HISTORY ABOUT THE WINTON DISTRICT
The community of Winton is located in the Central San Joaquin Valley, about 270 miles northwest of Los Angeles, 118 miles southeast of San Francisco and 100 miles south of Sacramento. Merced, the County Seat, is located approximately seven (7) miles east of Winton. Access to Winton is via Santa Fe Drive or off Highway 99 and north on Applegate.
Winton is an unincorporated community located just north of the City of Atwater and five (5) miles southeast of Livingston. The town has no large manufacturing or non-manufacturing employment. Winton has three schools, two for grades K-5 and one for grades 6-8. Students from Winton attend Atwater High School. The population is approximately 9,500 persons in the greater area. The community is predominately residential improved with fair to average quality single family residential dwellings. There is a commercial district of approximately three blocks in length, which is typical of small towns, with mixed commercial, service-type commercial and vacant land.
Winton is served by utilities consisting of natural gas, electricity and telephone service, cable television provided by AT&T, and the Winton Water and Sanitary District. Fire protection is provided by the Winton Volunteer Fire Department and the Merced County Division of the California Department of Forestry. Police protection is provided by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. The Winton Volunteer Community Law Enforcement Organization (CLEO) was formed in 1995. Some areas have off-site improvements consisting of asphalt-paved streets and concrete curbs and gutters, while others do not. The geographic area of Winton is about one (1) square mile.
The Winton Sanitary District (hereinafter called “District”) was formed in 1952 under the State of California Sanitary Act of 1923, to provide and maintain adequate wastewater treatment and disposal as well as health standards for the community. The District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors (hereinafter called “Board”) elected by the residents of the District.
On March 6, 1978, the District and the City of Atwater entered into an agreement for the connection of sewage disposal facilities.
The District’s main pump station was constructed as a part of the Atwater-Winton Interceptor Project. Delivery by the pumps to the Atwater treatment plant is through a 12” interceptor sewer line. The District provided $200,000.00 and received a government grant for $870,000.00 to pay for this project.
On June 27, 1988, the District and the City of Atwater entered into an agreement to increase the treatment capacity to 1 MGD (million gallons per day). In order for the City of Atwater to accommodate this increased capacity, the District, as a part of this agreement, incurred a cost of $2,396,589.00 for the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Expansion. This debt was paid in full on March 23, 1998 from funds provided by the Winton Public Facilities Corporation. *
In early 1981, the Sanitary District started proceedings to purchase the Winton Water Company, a privately-owned company. After almost five years of court proceedings, the Water Company was purchased on December 16, 1985 at a cost of slightly over $1,000,000.00.
On November 15, 1990, the Board voted to establish the Winton Community Facilities District 90-1 and to authorize the levy of a special tax within the Winton Community Facilities Act of 1982.
The Winton Community Facilities District 90-1 was established to finance the construction, acquisition, modification, expansion or rehabilitation of certain real and other tangible property consisting of sewer and water facility improvements.
In July 1991, bonds were sold for $2,650,000.00 to finance these public facilities that benefit the property within the boundaries of the Winton Community Facilities District 90-1. The property owners are responsible for paying an annual special tax in order to repay the debt. This debt was paid in full 2009.
In January 1994, the District launched a master meter program to install meters on all water services. This project was accomplished by installing four hundred meters a year. The project was completed in December 1996.
* The Winton Public Facilities Corporation, refunding Certificates of Participation (a non-profit public benefit corporation), was established February 13, 1998 to pay off the debt owed to Atwater, build a new lift station and accomplish other major improvements as needed.
As of January 2015, the Winton Water & Sanitary District has eight full-time employees. The District services 2,492 sewer connections and 2,559 water connections.