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No. The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council as the chief legal advisor for the City government, and the City Attorney provides legal advice directly to the City Council and City staff. City government services are provided to the public by City staff (implementing policy direction from the City Council, and considering legal advice form the City Attorney). Given this organizational structure, the City Attorney's Office is ethically precluded from providing legal advice directly to members of the public, under the California State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct.
If a member of the public is in need of legal assistance, guidance may be found from one of the following organizations:
If you are part of an incident for which you believe the City of Napa has caused a loss or damages to your person or personal property, you have the option of completing and filing a Claim with the City. Visit the City Clerk's Claims page for more information on claims, and please follow instructions on the Claim Form (PDF). You may personally deliver or mail the form to:
City Clerk DepartmentCity Hall955 School StreetNapa, 94559
Claim forms can be obtained online or by coming into the City Clerk office. Please complete the form and attach any documentation (e.g. photos, repair bills, etc.) that you feel may support your claim. If you have questions regarding the filing process, or would like a claim form mailed to you, please contact the City Clerk office at 707-257-9303.
Marriage licenses can be obtained at the Napa County Clerk's office located at 1127 1st Ste A, Napa, CA 94559. For complete details visit the Marriage License info on the County website or contact the office via phone at (707) 253-4247.
Contact the Finance Department-Revenue Division at 707-257-9508. Please have your account number ready for faster service.
You may mail your appeal to the department that issued the invoice or citation as indicated:
The City of Napa requires everyone doing business in the City of Napa to pay a business license tax. The tax on most businesses is based on gross receipts earned and must be renewed at the end of the applicable period. Licenses are issued for revenue purposes only. It is not a permit to operate a business in violation of City, County, State and Federal Laws.
To get information on business tax requirements, contact the Finance Department.
Businesses that are located in the City of Napa or that are located outside the City but generate receipts within the City limits are required by City Ordinance to pay a business tax to the City.
To obtain a business license, a completed application (PDF) with information about the business and an estimate of gross receipts to be earned in the City of Napa during the first period is required. If the business is located in the City of Napa, a zoning clearance or a home occupation use permit from the Planning Division is necessary. Certain applicants may also require clearance and special permits from other City or County departments.
The initial tax is based on your estimate of gross receipts and multiplied by the applicable rate, depending on the business. At the end of each reporting period, a renewal form will be mailed to the business and the new tax calculation will be based on the prior period’s actual gross receipts.
The business license application (PDF) is processed by the Finance Department-Revenue Division for the issuance of the business license. Additionally, the application will be referred to the Planning, Fire Prevention, Code Enforcement, Building and Police Departments as necessary. Inspections may be required as part of the approval and clearance process for those department's permits. If the business is a food establishment, a permit from the County Health Department will also be necessary.
Applicants will be issued a business license upon completion of the Finance Department-Revenue Division's review of the application and payment of the business license tax. However, if your business requires one or more permits from other City or County departments, start of business must wait for those departments to issue the required permits.
A current business license can be re-issued for a $10 fee by requesting in person or by letter with payment to:
955 School Street
P.O. Box 660
Napa, CA 94559
The business license will be mailed to the business address on record.
We are unable to provide copies of prior year licenses. However, a letter can be prepared stating how long your business has been licensed. For faster service, send request via email or call or write us at the Finance Department-Revenue Division. The letter will be mailed to the current business address on record.
If you conduct business using a name other than your legal name (DBA), you are using a fictitious business name. Contact Napa County Recorder's Office for more information. If you sell tangible property, you are required to obtain a Seller's Permit from the State Board of Equalization (BOE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California. View additional information on sales and use tax.
If you have employees and withhold State Income Tax, Disability and Unemployment insurance, contact the State Employment Development Department (EDD) to obtain a State Employer ID number. If you intend to have employees or to obtain a Form 540 for estimating State Withholding Tax for yourself, contact the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). If you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages, contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC).Depending on the type of business being conducted, please consult the Department of Consumer Affairs. Many professions, including Building Contractors, need to obtain California State Licenses. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a federal employer ID number, a businessman's kit, seminars for new businesses, additional information and forms. If your business uses a weighing or measuring device, a (PLU) price lookup system or scan gun system for retail sales, a permit from the Napa County Sealer of Weights and Measures will also be necessary. Call Weights and Measures at 707-944-8714 for assistance.
We accept cash, check, money order, traveler's check, Visa and MasterCard. Electronic bill payment providers or Direct Payment may be used. Establish Automatic Bill Payment online.
The City of Napa Finance Department-Revenue Division is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. View the offices location.
You can set up the City of Napa as a payee using your Online Bill Payment service provided by your bank or Direct Payment may be used. You can establish automatic bill payment online.
Umpqua Bank accepts payments for solid waste and recycling services. Branches are located at:
1500 Soscol Avenue
820 Levitin Way
Payments are not accepted at City Hall.
Contact Professional Recovery Systems (accredited collection agency) directly at 877-596-4777 or 707-454-2010. Revenue Division staff may be contacted at 707-257-9508 to assist you with a detailed explanation of your account activity. However, payment will need to be processed through the collection agency.
A written communication is preferred by email or by mail. You may also contact the Supervisor or the Finance Manager by calling 707-257-9508.
Before reporting a specific problem, please note whether your concern is with color, odor, taste, or something other, and be prepared to answer the following questions:
Call Water Division staff at 707-257-9521.
The county offices are at the following locations:
TOT is an acronym for Transient Occupancy Tax. The City of Napa's TOT rate is 12% and tax remittance is due on the 10th day of the month subsequent to the month of taxable transactions.
Access the monthly forms in our Document Center.
The following persons are exempt:
Download the exemption form (PDF). Follow the instructions on the form and submit with your tax filing and payment.
Yes, returns must be filed each month.
The City of Napa provides Transient Occupancy Tax information on an aggregate basis. Requests for information should be submitted in writing to the City of Napa Finance Department-Revenue Division or by emailing us. You may also call 707-257-9508.
You may call 707-257-9508 or apply in person at the City Hall Finance Department Revenue counter, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Social Security Number or Driver's License Number and a deposit will be required to open an account. The following deposit requirements are also needed:
Pursuant to the City of Napa Master Fee Schedule the fees include:
One underground leak adjustment is permitted within a 5-year period per account or address. The application must be received within 60 days from confirmation or discovery of the leak and the adjustment must be for more than 5,000 gallons of water. Please contact the Finance Department Revenue division at 707-257-9508 for additional information.
If you feel that a late fee was charged in error, please email or call 707-257-9508 and have your account number ready for faster service.
An extension request is evaluated on the account history and the circumstances of the case. Contact the Finance Department Collections Division at 707-257-9508 for assistance and have your account number ready.
You can reach out to the following organizations for assistance in paying your bill:
We are happy to host station tours. We ask that you call ahead of time and try to schedule something especially when bringing large groups. To contact the various stations view station phone numbers.
