Los Osos sewer project gets $87 million

September 3, 2010

The Los Osos sewer project received $87 million in stimulus monies to construct a wastewater treatment facility, Congresswoman Lois Capps, State Senator Sam Blakeslee and County Supervisor Bruce Gibson announced Friday.

Of the monies, $83 million is a low interest loan and $4 million is in grant funds. The funding comes from the USDA Water and Environmental Program, a group that helps to provide safe wastewater infrastructure to rural areas.

The new facility is slated to bring wastewater discharge levels into compliance.

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Everything about this project is tragic. Citizens in the prohibition zone should be able to opt out of this mess by showing that they’re not polluting the ground water. Composting toilets and gray water recycling would be cheaper and actually sustainable. Why aren’t citizens allowed and encouraged to take this route?

Everything about this project is a nightmare… citizens voted during “good” economic times under intimidation tactics from the state water board. Our property value dropped 40% but the estimated cost of the sewer is still as high (and unknown) as it always been. The prohibition zone is primarily the “non-rich” part of town. Large lots in the PZ are exempt (they’re poop does not pollute I suppose). Much like schools and fire/police protection, the entire town should be paying for this, not just the people in the PZ. We’ve got a rich land owner representing us on the board of supervisors who cares nothing about affordability issues of Los Osos residents. We’ve got county employees who back-date documents and leave out major portions of other documents (when they’re not delving in each other’s pants). We’ve got a ton of debt left by the amazingly corrupt Los Osos CSD before they were voted out. We’ve got a local newspaper that expects up to get excited about a “low interest” loan; that same interest is about 4x what I can get in a savings account.

This project is big, corrupt govenment at its worst. The only losers here are the working and retired people of Los Osos. Can someone step in and help us?


If you have an acre of land and a septic tank – guess what, it works. When you have 8 to 12 houses on an acre – guess what, it overloads.

If you think the CSD that got voted out was corrupt – what do you call the idiots that got voted in and trashed the CSD and have left us with a more costly project AND a bankruptcy? The “tons of debt” as you put it, left by the old board, is NOTHING compared to what we have now.

PS, I’d have to knock out walls in both my bathrooms to fit in a composting toilet – unless of course, I installed it in my living room. And we can do gray water recycling now – if we are rich enough to afford it.

This mornings Trib is reporting:

“The The sewer project is expected to cost about $166 million, create about 2,900 jobs and provide service to about 4,700 homes.”

Holy Sewer Project! The project is actually going to cost $181M, as admitted in the USDA aplication, whe you add on lot costs just to hook the homes up. Their are 4,769 properties hooking up, their contributions vary due to apartment/mobile home, business, or if your home already has a collecton system (i.e. Vista de Oro & Bayridge subdivisions, as well as Monarh Grove, should they chose to hook up…anyone know what they’re planning to do? Currently their private sewer plant is running fine and their costs are lower than the community project, so why would they change course?)

What struck me is the “2,900 jobs”, where is the data to support that? Most of these jobs will be temporary, like 3-5 years or less. And it has to be including the pizza delivery guy to the job site. the real question is what happens AFTER the sewer construction is over…when the people left are faced with $500 per month in sewer and water bills (because the project doesn’t include the cost of groundwater management). No onewill have discressionary funds to go to La Casita or Syslvester’s anymor. The businesses will pay higher monthly’s because their wastewater strength is more potent, they’ll need more customers, not less.

There are two sides to everything. This loan is not a good thing, let’s see the terms.

Another thought on the 2,900 jobs. Please do not use any of our drinking water while you’re here.

300 temporary workers.

2599 consultants (Others have suggested “Lawyers”)

1 outreach coordinator in a Lemon Costume Chanting

“If it’s yellow let it mellow”


I believe Los Osos will have to make do with what life gave it.

The loan is a good thing IMNSHO, but you are right -it’s only half way there.

Are you the Julie that Los Osos can thank in part for this situation that we are in? If so, I’d like an apology.

