April 12, 2023 – At the Clovis City Council meeting on April 10, Assistant Superintendent Denver Stairs of the Clovis Unified Governing School Board spoke to council about a project that has been delayed in regards to the opening of the new Terry Bradley Educational Center. The school board plans to open the center in 2025.
Currently, there is no active water and sewage being run to the site and as it is in an area that can fall under three different jurisdictions, Clovis, Fresno and Fresno County, there has been lots of discussion on how the site will receive water and sewage.
One proposed idea, that Stairs presented at the City Council meeting, is to build a CUSD owned water and sewage site themselves with direct correlation to the Terry Bradley Center.
With wells and water storage on site, the hope for CUSD is that in building their own sewage and water connections, they will not have to go through different such avenues of connection to public water and sewage, having to go through the City of Fresno or Fresno County.
However, the possibility still remains that without having to build their own site, CUSD can connect to Fresno water and sewage, but as a backup plan of sorts, CUSD was present at the City Council meeting to ask if they could connect to the City of Clovis’ sewage for the time being while trying to work out a deal with the City of Fresno.
To further complicate matters, while the line that CUSD wants to connect to is owned by the City of Fresno, the City of Clovis actually owns the capacity, according to both CUSD and City officials.
For the time being and based on prior meetings with the City of Fresno, Denver Stairs and CUSD believe that Fresno is “100% on board” with a connection although nothing has been set in writing as of yet. This is where the City of Clovis’ main concerns lie.
A proposed plan would be to connect to Clovis’ lines for the first 10-15 years of existence at the Terry Bradley Center, where after this period of time, CUSD would then connect to Fresno water and sewage lines.
This raised concerns for City Council as they believe in 10-15 years’ time, the City of Fresno may find a way to find themselves out of any initial agreements made in the present.
“We want to make sure we do our due diligence [for CUSD], but I still have reservations about getting entangled,” said Council Member Diane Pearce.
“I wish we had more confidence in the other side of things,” the Council Member said about the City of Fresno, “..I was elected to protect interests in the City of Clovis.”
It was further suggested by City employees and a representative from Wilson Homes that agreements needed to be “tied down” in which “Fresno takes on the agreement to take on affluent flow after the temporary allowance from Clovis.”
Nevertheless, the point was made towards the beginning as well as the end of the matter that the impact will be felt by “thousands” of families, as the Terry Bradley Center looks to host 7th-12th grades by the year 2028.
This would help in overpopulation of Clovis area high schools that is being felt right now, as Denver Stairs mentioned that Clovis East alone is housing over 1500 more students than what was originally intended.
The City Council gave recommendation to City Staff to allow Clovis Unified to continue to work with the City of Fresno to allow them to use their sewage lines.
If CUSD cannot find common ground with the City of Fresno, they then may look to the City of Clovis for authorization in providing a deeper analysis in providing affluent support to CUSD and the Terry Bradley Center.
CORRECTION: It would like to be specified by CUSD that Monday’s City Council meeting discussed ONLY a sewer connection and not a water connection as the City Council agenda had the item listed.