Any potential public education event needs to be scheduled beforehand. We will try to accommodate all requests. Contact the Fire Stations closest to your event.
The City directs its efforts at providing resources to those who are willing to accept help, partnering with regional organizations to address the causes of homelessness and deter unwanted behaviors. We collaborate with partner organizations to provide services and a path to self-sufficiency to those who are currently in need. We start with outreach: face-to-face dialogue to ascertain if an individual is from Napa and might have family nearby. We gather information to determine what services an individual might need and then take the appropriate steps, whether it’s a referral to Abode, a bus ticket to reconnect with family, or something else. We also provide a continual, visible, and physical presence to deter illegal activity.
The Napa Police Department works to build a rapport with clients while introducing
them to the many services available in Napa County. The police work as advocates, case managers, and housing counselors to help clients find the services that will lead to long-term stable housing. This effort strengthens the community by giving those in need a hand up while working to reduce non-emergency calls to vital law enforcement and fire services in Napa County. Brandon Gardner, Napa Police Department’s homeless outreach specialist, leads the efforts within the City of Napa.
Additionally, Napa County Health & Humans Services contracts with Abode Services to provide emergency shelter and outreach services, as well as manage several housing programs for residents of Napa County experiencing homelessness. Their services include emergency assistance, referral to community support services, and connection to housing interventions and landlord engagement and support. In Napa, Adobe has an outreach team of five, who are regularly out in the community proactively connecting homeless to services. Founded in Alameda County in 1989, Abode Services expanded to serve Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Napa counties.
Napa Police Department Outreach and Adobe Services are part of a multi-agency continuum-of-care team increasing collaboration among service providers to assist homeless clients en route to self-sufficiency. Coming soon: List of partner agencies.
The causes of homelessness are many and complex and include large-scale socioeconomic factors as well as personal risk factors including mental illness, disability, and lack of a family or social network. Every year, during the third week of January, we do a count to determine how many homeless are in our community. Our numbers have not really increased; the homeless population has just moved to more visible areas due to the pressure of gentrification. As the riverfront has been developed, for example, the encampments along the river have had to move. We have also lost most of our short-term, residential housing in recent years. And housing prices have become prohibitive for more and more people.
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling and is not a criminal activity. However, when you see someone doing something illegal, you should call the police. Panhandling is not illegal, but if the panhandler is aggressive and you feel threatened, call 9-1-1 and move away from the subject. You should always call 9-1-1 if you need emergency assistance from police or fire or there is a medical emergency or an immediate threat to public safety. Additionally, the Napa Police Department will take action for theft, public consumption of alcohol, trespassing, or other disruptive behavior. These offenses are typically classified as misdemeanors.
Call PD dispatch at 707-257-9223.
Contact PD Outreach at 707-257-9479.
The City encourages residents to respond to panhandlers with a respectful but firm “No.” All of our partner organizations as well as law enforcement concur that giving money to panhandlers does more harm than good and may support illegal activity, including drug use, while also encouraging more panhandling. Responsible options for generosity include volunteering with or donating to any of the local organizations that work to solve homelessness in our community. The best way to help is to connect individuals with resources in the community. If you see someone who is homeless and you want to help, refer them to Abode Services at 707-271-7818 – don’t call 9-1-1.
Contact Abode Services at 707-271-7818.
The Salvation Army of Napa, located at 590 Franklin St., offers the Neighborhood Table program, which serves a free hot lunch Monday-Friday, 11:30 am -12:30 pm and The Table, located at 1333 Third St., provides a daily nutritious meal to anyone who is hungry Monday-Friday from 3 to 4:45 pm. At other times, contact Abode Services at 707-271-7818.
Ole Health, located at 1141 Pear Tree Lane, accepts walk-ins Monday-Saturday; however, patients must call ahead to 707-254-1770. Queen of the Valley Medical Center Prompt Care, located at 1621 West Imola Ave in the River Park Shopping Center, accepts walk-ins from 10 am-8 pm daily: 707-251-4280. The CARE Network at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center provides no-cost help for low-income chronically ill: 707-251-2000.
If it’s an emergency, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, refer to Napa County Mental Health crisis line: 707-253-4711. For other concerns, contact PD Outreach at 707-257-9479.
Call PD dispatch at 707-257-9223. If you are a transitional-age youth in need of services, call V.O.I.C.E.S. 707-251-9432
If it’s an emergency situation, call 9-1-1. If the individual is not in immediate danger, you call contact PD dispatch at 707-257-9223 or refer the individual to NEWS 24-hour domestic violence and sexual abuse help line at 707-255-6397
Napa’s collaborative model has resulted in over 100 homeless individuals, including women and children, finding long-term, supportive housing and a life off the street each year, and another 70 individuals being diverted into support programs.
We strongly suggest you seek legal counsel before issuing a 3-day or thirty-day Notice, thus starting the eviction process. Send a copy of any Notice to the Housing Authority. The copy of the Notice for the Housing Authority must include the lease violations (also known as "cause") that prompted the Notice.
You should cite the section of the lease that has been violated and give dates and specific examples of the violation(s). If the tenant complies, no further action is needed. If the tenant does not comply, follow up by taking appropriate legal steps. We strongly suggest you seek legal counsel for these steps. A copy of each legal document should be given to the Housing Authority. This includes Summons and Complaint, Unlawful Detainer judgment and/or Right of Possession.
Please keep in mind that an eviction goes on your tenant's credit report and may impact their ability to rent future dwellings. We urge you to use care in implementing this step. It should only be used for serious and repeated violations of the lease. If you simply wish to no longer rent to the tenant, or have a reason to stop participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, a Ninety-Day Notice should be utilized.
Any serious or repeated violation of the lease is grounds for eviction. This is the same as on an open market lease or rental agreement.
The effective date of the cancellation of the contract will be the end of the month in which the tenant moved out.
The tenant and owner may mutually agree to break the lease on a specific date to expedite the move out and to save the owner on eviction costs. A copy of the mutual agreement must be sent to our office.
After the first term of the assisted lease or rental agreement, you may serve a 90-Day Notice to vacate to your tenant at any time. You do not have to state cause. However, if the tenant does not move out, you will have to go through legal eviction.
Most tenants will move on the 90-day notice. Remember to send us a copy of the 90-day notice you serve on your tenant. We strongly suggest you seek legal counsel for these steps.
Evicting a Section 8 tenant can help you in several ways. Families get the message when owners display no tolerance for serious or repeated violations of the lease. They want to keep their Section 8 assistance and not place it in jeopardy.
When tenants learn by your actions that you do enforce your leases, and are not reticent to go through eviction if needed, they have a greater incentive to abide by the terms of the lease.
No, you must have a Section 8 voucher and be leased up in Napa before you can join our FSS program.
No, it is a voluntary program.
No. You will not lose your housing, and may leave voluntarily at any time. However, if there has been money set aside in your escrow account for you, you will forfeit that money.