Too bad we don’t know the terms of the loan. The press release sent out by USDA didn’t mention the interest rate, life of loan, or what strings are attached to the grant. Grants are not free money, you have to do exactly what the roviers expects with it (whic usually spends the whole thing). It’s on their terms that you receive it. Last we heard the loan was to be $64 million, 40 years, at 3.85%, and the grant was $16 million. What changed? Less grant more loan. We also heard tht there was no need to rush the permit through the CCC, wasting everyones time and money driving to Marina Del Ray, they didn’t need the approval after all.

Let’s not forget that the State Revolving Fund loans money to these projects and their interest is half that. They even have a 0% loan program…why isn’t Los Osos getting the best terms possible? We have been recognized as a “disadvantaged community” so where’s the real aide?

Arniearesekicker, Wallace Group is all over this project. They’ve been here since the 1990’s, rehired to do more work year after year. Perhaps they are the reason for the delays, ya think? They have made millions off of Los Osos doing studies, advising, and consulting over and over again.

It’s a “Make Work (for self) Project”. Consultants reports always end with, what’s not in the scope of this report but is related, and that they’d be happy to bid on that work when it comes time.

Julie, Thanks.

Yesterday, the blairing news comes out we have money, money, money!!, Wait, some a grant the rest a loan? OK, now how much of each, at what rate? In other words, gimme some numbers for Christ’s sake.

What the media was really reporting was,”Hey, Los Osos, your in debt up to your eyebrows!!”.

But, instead it’s sounding more like, Congrats!! You just won a free sewer!!!

It’s like somebody just parked abrand-new Cadillac in my driveway next to my perfectly running Toyota then knocked on my door to hand me the $30,000 payment book, congratulated me & walked off.

The media, Gibson, all the contractors, “experts” and others who just created job security for themselves are what the celebrating is really about. Los Osans got the wrong sewer, the wrong contractors, consultants, engineers and studys pushed through by the wrong supes. Los Osos should and could have been the model for all the future towns who will lose their aquifers to drawndown and pollution which will eventually be most of them, I mean, what? things are going to turn around in the future in this dying planet?? Population ISN’T exploding?? We were shown NEW technology by the best (and most progressive engineers and companies in the world) who were chased away by the Hicks and Rednecks who are trying to save their worthless and outdated jobs. And they KNEW IT!! The ENGINEERS KNEW IT!!! They are sewer Engineers !!

We got the Cadillac parked in our driveways because the” salesman” (the County, Gibson and others) make more money selling “the little old lady” (Los Osans) a Big new Caddy rather than a Prius.

Gibson, I’ll send you, Bianchi and others my “payment book” for this hog you just parked in my driveway, you wanted it, you pay for it. Where’s my Prius? What a couple of antiques you are and what a bunch of cowards down at the county because they didn’t have the cajones or the brains to undertake the new technology sitting in front of them. Lazy, dumb, bottom of the barrel bureaucrats win again.

Spot on.

Be very wary of those who come bearing gifts. The projects usually work as a loan first process, where in the amount of the project, if the county has their numbers correct, will be paid for by a loan, then a grant might pick up the balance. If the amount of the project is less than county figures show, the grant will not apply all…

And those numbers reported in the fishwrap seem a bit high to me as well,“The The sewer project is expected to cost about $166 million, create about 2,900 jobs and provide service to about 4,700 homes.”

The one thing to keep in mind, when the county does any project, is that the price will include staff time and their overhead to administer the project. I was told that figure is somewhere between 30-40% depending on the project.

Maybe if the Planning Commission hadn’t taken its sweet time in an absurd number of hearings to get us to the Coastal Commission (we KNEW it was going THERE, right?) we would have been at the head of the line instead of the tail of the line for the grant.

Hey inverse Condemnation, maybe you should call the Wallace Group who was, and may still be the Administrator and provide engineer for the OCSD. Funny Oceano should have flooding issues considering Wallace himself was supposedly a big wig for the Los Angles Flood Control District for years….On the other hand that probably answers the question why does Oceano flood when it rains.

