Nipomo water pipeline vote closes Wednesday

May 7, 2012

Voting on whether or not Nipomo should pay about $29.8 million for a supplemental water pipeline from Santa maria is scheduled to end Wednesday morning. [SantaMariaTimes]

About half of the ballots, 4,006, have been received by the assessment district. However, because the ballots are weighted according to the assessment of each property, more than 50 percent of actual votes have not been turned in.

Two large block-vote holders, Shea Homes and Woodlands Ventures, have already agreed to vote in favor of the pipeline that is slated to bring 2,500 acre-feet of water to the Mesa from Santa Maria.

Of the anticipated $29.8 million in cost, $2.3 million would come from a state grant, $6 million would be paid by the Nipomo Community Services District, and property owners would be responsible for the remaining $21.6 million which would be covered by issuing bonds. Property owners will be given the choice of paying up front in a lump sum or spreading their payments over 30 years.

Proponents of the project contend it will offset the amount of water pumped from the Nipomo Groundwater Basin and help prevent seawater intrusion.

Opponents dispute claims of seawater intrusion. In addition, they argue that they are pulling water from their own basin, but from another “straw,” because the Nipomo Basin is part of the larger Santa Maria Groundwater Basin, the Santa Maria Times said.

Officials with the Nipomo Community Services District plan to announce the results of the vote at a special meeting set for 3 p.m. Thursday.

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Zzzzzzzz…. growth vs. anti-growth all over again

You are correct–it is about being able to shove more homes onto the Nipomo Mesa. The Nipomo CSD did a tricky thing with their last Urban Water Management Plan update (2010). They changed the way that they figured the population for the district. The way it is figured now, the population (water users) in the district is much lower than it was when it was figured using the 2009 formula.

Voila! The County and Nipomo CSD can justify building their high-density housing cracker-boxes on the Nipomo Mesa.

Understand, there are the same number of Nipomo CSD water users (population) as before they changed the formula for figuring it out. It is just that now the county and the Nipomo CSD can claim there are a lot fewer people living in the district.