Santa Margarita property owners vote down water reliability tax
May 25, 2012
Santa Margarita property owners voted overwhelmingly against a San Luis Obispo County drought reliability plan that would have required the creation of an assessment district, according to San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder Julie Rodewald.
The plan, spearheaded by SLO County Public Works Director Paavo Ogren and Supervisor Jim Patterson, would have turned Santa Margarita into a drought reliability assessment district. If it had passed, property owners would have been required to pay a yearly assessment for the connection to state water.
Currently, the residents of Santa Margarita utilize ground water.
“Prior to importing costly state water, it would make sense to explore our local resources,” said Santa Margarita resident George Sullivan.
Ballots for the proposed drought reliability assessment district were weighted according to evaluations of each property. There were $146,947 in no votes and $49,533 in yes votes.
Proponents of the project said it would have provided residents of the area the ability to use state water in times of drought.
Opponents of the proposed assessment district questioned the reliability of state water during a drought. In addition, they said that the town is fully built out, and in more than 100 years, they have never had to ration water.
A similar measure in Nipomo, which would have required property owners to fund a $29.8 million dollar supplemental water pipeline from Santa Maria, failed earlier this month.