Pismo Beach declares emergency

January 4, 2011

The damage from December’s rains is estimated to cost the City of Pismo Beach $1 million and has prompted the City Council to declare a local state of emergency. [KSBY]

The rain is being blamed for costly damages including the collapse of a storm drain on Franklin Street, flooding and erosion.

The proclamation allows the city to seek reimbursement from the state and federal governments for some of the expenses incurred during the storms.

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The rain our county has “suffered” from was really no big deal, and nothing that shouldn’t be expected to occur many times in our life. I think its bordering on criminal, or maybe criminal, for PIsmo Beach to claim that those rain storms were so out of the ordinary that the city should not have been expected to be prepared to deal with it properly. The funds the city is seeking were certainly NOT intended to pay for this kind of thing under those circumstances. It comes down to Pismo officials wanting the nation’s taxpayers to foot the bill for decades of deferred maintenance that the PIsmo Beach citizens should have been paying for for years. But this kind of phony bureaucratic stuff goes on in cities everywhere, while the citizens turn a blind eye to it.

We are just as corrupt as our politicians. Our government IS us. We just don’t like to admit it. WE are the cheap sons of bitches who haven’t kept our sewage systems up to par to the point we will be sickening more and more people.

There are few things more important to a community than taking care of its feces. But most people act like when they flush it, the turd fairies come and fly it away to turd heaven so we never need concern ourselves, even though it was only a hundred years ago when people were pooping in buckets each morning or digging holes for their outhouses.

The Turd faries …LOL, your right in your thoughts and local cities that thrive on the tourist dollar try to fool the residents that spending your tax dollars on attracting tourists will create the revenue needed to maintain your infrastructure. Look at the local roads in Grover or other places that are behind the scenes or off the beaten path, Tijuana has better roads. You can chrome plate a turd, but its still a turd.

Same on the other end. Everyone knows that the Food Faries restock the supermarket shelves every night.

Is anyone really surprised that cities have been deferring maintenance issues for as long as they can? Short term, quarter to quarter thinking like those in the business world has infected almost every facet of those in any sort of leadership position so that long term, effective planning and more importantly budgeting seems more like some sort of esoteric exercise that is not in touch with reality. When leaders on a national level are intent on cutting revenue by cutting taxes and then use the excuse of lack of revenue to raid state coffers, the state leaders then do the same by raiding counties and it all is connected. Unfortunately it seems as if the only way to manage cities and counties now days is by “state of emergency” declarations, when if they were managed effectively, the so-called emergencies could be addressed when they happen because they would not happen so often because the infrastructure has been maintained so as to handle most “events” without incident.

Lets us not forget about the Pismo Chamber scandal and keep in mind the sewer system dosent attract tourists so why bother fixing it.

I think it’s more human nature to not deal with things unless they get so bad that there are no other options. For a sewer or drainage system, that’s not hard to justify, as most of it is “out of sight.”

Totally agree, Wiseguy. Watching one system failure after another one could only

conclude that a failure of infrastructure maintenance & repair is to blame. It’s a disgrace.

Makes you wonder just where your tax money and utility payments go. And then you remember: the same fat cats who then cry “emergency”.

Special interests…that’s where your tax money goes.

I don’t think its a situation where money was misspent. Citizens simply have not been asked to pay adequate fees to keep the sewage systems in proper repair. Americans have been particularly stingy when it comes to paying people to deal with their crap. So stingy that politicians have been afraid to ask citizens to pay a few dollars more a month to cover costs. Since this has been going on for decades, the cost to repair the systems now is enormous, equal to 50 to 100 years of deferred maintenance in many cases.

Pismo’s problems are because of deferred maintenance. Blaming storms is disingenuous because such problems were easily predicted and could have been avoided with proper, recommended and timely maintenance of its sewage collection system. The treatment plant was upgraded, but not the equipment leading to and from the treatment plant.

This situation is not unique to Pismo. Cities throughout California have been letting their sewage collection systems rot, knowing full well that they should be better maintained, but they spend the money elsewhere, because sewage systems are considered “out of sight, out of mind.”

It’s definitely the case in Morro Bay. Some residents (one of them an expert in sewer collection system maintenance) did research a couple of years ago. They found that in the Morro Bay sewers, there is a hole, a crack, or a separation between pipe sections, on average, every 11.4 feet. Those openings can and do let sewage leak into the ground during dry weather, and let water into the system during wet weather. Some of same the problem areas that were seen in recent video inspections also were seen in videos that were done years before.

Many people believe that the money that should be used to fix these problems is spent instead to benefit special interests. There is certainly a lot of evidence to indicate that is the case.

I remember seeing some film a number of years ago showing the deplorable condition of the MB sewer lines. Yet I have never seen evidence of or heard of any repairs being made. And Heaven only knows what condition the Cayucos lines

are in.

According to the same expert who reviewed the Morro Bay system, the Cayucos lines are in at least as bad shape, and possibly worse