—————————Arniearsekicker————DCE Wallace is seen in an Oceano Drainage letter in March 13, 1985 when the Oceano Community Service District paid Caltrans $5,000.00 dollers for their share of State Highway 1 Drainage per a March 13, 1985 Signed contract with Caltrans when the Oceano Community Service District added onto their fire Station in 1985, adding to storm water drainage in Oceano on State Highway 1!

The Oceano wastewater treatment facility is in direct line with this drainage coming from State Highway 1 as seen in Caltrans 1953 photos at http://www.oceanonursery.com/ It is interesting that a sewer line does run under the culvert that Caltrans, OCSD and the County of San Luis Obispo uses for their storm water drainage and retention!

The Wallace Group is not responsible for the flooding of Oceano, however they do manage our wastewater treatment plant!

I would hope for the residents in Los Osos that they will not have to pay back this $87 million in stimulus monies to construct a wastewater treatment facility that should have been constructed by the County of San Luis Obispo 40 years ago while under the Counties full control!

Inverse Condemnation (Hi Bill), not only does Los Osos have to pay back $87 million (at 3.85% for 40 years) we have to find over $100 million more in funding. The project is incomplete. Add to that the fact that vacant lots have been dropped from the finacial formula, so the current developed properties will have to pick up the cost of the pipe, storage, and treatment for as long as it takes to find the water to allow them to build and hook up and pay their share.

Then there’s what it costs to complete the cycle of wastewater back to supply, this plan doesn’t exisit yet and purveyors won’t likely agree when there is one in front of them. Then of course the rate payers have to approve the water rate increases to cover the cost of whatever managment plan Wallace Group is pitching. Could be $35 million more, if we end up with Naci warter. Which appears the County PW Dept. is pushing as witnessed by the local realtors a few weeks ago when John Hollenbeck came to LO and gave a 30 page slide show on the progress of that project. Perfect audience. And the recent draft Countywide Master Water Plan. Naci pitched to the realtors. Not a the bad guys, just one profesion that gets paid any time a house sells. First by someone who can’t afford to stay and again when someone who can afford it buys it. Who else would they pitch Naci to?

Hi Jules.

The Los Neci monster.






60 days to a physical distribution of output waters plan?

About how much actual recharge percent?

Not sure what you’re asking Alon.

The Groundwater Managemenet Plan was to have been released last December. ISJ participants report they are trying to get it out “by the end of this year”. Since we’ve heard that before, I’m no longer holding my breath.

As for “recharge”, this project will only minimally recharge the lower basin at the Broderson site (most of the water will go into the upper aquifer, where much of it goes now), the irrigation of farm land provide little if any recharge. As you know, the reduction in farm pumping is the benefit of irrigation with wastewater. The real question is, will the farmers buy in to it? Will we have to pay them to stop pumping and how much? Of course, ag contracts are not part of the latest contract with Wallace Group, we’ll have to wait and see what it costs. Or perhaps the rumor is true that ECOSLO is going to work the ag contracts, which would conflict Maria Kelly out of ISJ discussions.

IFunctional process of comments to the documents

As opposed to being Al Barrow and managing to phone the Director of The Ag department directly to represent the interests of all Los Ossans.

With 5 candidates slate 3 to be chosen I don’t see Maria (if Recusation necessary needed on the CSD side)

Speaking of Nessie




This belongs here;

Have any of you noted the great projects Lois has brought to our area? SLO airport, Santa Maria airport and now this? People will work! Infrastructure will improve! Kvetch all you like. But, praise God, things are moving.

Yeah, backwards and fast.

Do you really think you want to continue paying for these as yet unneeded, and especially when peering into our future, unaffordable projects which will become even more unaffordable as they languish unused?

The party is over, Mike, time to save and conserve. People ain’t gonna be flyin’ around like b4 cuz there ain’t gonna be money around OR the reason to. Simply put.

