Herndon Town Making Name on City Map

November 22, 2009 6:36:50 PM PST
Residents of Herndon town in Northwest Fresno will soon have something they've never had before: Water delivered straight from the city and sewer hook ups.The city has received over $800,000 to install sewer pipes and water lines to each home. Residents we spoke to here said they're grateful. Now they just have to come up with a way to pay the city for the connection fees.

Shon Nieto claims watering the lawn is about all this water is good for in Herndon town, and washing dishes.

Since May residents in this community have been instructed twice to boil their water because of harmful bacteria. Nieto has made a habit of drinking bottled water since. Water that comes to his house is pumped out of the Herndon Water Company tanks and through these old, small pipes in the ground.

"Some of the pipes are 70 years old. They're this thick," said Fresno council member Andreas Borgeas.

Borgeas said these residents will not have to worry about their water much longer.

The city received $800,000 from two federal grants to install new water pipes and add sewer lines to all 70 homes in the area. Streets are already marked off for construction.

Borgeas: "This area has been in desperate need of quality infrastructure."

Another benefit of hooking up to the city's water system is fire protection. Hydrants like this are starting to pop up all over Herndon town.

Borgeas said the next step is to help these residents pay for the connection fees associated with water and sewer hook ups. Fees that can easily run $5,000.

Borgeas: "There were some off line discussions about cost saving mechanisms and I think that inspired some folks to start digging."

This first term council member witnessed first hand how dedicated his constituents are to fixing the problem. It took Nieto 9 hours to dig out this trench.

"With machinery" asked Borgeas of Nieto.

"This is my machine..my two arms," said Nieto as the two laughed.

Borgeas asks residents here to hold off on digging up their yards. Later this week he plans to announce a meeting with homeowners to discuss payment options to cover connection fees.


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