WatchSonoma Watch
Windsor to finance water-saving efforts for residents

Windsor residents will be able to install water-saving measures, fixtures and appliances without upfront cost or taking on debt. Financed by the town, the program allows homeowners and renters to pay for the upgrades over five to 15 years with a surcharge on their utility bill. Officials say the amount customers save on their bills by cutting water consumption will more than offset the bi-monthly surcharge to pay for things such as high-efficiency washing machines, toilets, showerheads, on-demand hot-water recirculation pumps, and turf replacement.

Windsor grapples with increase in apartment projects

A surge in the number of apartments proposed in Windsor is giving pause to some Town Council members and prompting soul searching on whether the high-density projects will alter the town character. About 1,150 apartment dwellings are currently proposed, prompting questions whether Windsor can handle that many built in a short period and whether the influx of renters will create a different sense of community than comes with home ownership.

Windsor sets 9% water rate hike

Windsor water and sewer rates are poised to rise by 9 percent in September, but the average bill will still be among the lowest for cities in Sonoma County. Windsor’s typical bill will go from the current $85.45 a month to $94.13. Only Rohnert Park, at an average $92, would be lower, according to a survey conducted by Windsor’s consultant. But some people also are going to start having to pay to irrigate with Windsor’s recycled wastewater.

Windsor urges Congress to limit political spending by corporations

Windsor this week joined a growing list of local and state governments urging Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to limit political spending by corporations. “In my mind, corporations have too much influence,” Mayor Debora Fudge said Friday. Do you think the Citizens United decision should be overturned?

Windsor approves Bell Village development

Windsor’s Town Council on Wednesday unanimously approved Bell Village, one of the biggest developments proposed in Windsor in years. The mixed-use project, just east of the Town Green, includes 387 rental apartments and townhomes and 80,000 square feet of commercial space anchored by Oliver’s Market.

Windsor to pay $1.1 million in state ‘ransom’ to save redevelopment agency

Windsor is the latest city in Sonoma County to reluctantly decide to pay the state to keep its redevelopment agency alive. Mayor Steve Allen referred to it as “shakedown money,” and Councilwoman Robin Goble described it as “ransom.” But in the end, the Town Council unanimously agreed Wednesday night to give the state $1.1 million this fiscal year and about $270,000 subsequently for the next 30 years.

Windsor officials decry proposed school site

Windsor council members don’t have control over where a new school will go, but they voiced strong objections Wednesday to building one on the town’s periphery — and questioned whether it’s even needed. “It will create a circulation nightmare,” Councilwoman Robin Goble said of the controversial Jensen Lane Elementary School.

Windsor Town Council guarantees fireworks show

Times may be tight, but that’s not going to stop Windsor’s free Independence Day fireworks show. The Windsor Town Council agreed Wednesday to plunk down a $7,250 deposit toward the cost of the July 3 fireworks show, although it expects to be reimbursed by community donations that will be collected in the next three months.

Windsor finances better than most

Mayor Steve Allen said he is “in awe” of the good job Windsor has done with its budget. The town is arguably in the best fiscal shape of all Sonoma County cities, with a comfortable cushion of reserves in its general fund. But even though it has been able to avoid layoffs and many of the cutbacks experienced by its neighbors, there are still trouble signs.

Meet Windsor’s new mayor

The Windsor Town Council selected Steve Allen to serve as mayor for the next year. No one ran to oppose him in November, when voters handed Allen his fourth term in office. “It was a race well run,” Allen quipped at Wednesday’s council meeting. See why he thinks challengers sat out this year’s election.

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