I remember back a couple of decades ago when the cost was much lower, the county and the citizens had a chance to go forward with the project. Then came the bickering and lawsuits, today the cost is $87 million and it still isn’t built…

The $87 is the loan

134 or some such number for the base cost, which will be 160 million if no one sneezes.

Easy mistake to make if you are just typing a response on a Blog, Money.

But what’s 40 million among friends.

There have been so many numbers.

“The $87 is the loan”

Oh, I am well aware of this fact and also the other fact that all of us taxpayers footed this “stimulus money”…

If memory serves, the original sum discussed was $10-11 million…

$87,000,000 divided by 15,000 crappers in Los Osos = $5800 per person.

If the average Ososan lives 30 more years and craps 1X/day that’s 11,000 flushes per crapper over the life of the project, or approximately 40¢ per flush.

The unanswered question is why do I gotta pay for it? I don’t live in Los Osos, and I couldn’t care less if they steep in their feces forever.

I’ll type this slowly racket

It is a LOAN

A “give it backsies”

Thank you for caring about our collective regularity.

Thank you, Alon, for speaking slowly.

Being a dolt, I thought that when the bankers forced me to buy a house with what they called a “loan,” I didn’t have to pay it back.

I now know differently. After several years of making “payments” on the loan, I have discovered that the “loan” is to be repaid. Further, by the time I repay the “loan” with “interest,” the cost of my house will be triple what the realtor said it was.

Now, in the case of Los Osos being given a “low interest” “loan,” who are we to surmise will subsidize the under-market interest? I believe it will be me, and a bunch of others who don’t care whether Los Osos drowns in sewage or craps itself.

A subsidy is a subsidy, whether it’s couched in “give it backsies” language or not.

Thanks for your answer, well wrote, nevertheless there is a “stimulus” benefit assoaciated, that brings money into the county, At least that is what my voodoo economics doll is telling me.

Alon, please put the voodoo down and back away slowly. “Brings money into the county” means redistribution of tax dollars paid by yours truly and others. I agree with Racket. Why should I have to pay for Los Osos? I am already still paying for those massive FEMA trailers that were purchased for the Katrina refugees. We know how THAT turned out. I am tired of government using MY hard earned money unwisely and without my voice. STOP IT!

danika, if YOU don’t live in the PZ of Los Osos, YOU are not PAYING ANYTHING for those of us who do live there…

I’ll ask you what your name asks:RU4Real?

Where do you think stimulus money comes from?

Join the club, more than half we Los Osans don’t have curbs or gutters or storm drainage. As a matter of fact we have many bumpy, potholed dirt paths, not roads in front of our houses. And I guess you didn’t know, MOST of our prop. tax which is high as hell compared to most of the county who get more services, goes out to you guys. You ain’t payin’ for my stuff , Pal, we’re paying for what you already have and we deserve more.

justme, YOU are so right, the County treated us like step children for YEARS & ignored giving us services of any kind…The unpaved streets are a classic example of the level of neglect by the county, they took our property tax dollars & gave us NOTHING in return…

Racket, if YOU don’t live in the PZ area of Los Osos, YOU are NOT paying…Further, it’s NOT 15,000 crappers, It’s 5000 homeowners in the PZ (and ONLY the PZ) who are footing the entire bill for this outrageous disaster…Next, I suppose the corrupt county of SLO will DEMAND the same 5000 homeowners provide WATER FOR THE ENTIRE AREA too! Isn’t it time that the COUNTY accepts the fact that THEY created the problems in the PZ…or has everyone forgotten about 83-13? BTW, the cost of this project was DRIVEN UP IN HUGE PART, thanks to people like Gail McPherson, Al Barrow, etc. etc. Thanks! They do not own property in the PZ, but everyone else is paying BIG BUCKS because of their frivolous “law suits”…