No. The goal of the FSS program is to help you reach self-sufficiency and earn a living wage; however, graduation requires only that you complete your own goals, be suitably employed, and be off cash aid for a year prior to the end of the contract. If you are far enough along the path to self-sufficiency by the time you graduate from FSS, you may be earning enough money that you will no longer be eligible for Section 8; that’s a great thing for you! If you graduate from FSS but still meet the income guidelines, you will continue to receive your housing assistance.
You must be receiving Section 8 rental assistance, indicate your interest to the FSS Coordinator, attend an orientation, and complete an application and an assessment form. You will be required to sign a contract of participation, and create a five-year plan defining the goals that will help you reach self-sufficiency.
You must seek and maintain employment during the duration of your five years on FSS (seeking employment may include full-time job training and education). You must maintain contact with your FSS case manager, respond to requests for progress reports, work towards completing your goals and activities, and remain in good standing with the Section 8 program.
In addition to any interim or scheduled annuals, participants are required to maintain contact with their case manager at least four times a year regarding ITSP activities and program status or progress. Contact can be by telephone, email, mail, or face-to-face contact.
In the beginning, you may need more support and you may need to meet with your FSS Coordinator more often. Throughout your participation, we are available to help guide you to resources that can help you accomplish your goals.
You can make changes to your ITSP at any time. However, the changes must be agreed upon by both you and your case manager, and if you remove any goals, they must be replaced by a reasonable alternative that will equally further your progress toward self-sufficiency.
No, funds in the escrow account are not your money. The money belongs to the Housing Authority until you have completed all your goals necessary for you to graduate. When you graduate, you will receive a lump sum that is non-taxable. It may impact some benefits but should this happen your FSS Coordinator will be available to assist you in researching your options and coming up with a plan.
Any other adult in your household may create an ITSP and access FSS resources. However, there will be only one escrow account, and the Head of Household must be suitably employed by the end of the contract period.
Everyone in the household must be off cash aid 12 consecutive months prior to graduating. The exception to this rule would be if someone was receiving cash aid for a non-needy relative. This is a specific program, so your FSS Coordinator would work with you to ensure you are in compliance and inform you if you were not.
As with all our programs, we will make reasonable accommodation for your disability. In some cases that accommodation may mean working fewer hours, or working from home. The accommodation must match your needs as verified by your physician. Typically, we refer FSS participants to the Department of Rehabilitation, who can help with retraining.
You may sign a release of information form allowing your FSS case manager to talk to your other case manager(s). Your FSS case manager will do their best to coordinate with your other case managers to ensure that your various service plans are realistic and in line with one another and there is no duplication of services.
To start earning escrow, you must increase your earned income. Your income must go above your income at contract signing. Once your wages go up, your portion of the rent will go up too and that change in rent will be deposited into the escrow account.
The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program works with support agencies throughout Napa County to help families develop the strengths, skills and experience necessary to achieve economic independence. The FSS program is a team effort involving your family, the FSS Case Manager, and the job training, educational and social service agencies that will lend you a hand along your journey towards economic self-sufficiency.
With the FSS Coordinator, you will develop an Individual Training and Service Plan (ITSP) that outlines your personal goals in addition to HUD’s mandatory goals of employment, independence of welfare (cash assistance) and the individual steps that you will take to accomplish these goals. You will also receive referrals to other agencies who work with FSS families, such as schools, social service agencies, and job training programs to help you accomplish your goals.
At the General Election held on November 6, 2012, the voters of Napa County approved a ½-cent sales tax increase known as Measure T, the Napa Countywide Road Maintenance Act of 2012. The Measure T County-wide sales tax was implemented July 1, 2018, immediately following the sunset of the County-wide flood improvement ½-cent sales tax increase known as Measure A. The sales tax will be implemented by the Napa Valley Transportation Authority – Taxing Authority (“NVTA-TA”), and the tax proceeds will be allocated among all local agencies within the County.
The City of Napa maintains about 218 miles of streets. The City primarily relies on gasoline taxes to pay for street maintenance. However, in recent years revenue from the gas tax has been flat as cars have become more fuel efficient, while the number of vehicles on the road has risen creating more wear and tear, and the cost of street maintenance has gone up. Gas tax funds are no longer sufficient to maintain our streets at the level needed. Measure T will provide another source of funds to bring our streets up to a state of good repair.
Measure T is intended to compliment, not supplant or replace, the City’s current level of effort regarding transportation infrastructure maintenance. The funds cannot be used for new roads or congestion relief ―the tax is only for maintenance of our local streets. It also requires a review of expenditures by an oversight board and the funds cannot be used to offset funds that are currently being spent on roads.
This ensures that the City’s total budget for street maintenance will be increased for the life of the measure. The City of Napa has taken steps in recent years to increase street maintenance with paving programs and sidewalk repair programs. However, maintenance needs still exceed the funding available. The additional $8 million a year that Measure T would provide would help the City of Napa meet the need.
In 2012, Napa County voters passed Measure T, which will generate almost $500 million over 25 years to pay for maintenance, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of local streets, roads, and sidewalks countywide. Measure T went into effect July 1, 2018, when Measure A (the Flood Control Project) expired, so there will be no increase in taxes for our citizens. Instead, the existing half-cent sales tax will shift from supporting flood control to supporting street maintenance. Click here to read the ordinance.
The City of Napa will receive 40.35% of the total funding available, which is forecast to be total approximately $8 million per year for the City of Napa for 25 years.
No, the City of Napa is already required to calculate what it spent for road maintenance between 2007 and 2010 and maintain that spending level in future years. Measure T is intended to supplement, not supplant, the City’s current level of effort regarding transportation infrastructure maintenance.
Measure T requires that 99% of the funds raised by the tax be spent on street maintenance and rehabilitation; only 1% can be used for administrative and reporting costs. The funds cannot be used for new roads or congestion relief; they are only for maintenance of our streets and infrastructure within the road right of way.
The State of California maintains Highway 29, but the City of Napa is responsible for maintaining 220 miles of arterials, collectors and local neighborhood streets. The projected $8 million a year the City will receive from Measure T will significantly accelerate the City’s paving progress, particularly on arterials and collectors.While the City’s regular street paving program focuses on residential streets, the additional Measure T dollars will provide funds to repair higher volume roadways. Instead of fixing one street at a time, the funds will allow the City to address multiple needs at once across the City.
The sales tax program will be implemented by the Napa Valley Transportation Authority – Taxing Authority (“NVTA-TA”), with the tax proceeds allocated among all local agencies within the County.
After the City Council approves the projects, they are subject to review by the Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee (ITOC). The NVTA-TA Board has ultimate approval.
The City of Napa is required to biennially develop and submit to the Authority a five-year list of projects to be funded with revenues made available for the Local Streets and Roads Maintenance Program. Napa City Council will conduct a public hearing and adopt a resolution in support of the proposed list of projects prior to submitting the project list to the Authority.
There is no financial impact associated with these actions, as projects funded by Measure T are eligible for 100% reimbursement of incurred project costs.
