401 Grove St., and via Zoom. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and those attending in person must wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination.



Before the council dives into the meat of the agenda, Healdsburg City Manager Jeff Kay will provide an update on COVID-19 and local case rates.

The council will then hear public comments on non-agenda items.


Update on water conservation measures

Due to the recent rains, the city council will consider adopting a resolution to implement Stage 2 of the city’s water shortage contingency plan. Since June, the city has been in Stage 3, the most stringent stage of water savings, of the water shortage contingency plan.

While the need for water conservation remains, the State Water Resources Control Board’s temporary suspension of water curtailments and the return of significant rain has reduced the need for mandatory Stage 3 water restrictions, according to the agenda item report.

Recent rainfall has allowed Lake Mendocino to begin recovering storage levels and supply and has significantly improved instream flows within the upper Russian River.

In late October, the state water board announced water right curtailment suspensions throughout the Russian River and the board expects the temporary lift on curtailments to last through Nov. 30, at which time the board expects to permanently lift some or all water right curtailments.

With the temporary suspension of water right curtailments, the city of Healdsburg has sufficient water supplies to meet demands, which are forecasted at 45 million gallons for December and 28 million gallons for February 2022, according to the agenda report.

Due to these factors, city staff is recommending the implementation of Stage 2 of the water shortage contingency plan.

Stage 2 includes a 20% reduction in water usage by prohibiting certain uses of water. By implementing Stage 2, residents would once again be allowed to put in new plants or replace plants and Stage 2 allows for the completion of lawn conversions.

Some of the Stage 2 measures include:


-       Stop the washing of sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots and other hard-surfaced areas by direct hosing, except as may be necessary to prevent or eliminate materials that present a danger to public health and safety.

-       Correct and repair the escape of water through breaks or leaks within the customer’s plumbing or private distribution system.

-       Apply outdoor irrigation water only during the evening and early morning hours to reduce evaporation losses (8 p.m. to 7 a.m.)

-       Stop the noncommercial washing of privately owned motor vehicles, trailers or boats except when utilizing a bucket and hose equipped with an automatic shut-off.

-       The City will not accept or approve building permits for new swimming pools unless the owner agrees to obtain pool water from a source other than the City’s potable water system.

-       Refilling of a swimming pool except when topping off to prevent damage to pump and filter equipment is not allowed.

To view the full list of conservation measures under Stage 2, check out the agenda packet by going here and clicking on Nov. 15 “agenda packet.”

“Should council choose to implement Stage 2 of the water shortage emergency plan. City staff will begin the process to update and implement a revised water shortage ordinance,” the agenda report reads.


Revision to rate schedule for garbage and recycle services

The council will also consider adopting the following proposed rate changes for Recology garbage and recycling services. If approved, the rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

-20 gallon bin: Current rate of $19.67 to new rate of $20.27

-35 gallon bin: Current rate of $26.12 to new rate of $26.76

-60 gallon bin: Current rate of $37.54 to new rate of $38.21

-96 gallon bin: Current rate of $50.99 to new rate of $51.73

The residential customer rate increase is between 1.44% to 3.05% depending on the bin size and the commercial customer rate increase is between 0.61% and 2.16%.

The city of Healdsburg used the R3 Consulting Group for an independent, third party review of Recology’s rate index application for a rate increase effective as of September and per the agreement with Recology, Recology may request annual adjustments to the maximum rates that it charges Healdsburg customers.


Memorandum of understanding with Zero Waste Sonoma

City council will also consider adopting a resolution establishing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Zero Waste Sonoma for the implementation of SB 1383.

SB 1383 was signed by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2016. The aim of the law is to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane, which are generated from landfilling organic materials like food scraps and yard trimmings.

According to the agenda item report, the bill is “the most significant waste reduction mandate to be adopted in California in the last 30 years.SB 1383 establishes statewide targets to reduce organic material disposed in landfills by 75% and increase edible food recovery by 20% by 2025, compared to the2014 baseline.

The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022 and requires jurisdictions to complete certain tasks and actions and jurisdiction may enter into an agreement with a joint powers authority to help implement the requirements of SB 1383.

To view Zero Waste’s responsibilities and the city’s responsibility as laid out in the MOU, view the agenda item report.


A note on food trucks

Lastly, the council will discuss whether or not to put a food truck discussion on the agenda for a future city council meeting. Currently, food trucks are not permitted in the city.

Staff Writer

Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine has been a staff writer with The Healdsburg Tribune and SoCoNews for over two years. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism.

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