Reedley approves water rate study

City council also decides on design for Reedley Museum mural, agrees to move SCCCD flight programs to Reedley Airport and recognizes Rich Rodriguez for 23 of fire service for the city

Reedley City Council members addressing concerns from the public regarding the Bio Lab discovered in the city at its Aug. 8 meeting. (Kenny Goodman)
Reedley City Council members addressing concerns from the public regarding the Bio Lab discovered in the city at its Aug. 8 meeting. (Kenny Goodman)
Darren Fraser
Published September 28, 2023  • 
1:00 pm

REEDLEY – At its Sept. 26 meeting, among other items that were discussed, the Reedley City Council approved the commissioning of a water rate study.

The report submitted to the council from public works director Russ Robertson noted that the last water study was performed in 2016. Best practices indicate that a water rate study be conducted every five to seven years. 

According to the report, Reedley City Council has approved small inflationary increases to water rates over the years to keep pace with rising costs. The purpose of the study is to determine if these periodic inflationary increases will keep the city’s water enterprise fund solvent, or if comprehensive rate increases are warranted.

Reedley commissioned HDR Engineering to write the study. According to Robertson, money for the $34,875 study will come from the Water Enterprise Fund Professional Services account.


The council approved two items to facilitate the relocation of State Center Community College District (SCCCD) flight programs to Reedley Airport.

The first item involved the purchase and installation of a mobile office at the airport. The council gave City Manager Nicole Zieba approval to purchase the office from Willscot Mobile Mini Solutions.

The second item concerned budget appropriations to fund the installation of the office as well as to fund other work at the airport, including installing a portable bathroom. The total estimated cost for the project is $310,964. The funding will come from the city’s airport enterprise fund.


Aside from some budgeting allocations, during the council convening, Reedley Fire Chief Jerry Isaak presented fire engineer Rich Rodriguez with a shadow box commemorating Rodriguez’s 23 years with the department.

“I’m not much at public speaking but this is a great honor,” Rodriguez said at the meeting.

Rodriguez, who retired last year, joined the department in February 1999. He became an emergency medical technician. In 2004, he was promoted to fire apparatus engineer. Rodriguez was a member of the city’s Swift Water Emergency Response Team. He also became a member of the Burn Foundation at Community Regional Medical Center. He later served on the board of directors.

In 2009, Rodriguez was awarded the Reedley Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year award.

“Rich’s love for human life is unparalleled,” Isaak said. “Our cornerstone words at the department are duty, honor, faith and tradition. Rich lives every one of those.”

During his 23 years as a firefighter, Rodriguez responded to over 1,500 calls.


At its previous meeting on Sept. 12, the council held over for discussion a determination on the type of backsplash – border – that will go with the mural to be affixed to the south wall of the Reedley Museum.

Community Development Director Rodney Horton presented the council with three backsplash concepts for the mural, which is a reconstruction of a vintage photograph of the Reedley train station.

The first concept would have no backsplash. But according to the muralist, absent a backsplash, the mural could blend into the wall, otherwise meaning: no backsplash, no mural.

The other two concepts featured a brown and green backsplash, respectively. In a prior discussion, Reedley Museum personnel voted in favor of the green backsplash. Horton added that the planning commission also voted in favor of the green backsplash.

“Mrs. (Joyce) Huebert from the museum was supposed to be here this evening,” Horton said. “Unfortunately, her schedule prevented her from coming; but she did inform me this is still the preferred option from the museum.”

After a brief discussion, the council voted for the green backsplash.


In other news, Reedley citizens can look forward to a handful of activities coming to the community for the month of October. The Reedley Night Out will take place Oct. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – additional information for this event can be found on the city’s Facebook page.

Coffee with a Cop will take place Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Starbucks. Oct. 8 is set to kick off Fire Prevention Week and the city’s fire department will host an open house on Oct. 12.

As for Oct. 19, in conjunction with the Majorie Mason Center, the city will hold a domestic violence vigil beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of G Street.

Darren Fraser