The initial five-year work plan is designed to focus on arterial and collector streets with greater needs driven by higher traffic volumes, heavily used corridors, and streets for which City staff receive large volumes of complaints. For example, year 1 includes Trower Avenue west of Jefferson Street, which was in need of surface repair even before the City recently completed the Trower Storm Drain CIP, which installed a large diameter storm drain the length of the reach. The plan also stages the work along some of the corridors that need both heavy concrete maintenance and surface treatment, with the concrete work happening in one construction season and the paving work following during the next construction season, ending with a complete street repair. The Westwood Neighborhood is another area that the City plans on rehabilitating within the five-year plan. The first phase is to include pavement repair and concrete work on Kilburn Avenue, Chelsea Avenue, Bryan Avenue, Bancroft Court and Bremen Court. Another example is the high-traffic volume stretch of Trancas Street from Jefferson Street west to State Route 29. This reach is in need of surface repair, traffic signal replacement, ADA ramp concrete work and surface drainage repairs.
This work is separate and distinct from the City’s 10-mile-a-year paving program, which will remain in effect and remain focused on local and neighborhood streets. Additionally, the Measure T program will include traffic signal replacement and traffic signal interconnection. It will also consider the needs of non-motorized travelers, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and persons with disabilities, in all planning, maintenance, construction, operations, and project-development activities and products. The adopted 5-year work plan will be submitted to the Measure T Independent Taxpayer’s Oversight Committee for review and recommendation for adoption by the NVTA-TA Board. The City’s 5-year work plan is required to be updated every two-years and follow the same adoption process to ensure proper application of the Measure T funds.
In order to receive funding, the Local Agencies of Napa County must demonstrate to NVTA-TA that they have collectively committed eligible non-Measure T revenues totaling at least 6.67% of the value of the total annual allocations of Measure T funds to Class 1 Bike Facility projects identified in the adopted Countywide Bicycle Plan. These funds may consist of local funds (General Fund, Gas Tax, etc.) or other non-competitive State and Federal funds.
The first two projects, Trower Avenue Rehabilitation and Westwood Neighborhood Rehabilitation Phase 1, have been awarded this summer by City Council and are in the early stages of construction. Trancas Street Rehabilitation is in the design phase and minor concrete work and signal improvements will begin in fall of 2018 followed by paving work in summer of 2019.
The City of Napa intends to use the funding for:
Year One: 2018-2019
Year Two: 2019-2020
Year Three: 2020-2021
Year Four: 2021-2022
Year Five: 2022-2023
[RR1]Trancas is still in year one but we are completing it in phases.
Main at Lincoln and Jefferson at Hayes have been moved to next year due partial funding,
[RR2]Year two will include the projects moved from year one.
Trancas Overlay, Main/Lincoln, Jefferson/Hayes
Payment must be submitted to:
Parks and Recreation Main Office1850 Soscol AvenueSuite 201
Your roster must be submitted on the Napa Team Sideline website.
Designated areas in: Alston Park, Shurtleff Park, and Kennedy Park.
The best spot is in the Public lot on the corner of West and Pearl Street. There’s a great pathway at the southwest corner of the lot that will take you right to the event. Please note the Wine Train and Oxbow Market lots are private lots for the use of their guests and are not available for event parking.
You don’t need to be an Olympian but you should be comfortable in the water. The prerequisite test included:
We always have spots open during the year due to re-location or life changes. Additionally, if we have enough students on the waiting list we can add more programs or contact you when we have new programs.
If you are not satisfied with a program we will do our best to match you to a program that suits your needs or provide a full refund.
The Napa High Pool is located at:
2475 Jefferson StreetNapa, CA 94558
The Redwood Pool is located at:
3600 Oxford StreetNapa, CA 94558
Contact Dan Opperman by email for more information.
Use the eTRAKiT website to find what Zoning District your property is located within.
“Single-use, plastic carryout bag” means any bag less than 2.25 milliliter thick and made predominately of plastic derived from petroleum or bio-based sources, such as corn or other plant source, and includes compostable, non-compostable, and biodegradable plastic bags. These are the typical and familiar plastic bags with handles found at most stores.
Bags used within stores, such as bags for produce, bulk foods, meat and seafood, flowers and other similar uses where health, safety and moisture may be a concern will not be affected. In addition, home delivery bags for newspapers, dry cleaning and plastic bags sold in packages (for garbage or pet waste, for example) would be exempt. Plastic bags for take-out orders from restaurants are permitted, although the use of recyclable paper bags is encouraged.
Since 2011, there has been no California law (PDF) that mandates a retailer to provide a bag for purchased alcoholic beverages. There is also no law requiring retailers in unincorporated areas of the County to provide a bag for purchased alcoholic beverages, although nearby incorporated cities may have such a requirement. If a paper bag with handles is provided, the 10-cent fee must be applied.
In addition to the City of Napa’s ordinance, St. Helena and Calistoga have also passed similar ordinances, as have more than 100 other California cities and counties. St. Helena’s ordinance includes an exception for high-quality branded bags offered at many downtown boutiques.
Nearby, our neighbors in Marin County have regulations for all supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores, and Sonoma County and several cities within Sonoma County recently passed an ordinance affecting all retail establishments. Many other communities throughout the Bay Area have already adopted ordinances similar to ours; in fact, there are currently more than 75 ordinances covering more than 100 cities and counties in California, including many throughout the surrounding area.
Single-use plastic bags are used in extremely high volumes (more than 27 million per year in the City of Napa) and only a small fraction of them are ever recycled. They are produced from nonrenewable resources and are designed to be disposable (rather than reusable). While some single-use plastic bags are reused, many of them are simply used once and then discarded. Once discarded, single-use plastic bags often remain in the environment for decades or longer.
These bags can end up in landfills or be swept away by the wind and get caught in trees, fences, and storm drains. If they are disposed of at all - many end up in the wrong waste bin and jam recycling equipment resulting in work stoppages and loss of efficiency at the waste collection facility. Eventually, plastic bags can find their way to the ocean, where they can do significant damage to wildlife. More and more marine animals are found with plastic bag particles in their digestive systems. Reuseit reports that hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food. Plastics can be found all along the food chain: microscopic plastic particles have been found in the tissue of fish.
According to CalRecycle no more than 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled, in spite of the fact that there are bins at all major grocery stores, large retailers and pharmacies. The majority of bags are never recycled or are disposed of improperly; most end up in landfills or waterways. Because we are unable to recycle the bags locally, our only option is to dispose of them into the gray trash containers (which go to the landfill); however many end up in the blue recycling bins, ultimately jamming recycling equipment, resulting in costly work stoppages.
The approximately 1,000 pounds of plastic bags that Napa Recycling and Waste Services (NRWS) collects each day are baled and have little value. This low-grade film plastic has no domestic market and is shipped to Asia, at a cost that is at much more than their value, according to NRWS. There is another potential cost beyond transporting them to another country as well: processing in Asia may be subject to fewer environmental controls, adding further strain on the environment.
