Board members hope the public will approve a special parcel tax measure in November, which would then allow them to connect to the city's sewer system, said District Administrator Mike Rodriguez.

The Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks District voted unanimously Friday to allocate $10,000 toward a new temporary leach field in order to keep the City Park’s sewer system operational.

Board members hope the public will approve a special parcel tax measure in November, which would then allow them to connect to the city’s sewer system, said District Administrator Mike Rodriguez.

The park’s existing leach fields were installed in 1971 and consist of four 100 foot lines. However, over the past 47 years the lines have become “saturated with effluent,” said Bill Navarre, who recently retired from the county as the Deputy director of Environmental Health.

“(The lines) are completely failed at this point” due to their age, Navarre told the board during an emergency meeting Friday morning at the City Park’s Upper Lodge. He called the temporary system “a stop gap measure” to get by until a connection can be made to the city’s sewer system.

The temporary leach system will consist of two 100-foot lines, and will be sufficient to serve the park’s needs for approximately two years, said Navarre.

Eventual connection to the city’s system would save the District on many costs, including frequent septic pumping and spendy repairs to the pump system, said Rodriguez.

There is also the public perception that leach lines are detrimental to the Headwaters. Although this is not scientifically accurate, board member Steve Mitrovich said connection to the city’s system may be preferable to those who are adverse to the idea of underground leach fields.

Navarre said if the parcel tax measure doesn’t pass in November, expanding the temporary septic system would be relatively easy, though not a preferable solution. The District would need to redesign the system with larger septic tanks and a more effective pumping system.

The City Park’s current septic system has been in “a state of failure” for more than 20 years, said Rodriguez. “It’s always been a concern,” he said, especially during events, such as the upcoming Blackberry Festival, which put extra strain on the system.

Because the District’s proposed special tax is to be used for specific purposes, it will require a two-thirds vote of approval by voters in the November 6 General Election.

The proposed tax would be $75 annually for developed parcels and $40 for undeveloped parcels and would be used to “restore historic District park buildings; enhance park security and lighting; improve critical infrastructure such as sewer, roads, parking, and trails; repair existing soccer, softball, ice rink, tennis court sites and construct new facilities.”

The parcel tax would collect an estimated $300,000 annually, and end after 25 years.

During Friday’s meeting, a motion was made by board member Renee Casterline with a second by Caporaso and it was approved unanimously with yes votes from Quin McDowell and Mitrovich. Board member Randy Cardoza was not at the meeting.

Construction on the temporary leach field will begin next week.