———————–It would be nice to see some of this money come to Oceano to solve the flooding of our State Highway that the Second Appellate Court has ruled is permanent flooding of State Highway 1. This flooding in Oceano once flooded the Oceano sewer plant! Help is needed! http://assemblymankatchoachadjian.com/

The Oceano Community Service District Letter to Southern Pacific Railroad April 21, 1983 stated in Quotes Exhibt # 1756 Dated April 21, 1983 written to the San Luis Obispo County; Showing the Oceano Community Service District taking the Oceano Communities Drainage channel/Culvert for other use’s then Storm Water Drainage. This action of eminent domain has caused this drainage system to not be able to stabilize and does not allow a date of stabilization! OCSD States:

“This Channel has been protected by use of a culvert that would conduct surface waters under Southern Pacific tracks to what may be a bunker under the loading docks of the Pismo-Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE) . The water, then, might flow to a small retention basin maintained by POVE.”

“Because this is an established drainage channel. The District feels that its full design capacity should be available for use. Reserch, however has not clearly revealed the agency responsible for the maintenance of the channel. Consequently , we have no idea the condition of the channel and wheather, in its present state of maintenance, it can adequately carry the quantity of water that will be discharged.”

The flooding talked about by the Second Appellate Court P. 3 of their published California Case Law decision, was in December 2002 and does not flood Oceano Nursery! This is backed up as seen in the photos of an OCSD employee cutting the OCSD PVC pipe in the aftermath of this rain event! The Second Appellate Court on P. 3 of their published decision July 28, 2010 acknowledge the complaint of this use of this drainage system in June 2002 in exhibit #579 withheld from discovery by the County of San Luis Obispo! This information is seen at http://www.lieutenantgovernormaldonado.com

Exhibit # 1768 showed the Oceano Community Service District taking this drainage channel for other uses then Storm Water drainage followed by their hap hazard maintenance. This document takes all liability away from POVE with the Oceano Community Service Distict changing the Stabilization of this drainage system from their September 11, 1985 OCSD meeting minutes up to their January 7, 2008 daily log! OCSD in 1985 would not allow water from this system to their sewer plant per documents presented to Judge Martin J. Tangeman!

The Second Appellate Courts allowed use of Government to use Storm Water Drainage channels in this manner affects all California Inverse Condemnation Law beginning with Skoumbas v. City of Orinda and now Bookout v. State of California!

The Second Appellate Court States on Page 8 and Page nine of their July 28, 2010 published California Case Law decision: —“Here there is an obvious cause of the flooding. The Exchange modified the drainage by constructing a junction box and pipeline that redirected the flow of water by 90 degrees. The Exchange has settled with Bookout. Evidence that the remaining defendants contributed to the conditions that caused the flooding rests largely in Crowe’s expert testimony. As helpful as expert opinion can be, such testimony carries a built-in bias: experts are most often very well paid for their opinions. The trial court had good reason to be skeptical of Crowe’s testimony. We apply the usual rule on appeal that the trier of fact is not required to believe the testimony of any witness, even if uncontradicted. (Sprague v. Equifax, Inc. (1985) 166 Cal.App.3d 1012, 1028.) The evidence presented here did not compel the trial court to find in favor of Bookout.”

The Second Appellate Court Justices–Steven Z. Perren, Kenneth R. Yegan and Arthur Gilbert with their July 28, 2010 published California Case Law decision has now ended all prior inverse condemnation law, that once protected United States residents! They allow California Judges to withhold evidence attached with exhibits as Stated by Union Pacific Railroad to Judge Martin J. Tangeman! “And for the purpose of the exhibits we don’t need the photographs.” Judge Martin J. Tangeman States: “All Right” Per Exhibit 579 documents and photos!

Congratulations to Los Osos————–The Wallace Group has been involved with the Oceano Drainage since the early 80’s and now the State Highway floods during every rain event!

Dude, except for the last line there was nothing about Los Osos in your comment.

Once the sewage in Los Osos has backed up into Oceano, well then drain cube away!

God help the poor folks of Los Osos if the Wallace Group gets ahold of this one.