Single-use plastic grocery bags aren’t free. Supermarkets recoup the estimated 2 to 5 cents they pay per plastic bag by increasing the price of groceries, meaning even people who bring their own bags to the store are supplementing the cost of plastic bags. A small investment in reusable bags will pay for itself within a few uses, and some markets give rebates to customers who bring their own bags to the store. Additionally, there is nothing in the ordinance that prohibits customers from bringing their own bags of any type to take home their groceries or other purchases.
The Single-use Bag Reduction Ordinance will result in less litter, which is important, not just for environmental reasons, but also because our community receives a significant economic return as a result of its preservation of natural resources and beautiful surroundings. In addition, reducing plastic bags provide less risk of increased trash bills due to equipment breakdowns, less plastic contamination in the food supply, less threat and damage to local wildlife and waterways, and serves as a good lesson for all of us on conserving resources.
The 10-cent fee on recycled paper carryout bags is intended to encourage customers to bring reusable bags and reduce their dependence on single-use bags of all types, both paper and plastic. A small fee for paper bags - coupled with a ban on plastic bags - is the most effective and legally protected way to institute an ordinance.
Most all other cities and counties that have passed bans have included the paper bag fee component. The cost pass-through reimburses retailers for the costs of providing recycled paper carryout bags to their customers. All of the revenue from the cost pass-through remains with the store; it is not a tax and none of it goes to the city.
All retail businesses included in the ordinance are prohibited from distributing free single-use paper and plastic carryout bags. If businesses decide to make recycled paper carryout bags available for their customers, they are required to sell them for not less than 10 cents per bag. The charge must be listed as a single line item on the customer’s receipt and is not taxable to the consumer according to the State Board of Equalization.
Local pet stores sell bags specifically for this purpose and sale of these bags will not be affected by this ordinance in any way. Existing pet waste stations on trails and in parks will continue to provide plastic bags for discarding pet waste. There will still be many plastic bags in circulation, and you can continue to use bread or chip bags, produce, bulk or cereal bags, or newspaper bags.
In addition, while the ordinance restricts single-use plastic grocery and retail bags, it doesn’t restrict produce bags available in-store, which may easily be used for picking up pet waste.
Yes. The results speak for themselves. Jurisdictions that have instituted similar bans have seen significant changes in the amount of bags used and the problems they cause.
One year after LA County implemented its bag ban, there was a 95% reduction in the distribution of all single-use bags, including a 30% reduction in paper bags. San Jose has seen an 89% reduction of plastic bag litter in storm drains, a 60% reduction in creeks, and a 59% reduction in city streets.
The intent of the Single-use Bag Reduction Ordinance is to significantly reduce the environmental and community impacts related to single-use plastic and paper carryout bags and promote a major shift toward the use of reusable bags.
Under this ordinance, use of single-use plastic bags will no longer be permitted at retail stores. Paper bags will be allowed, but retailers will be required to charge customers not less than 10 cents per bag to encourage customers to use reusable bags. The 10 cents is not taxable, and retailers retain the revenue in order to offset the costs of providing paper bags.
All single-use plastic bags provided at the point of checkout for retail sales are covered by the ordinance.
Yes. The following uses are exempt from the requirements of the Single-use Bag Reduction Ordinance:
The ordinance was passed by the City Council in the summer of 2014; however, in order to allow sufficient time for businesses to use up their existing inventory of bags and to adjust to the requirements of the ordinance, implementation will be phased in over six months, going into full effect on January 1, 2015.
All retail establishments or all sizes located in the City of Napa, including:
In September, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 270, the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The state’s new plastic bag ban allows local ordinances already on the books (like those in Napa County) to remain in effect. The state legislation takes effect July 1, 2015, at large groceries and variety stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, and will be extended to convenience stores and drugstores one year later.
Yes, an ordinance is simply a law or regulation made by a city or town government. Example: The town has passed a zoning ordinance limiting construction.
The California Constitution authorizes the City to “make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.” There is nothing under either state or federal law that constrains the City’s ability to regulate the sale of bags or to prohibit the sale of disposable bags of a certain manufacture type. Some local measures that impose special taxes must be placed on the ballot; however, the ordinance does not create any special tax, nor does it generate any revenue or general fund money for the city. Thus, it is not subject to this requirement.
Plus, with four community meetings to discuss the proposed city ordinance and public comment at City Council when the item was heard, residents of Napa - and business owners who may not reside in Napa - had the opportunity to have their voices heard and provide input and feedback directly to elected officials rather than just a yes or no vote on the ballot.
The Code Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department of the City of Napa is responsible for enforcing the City's Municipal Code.
The City of Napa and Sustainable Napa County will focus primarily on education and helping businesses comply. For those who are persistently out of compliance, a warning can be issued and fines may be imposed, ranging from $100 to $500, based on provisions relating to enforcement of violations of code set forth under the Napa Municipal Code.
To head off any confusion about the differences between state and local laws governing single-use bags, the City of Napa and Sustainable Napa County are planning an outreach campaign to merchants and residents, and the City of Napa’s website will be regularly updated with current information. Information about new options for residents and customers will be shared online, in newsletters and local media, through point-of-purchase information, in training sessions for retailer staff, and through outreach at community events. A reusable bag promotion is also being developed in order to support local retailers in transition.
Additionally, local businesses are invited to attend one of two "how-to" workshops. Attendees will receive a Business Toolkit, which includes resources for communicating with employees and customers about the ordinance; helpful tips to ease the transition to reusable bags and to help customers remember their reusable bags; frequently asked questions and the answers about the ordinance; and more.
There are many sources of available information. Our local NRWS (Napa Recycling and Waste Services) has great information on what we can do with items that can be recycled. Other resources include Californians Against Waste, Clean Seas Coalition and Green Cities California, I Got My Bag (local cities working together to promote use of reusable bags), and “Bag It - The Movie” is an eye-opening, yet entertaining feature on plastic bag use and pollution here in our country and in others.
Our goal is to help ease the transition away from single-use plastic bags, and make sure you understand the ordinance and how it will affect you. If you have additional questions we haven’t addressed, please attend one of the business how-to meetings to learn more or contact us for more information.
They don’t. They can last hundreds of years in landfills, unless exposed to the sun, which photo-degrades them into smaller and smaller particles. But even then, the plastic doesn’t disappear - scientists are now finding microscopic plastic particles in the world’s oceans and in the tissue of fish.
Although they are recyclable and biodegradable and do not create the same problems associated with litter and marine life, paper bags also have their own environmental impact. Manufacturing them requires trees as well as large amounts of water. It has been estimated that 14 million trees are cut down every year to make paper bags for shoppers in the U.S. It also takes a significant amount of energy to produce, distribute, and dispose of paper bags.
Being compostable and being composted are two different things. Compostable bags (such as those made from cornstarch) only break down in an active composting process. They do not decompose in the natural environment because of the lack of heat, or in landfills because of the lack of oxygen. When used to hold wet food waste that goes into an organics composting program, they can be beneficial, but otherwise they are no better than traditional plastic.
"Recycled paper bag” means a paper carryout bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale that contains no old-growth fiber and a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled material and is 100% recyclable. The word “recyclable” must be printed in some manner on the outside of the bag, along with the name and location of the manufacturer and the percentage of post-consumer recycled content.
“Reusable bag” means either a bag made of cloth or other machine-washable fabric that has handles, or a durable plastic bag with handles that is at least 2.25 milliliter thick and is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse.
Reusable bags can be used many times, and thus create less landfill waste and fewer environmental impacts than other types of bags. Naturally, as with any product there are still some environmental impacts associated with their production and distribution, but reusable bags made from recycled polyethylene have a lower footprint than single-use plastic after as few as eight uses. They use 50% less energy, have 40% less impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and solid waste resources, and use 30% less water.
Reusable bags are widely available for purchase at select retail stores and markets and many organizations and businesses offer such bags through promotions and events for free. Don’t overlook the bags you already have in your home or office - tote bags made of canvas or nylon, for example.
There are no credible studies making a connection between reusable bags and food-borne illness. In fact, a 2010 study by Californians Against Waste shows that reusable bags have no more bacteria than other items you bring home from the store. Using common sense, washing your hands, and washing bags when they get dirty, virtually eliminates any risk of illness.
Getting used to new habits takes a little time and practice. If you forget your bag, most stores will offer reusable paper bags for a minimal charge, generally 10 cents.
To avoid needing to buy bags, keep reusable bags in the car and tuck a small, collapsible bag into your purse or glove box or attach one to your keychain for quick shopping trips. Pretty soon, bringing your own reusable bags into stores will become second nature - just like - fastening your seat belt.
Stores are required to provide customers participating in the California Special Supplemental Food program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and customers participating in the Supplemental Food (SNAP) program with a reusable bag or recycled paper bag at no cost at the point of sale.
The goal of this ordinance is to reduce overall plastic bag use. As illustrated in other communities who have passed similar ordinances, bans are better than fees at helping us reach this goal. California law (AB2449) prohibited charging for plastic bags, however it didn’t prohibit charging for paper bags.
As a result, retailers are able to recover their cost for providing paper bags, and this small fee helps encourages customers to use reusable bags, thus also reducing the use of paper bags.
You can avoid the charge by bringing your own bag or refusing a bag when you make a small purchase that is easy to carry without a bag. Just say no to a disposable bag.
As of January 1, 2015, all retail establishments selling perishable or nonperishable goods directly to the customer, such as food, clothing or personal items will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags to customers.
The ordinance applies to all retail establishments defined as any commercial establishment that sells perishable or nonperishable goods and is located or doing business within the geographical limits of the City of Napa. This includes:
As of January 1, 2015, you are unable to provide free single-use carryout plastic bags to customers at checkout. You may sell reusable bags or 40% post-consumer recycled content paper bags. Post-consumer recycled content paper bags must be sold for a minimum price of 10¢ each, and the sale must be itemized separately on the sales receipt and is not taxable to the consumer according to the State Board of Equalization.
n September, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 270, the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The state’s new plastic bag ban allows local ordinances already on the books (like the one in Napa) to remain in effect.
The state law takes effect July 1, 2015, at large groceries and variety stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, and will be extended to convenience stores and drugstores one year later. Napa’s ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2015.
Yes, the cost pass-through reimburses retailers for the costs of providing recycled paper carryout bags to their customers. All of the revenue from the cost pass-through remains with the store; it is not a tax and none of it goes to the city.
Yes. The following uses are exempt from the requirements of the Single-use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance:
Additionally, stores are required to provide customers participating in the California Special Supplemental Food program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and customers participating in the Supplemental Food (SNAP) program with a reusable bag or recycled paper bag at no cost at the point of sale.
Paper and plastic bags, without handles, used for protective purposes within a store can be provided. Protective bags can only be used to separate food or merchandise which could be damaged or contaminate other food or merchandise when combined in a recycled paper bag or reusable bag.
This includes bags used for produce, meats, bulk foods, and prescription medication. However, if a retailer uses “protective bags” exclusively, then this may constitute a violation of the ordinance.
Since 2011, there has been no California law that mandates a retailer to provide a bag for purchased alcoholic beverages. There is also no law requiring retailers in unincorporated areas of the County to provide a bag for purchased alcoholic beverages, although nearby incorporated cities may have such a requirement. If a paper bag with handles is provided, the 10-cent fee must be applied.
“Single-use, plastic carryout bag” means any bag less than 2.25 milliliter thick and made predominately of plastic derived from petroleum or bio-based sources, such as corn or other plant source, and includes compost-able, non-compost-able, and biodegradable plastic bags. These are the typical and familiar plastic bags with handles found at most stores.
Typical thin plastic bags, with handles, provided at check out are prohibited. Paper bags with less than 40 percent post-consumer recycled content are prohibited as well.
A reusable bag has handles and is made out of durable materials specifically designed and manufactured for multiple re-use. Reusable plastic bags are at least 2.25 milliliter thick.
No, compost-able bags are not designed for multiple reuse and are not allowed in this ordinance. However, compost-able bags for protective purposes are allowed.
Contact your current bag distributor or find a new reusable bag supplier (PDF) or a recycled paper bag supplier (PDF) and inquire about 40% post-consumer recycled content paper bags or reusable bags. The ordinance requires that the 40 percent post-consumer recycled content paper bags have printed on it the percent of post-consumer recycled content, the name and location of the manufacturer, and the words Reusable” and “Recyclable.”
The Code Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department of the City of Napa is responsible for enforcing the City's Municipal Code. For those who are persistently out of compliance, a warning can be issued and fines may be imposed, ranging from $100 to $500, based on provisions relating to enforcement of violations of code set forth under the Napa Municipal Code.
Report the stolen bicycle to the Napa Police Department immediately by calling 707 257-9223 or use our online reporting system. Any Officer taking the report will be able to access the registration database and locate your bicycle’s information by the name of the person who registered it. It’s that simple.
Register your bicycle with the Napa Police Department. Your registration provides us with the necessary information so that if your bike is ever stolen, we would have a record of the serial number when you make your report. It will enable us to then submit the information about your stolen bicycle into the law enforcement databases in a quick easy step. Also if you provide a photograph, Officer’s will have that information to search for your bike!
Simply complete a bicycle registration form and submit it to the Napa Police Department, or fill out the online Napa Police Department Bicycle Registration Form. The registration forms can also be dropped off in the front lobby of the Police Department at:
1539 First StreetNapa, CA 94559Email Bicycle Registration Program
Serial numbers are a set of characters that uniquely identify an object and can be used for traceability and warranty purposes. Serial numbers, however, are especially important when reporting stolen items, such as bicycles. A serial number is a method to enter the bicycle in our state and nationwide computerized record system as lost or stolen. Input of your missing bicycle into these databases increases your chances of having your bicycle returned, and makes it possible to file charges against the person in possession of the bike.
If you would like to provide the Napa Police Department a photograph of your bicycle, this is extremely helpful in identifying your property. Often bicycles are recovered and booked into our facility, because the serial numbers have been scratched off or tampered with. An updated photograph of your bicycle will help us return it back to you. The photograph can be sent directly by Emailing the Bicycle Registration Program or uploaded with the online registration form.
Our pubic safety dispatchers are available for you 24/7/365. We provide dispatch services for the City of Napa Police Department, City of Napa Fire Department, Napa County Sheriff's Office, City of American Canyon Police Department, Town of Yountville Police Department, and AMR medical services.
For emergencies please call 9-1-1. For non-emergency incidents, please call 707-257-9223.
The Police Records Department is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. We are closed for holidays.
The Police Property Division is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please call us at _________________.
See Street Sweeping Map here:
Citywide Sweeper Route Map
Other than temporary repairs such as grinding or ramping with asphalt, City sidewalks can be repaired in one of two ways:
Please contact the City of Napa Parks and Recreation Department at (707) 257-9529.
Hydrant flushing is a periodic maintenance activity to clean and flush the City water mains. Over time, particles and minerals can build up in the water mains. Chlorine is added to the water at the treatment plants to ensure the water is safe to drink when it reaches our customers. As more deposits build up, additional chlorine needs to be added to the water which results in higher treatment costs and a less appealing taste for our customers. The deposits that build up also react with chlorine and increase the potential formation of disinfection byproducts. Flushing the fire hydrants mobilizes and removes the particles and minerals that have built up in the water mains, assisting the City in delivering higher quality water from the treatment plants to customers’ taps.
In the Unidirectional Hydrant Flushing method, City staff isolate the flushing areas by closing pre-selected system valves. With the closure of these valves, water is directed to flow in one direction (“unidirectional”) and increase the velocity of the water in the pipes, thus more effectively removing particles and minerals from the pipe than simply operating hydrants without closing valves. After several years of use by the City, this method of system maintenance has proven to be an efficient and optimal way to maintain the quality of water within water mains. Unidirectional Hydrant Flushing requires additional staff on site to open and close valves and monitor residual pressures (water pressure remaining in the system while a fire hydrant is flowing), and the Water Division may be assisted by street paving staff since asphalt paving is weather dependent and cannot be completed during most of the winter months.
The City’s overall water system has been divided into three (3) flushing areas, therefore over a three (3) year period the whole system will have been flushed and the cycle will start over again. This year, we are conducting hydrant flushing in Zone 3, which includes Napa Valley Commons (corporate park), Soscol Gateway, portions of Alta Heights and Browns Valley, Silverado Resort, and northwest Napa. Areas not included in this year’s program will be flushed in the winters of 2018-19 or 2019-20.
The flushing program may cause periods of discolored water and reduced water pressure in localized areas where flushing is being conducted. The discoloration is due to particles and minerals that have settled in the water main being mobilized by the high water velocity before being discharged through the flowing fire hydrants. The water will remain safe to use and generally clears within a few hours after flushing has been completed. Residents should monitor their water prior to starting laundry, especially when washing white clothes. Due to temporary reductions in water pressure in the vicinity of flushing operations, the reduced pressures may cause low-pressure alarms to activate on automatic fire sprinkler systems for commercial properties.
This year's flushing operations have been divided into 34 smaller flushing areas which are isolated from the rest of the water system by enforcing the direction of water flowing in the pipes. This method reduces impacts to areas not inside the active flushing area. The Water Division will update the City’s web site daily with maps identifying where we are currently flowing hydrants and where we will move to next. To limit customer impacts of discolored water and lower pressure, the flushing program is conducted during the winter months when water demands are at their lowest.
The water used for this program is not waste. It performs an essential water quality function and is a planned investment for maintaining the water system. The amount of water used is dependent on the amount of particles and minerals to be removed and the size and length of pipe to be cleaned. With less particles and minerals in the pipes thanks to previous unidirectional flushing, the volume of water needed to remove them this year will be reduced compared with previous years. The program is expected to consume just one tenth of one percent of Napa's total annual demand, minimizing the impact on our water supplies while improving water quality.
It is neither practical nor cost effective to capture high velocity flows in a mobile operation. There is equipment available today that is essentially a mobile treatment plant that treats the water and injects it back into the system, but the upfront capital cost for these systems is more than $500,000 and it is not a cost effective investment for the Water Fund.
The hydrant flushing staff will be using dechlorination tablets to remove chlorine in the water before the water goes into the storm drain system and eventually into the Napa River. Due to the high volume of water flowing from the hydrants, the dechlorination tablets may cause some bubbling of the water, giving it a soapy appearance. The tablets are environmentally safe and are being used to protect the river.
Customers may call the Water Division office at (707) 257-9521. Customers may also visit us at our office located at 1340 Clay Street between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday (except for holidays).
The previous Water Cost of Service Rate Analysis Study was performed in 2011 and resulted in five years of fixed rate increases followed by no increases from 2015 through 2017. During the last three years those rates did not recover the actual cost to provide water service. The rates need to be restructured to more appropriately reflect water system costs that do not vary with the volume of water provided.
We would be forced to reduce our investment in necessary capital improvements in the distribution system and other areas. This would lead to more frequent infrastructure failures, water service interruptions, water loss, street damage, and property damage. The end result would be higher operating costs, thereby reducing the funds now slated for infrastructure investments.
Many costs associated with the water system are fixed costs that are incurred whether customers consume water or not. For example, meters must be read, bills must be sent out, the water must be tested and treated and the pressurized system maintained to ensure water is available 24/7, including emergency repairs to water pipes that occur between 70 and 110 times per year. Customers have fire protection around the clock.
While we have had a fixed service charge for single-family residential customers since 2011, it included three units of water and reflected the price of three units. It was not a true mechanism for covering fixed costs. Most water agencies include a fixed service charge and one or more tiers of quantity charges. They typically have different rates for residential, commercial, and irrigation customers. Inclining tiered rates for single-family residential customers are important to pass on the cost of meeting peak summer demands (e.g., running three treatment plants simultaneously instead of the one treatment plant needed during winter, installing larger diameter pipes, ensuring sufficient treatment, pumping and tank storage capacity).
A structural change to the billing rates is required to reflect fixed costs that are incurred irrespective of volume of water consumed. The cost of providing 24/7 service, including fire protection, cannot be sustained when low users, those using <3 units, are charged $11 per month, which is less than the $22 cost of providing service. It is necessary that the costs incurred to ensure a reliable, available system are reflected in the rates charged to each customer. A high user of 12 units per month will pay the proportionate monthly cost, $72 (up from $67), for their service and quantity of water used. Customers that use lower quantities of water still pay less than customers who use higher quantities of water.
Due to the wide variety of usage patterns among these customers, it is extremely difficult to develop equitable tiers for these classes. Unlike residential customers that typically double or triple their water use in the summer, commercial customers tend closer to a steady pattern of use. Multi-family, commercial, and irrigation accounts will retain a single quantity charge structure, but they will also now pay a fixed service charge based on the size of their meter, the capacity that is provided to their property.
The City reads more than 25,000 water meters to generate bills. It takes five staff members approximately 20 8-hour days to read all those meters. If we billed every month, our five staff members would only read meters. Instead, we bill bimonthly (every two months) and use our meter-reading staff to perform essential work like meter repair, meter replacement, maintenance, and service calls during the days they are not reading meters. If we did bill monthly, we would need to add five more staff members to complete the same amount of work, thereby increasing our operating costs. Our ongoing Automated Meter Reading (AMR) program is slowly replacing manual read meters with electronic devices that can be read from a vehicle driving through the neighborhood. As this program progresses, we may eventually be able to convert to monthly reads without adding staff or compromising the time staff spend on other essential maintenance activities.
The City maintains a significant number of facilities necessary to deliver water to your home or business. Much of the system has been in service for 50 to 70 years or more. The system is valued at $480 million today. The City has prepared a 20-year capital improvement plan to prioritize system improvements and replacements needed to maintain a high level of service and avoid the disruptions and large costs associated with failing infrastructure. The plan recommended $9.3 million in improvements annually over the next five years. Staff have worked hard to defer and re-prioritize items to reduce critical needs to $3 million per year since 2011 but the system is old and complex. It is not responsible to continue to invest at this deficit level. The proposed rates include a phased increase from $3 million per year to $6 million by the end of the study period in 2022. Some planned investments in the near term include:
New development pays a capacity fee based on the size of their water service to "buy in" to the existing system. For example, a new single-family home pays $6,296 to connect to the water system. Funds collected from new development are used for system-wide capital improvements. For 2014-2016 the City has been collecting about $0.75 to $1 million per year from new development. Those fees are used to offset the amount ratepayers contributed for capital improvements. New development is required to pay for and install infrastructure required to serve their project. For example, if a new or larger water main is required to supply a new subdivision, the City does not pay for it out of capital improvement funds. The new development pays all costs. The $3 million, increasing to $6 million, in annual capital improvements supported by the rates are not used to benefit new development.
Water supply (22%) and labor (29%) that is available 24 hours per day 7 days per week combine to represent more than half of annual operating costs. The cost for equipment, machinery, pumps, and supplies is the next largest component. Chemicals used for water treatment are a significant fixed cost. View details in Water Rates - Breakdown of Each Dollar Spent (PDF).
The Water Division has minimized the use of consultants and contractors by using existing staff to perform work at a reduced cost. Additionally, water sampling and monitoring requirements are more stringent than they were last decade. The City refinanced the 2007 Water Revenue Bonds in January 2016 to take advantage of low interest rates and reduced debt service payments by more than $400,000 per year. Automated Meter Read (AMR) installations that continue to be installed in-house reduce the time required to read meters.
The Water Division has 62 full time equivalent employees. While the water system grows and duties increase, the Division strives to work as efficiently as possible to keep rates low. The requirements for sampling and monitoring your drinking water become more stringent every year. The City needs to remain competitive in the market for knowledgeable and certified operators for the system that delivers a safe, reliable supply of drinking water to your home or business.
Single-Family Residential: With the initial proposed December 2017 rate increase, the City would remain one of the lowest cost water providers in the region for single-family residential customers. All agencies are delivering a similar service, although they vary by size and system age. As shown in the chart, Typical Monthly Water Costs for Single-Family Residential Graph (PDF), monthly water costs for a Napa household using 8,000 gallons per month would remain among the lowest in the Bay Area and well below the regional average.
Technological advances in laboratory analytical methods allow us to detect and report constituents we did not know existed as recently as the 1970s. Federal and State drinking water regulations continue to become more stringent. The requirement to notify you directly is similar to the Prop 65 state requirement to post ‘this building contains chemicals dangerous to your health’ signs at convenience stores or other businesses. All efforts are in an effort to protect public health.
Chlorine in drinking water has prevented the spread of waterborne diseases and pathogens such as cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery and hepatitis A. At the turn of the 20th century, typhoid fever alone killed 1 person per 3,500. Drinking water chlorination and filtration have helped to virtually eliminate these diseases in the U.S. and other developed countries.
A THM, or trihalomethane, is a chemical compound that often occurs in drinking water as a result of the reaction of chlorine treatment for disinfection purposes and natural organic matter present in the water. Often formed in areas of heavy rainfall, especially after a drought or extended period where sediment and debris have not been washed from the earth, THMs are colorless, volatile and readily dissolve in water. The four common THMs are chloroform, dibromochloromethane, dichlorobromomethane, and bromoform. A new water quality regulation (DBPR-II, or Stage II of the Disinfection Byproduct Rule) requires our water to comply with a Total THM maximum contaminant level of 80 ug/l, based on a running annual average at each monitoring location. All locations within the City of Napa Water System are meeting the regulatory standard and have been in full compliance since April 2016.
A ug/l is one part per billion. It equates to one minute in two thousand years, one aspirin dissolved in an Olympic swimming pool, or a single penny in $10,000,000.
This new regulation has been a challenge to water systems all over the state of California. Three other agencies that treat the same State Water Project water we use, which is high in organics, have already exceeded this new regulatory limit.
THMs are volatile organic compounds. That means they desire to release from the water into the air, similar to the way carbonation in a carbonated beverage such as soda or seltzer water releases into the air when you first open the bottle. The City of Napa performed a small experiment at the treatment facility and analyzed several samples after they had been handled the common ways a customer might fill a glass of water to drink it in their home. This is only one experiment, but shows the nature of the reduction of THMs.
Each entry below was handled as described, then poured into a sample bottle with no head space per analytical protocols and analyzed for THMs.
4 filter (GAC) R/O system, Sierra Model NS-1N30-00 by Nimbus Water Systems
Note this is one side by side study employing standard laboratory sample techniques. The City of Napa does not recommend one filter manufacturer over another, nor does it guarantee the effectiveness of any home filter devices. All home water filter systems need regular maintenance to operate effectively. The effectiveness of filter brands is tested by the National Science Foundation (NSF). For specific information about your filter, contact the manufacturer.
Although City water is clean and safe to drink, we understand that many customers choose to use In-home filters. If you do so, please consider these tips to ensure your water remains safe:
Bottled water is not regulated to the same level that tap water in California is regulated, but producers spend high dollars on advertising. The cost of bottled water ($1 per 12 oz) is more than 250 times higher than the water that is delivered to your tap at less than a penny per gallon (0.764 cents/gallon) or $0.0007 per 12oz). Bottled water is reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. If bottled water is bottled in a different state, it may not meet the standards set by the State of California that are more stringent than USEPA requirements for some constituents. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the USEPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.