Morro Bay Council rejects proposed sewer plant

January 4, 2013

By KAREN VELIE

UPDATE: Morro Bay City Attorney Rob Schulz said Morro Bay is not pulling its application, it is asking that the Coastal Commission deny the application.

At a highly contentious special meeting, the Morro Bay City Council voted 3-2 Thursday evening to withdraw its application to build a new sewer plant at the site of the current plant.

For years, officials in Morro Bay have worked to rebuild the city’s nearly 60-year-old sewage-treatment plant. Last year, the Coastal Commission said it wanted the city to move the plant a mile from the coastline.

Morro Bay’s former council argued that such a move would add up to seven years to the three-year project and 50 percent more to its estimated $60 million cost which could double sewer bills.

Prior to the November election, four of the council members were against moving the plant or terminating the three consultants hired through an agreement with the Cayucos Sanitary District. Now, the council has three members in favor of withdrawing its permit approval application with the Coastal Commission while the city looks into its options.

Approximately 100 people attended the meeting with most asking that the plant get moved from its current beachfront location and many wanting the three consultants promoting the project terminated.

Morro Bay and Cayucos Sanitary District entered into agreements with Dennis Delzeit for project management services for a total of $253,000,with Dudek for alternative analysis reports is for a total of $455,642 and with McCabe to seek favor with the Coastal Commission for a total of $155,000.

It is unclear if the project manager Dennis Delzeit works for Wallace and the Wallace Group or if Wallace is working for Delzeit. Nevertheless, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has accused Wallace of criminal acts in his administration of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District and said it is asking the attorney general to conduct an investigation.

While Mayor Jamie Irons voted to pull the permit application, he elected to change the wording from termination to suspension in the resolution on the three consultant contracts noting that he is a friend of John Wallace.

“I respect John Wallace; he is a decent man,” Irons said.

Dennis Delzeit also said he was aware of the allegations of criminal acts against Wallace, but not concerned.

Councilman Noah Smukler said he wanted the three contracts terminated, as opposed to suspended, partly because of Wallace’s involvement.

Members of the Cayucos Sanitary District said they were unable to attend because of holiday scheduling conflicts. So, even though the Morro Bay City Council voted to withdraw its permit application, the co-application by Cayucos will go in front of the commission as planned. In addition, even though Morro Bay has suspended its consultant contracts, Cayucos contracts with the consultants are ongoing.

Mayor Irons along with council members Christine Johnson and Noah Smukler voted in favor of canceling the permit application while suspending the consultant’s contracts while council members George Leage and Nancy Johnson angrily dissented.

In 2003, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board informed Cayucos and Morro Bay that they would have to upgrade their plant by March 2014 or face penalties. Opponents of pulling the permit application contend doing so will make it impossible to get a new plant constructed by the deadline.

Nancy Johnson said the vote to pull the Coastal Commission permit application could result in legal issues with Cayucos.

“For better or for worse, the three of you own the project,” she said.

 


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taxpayer

You really have to wonder about new city council people who vote to raise sewer rates to the point where many seniors on fixed incomes who have lived in Morro Bay all their lives are forced from their homes because they won’t be able to pay their sewer bill and then end the meeting reading quotes from ” The New Yorker” magazine. This is going to bankrupt this city and leave a lot of people wishing they’d never opened a business here. Cayucos, who has been working together with Morro Bay for years, has now been sold down the river and they will never trust anything that the Morro Bay City Council has to say from last night forward. So much damage in so little time.


brook

Apparently you get all your information from that ridiculous “Fogcutters” website. “Be Afraid. Really Afraid” is their meme. Curiously nothing they write ever seems to get a response. Not enough fraidy cats in Morro Bay taking the bait?


You are offended by someone who reads The New Yorker? That says more about you than the reader you seek to denigrate;


“meme” and “denigrate” can be found by Googling. No need to wait for the library to open so you can use a dictionary.


taxpayer

Apparently you haven’t lived here long enough to know the history of this project. These City Council members have done their damage and the rest of us will pay for it. Water flows downhill. This is not a new concept. It’s called gravity. Bankruptcy, foreclosure and idiocy are also in the dictionary. I don’t know anything about the “Fogcutter” but I do know that last night’s decision will cost Morro Bay and Cayucos an unimaginable amount of money, agony and division. After this council has done their damage they will be free to move somewhere else. Some of us have been here over 50 years and can’t believe the damage a few newcomers have done to the City of Morro Bay. After that meeting last night, this city is doomed to less money for streets, seniors, children’s activities and emergency services. When we’re still talking about this five or ten years ago without any plant being built, it’s possible you may understand but, by then, it will be too late.


brook

Ah, yes…the “you haven’t lived here long enough” rebuff”. Meant to put one in one’s place. As if being born here or passing some indefinite number of years is the only true measurement of one’s intellectual worth. What rot!

How do you account for the “Good Old Boys” with or without sombreros, who have kept Morro Bay as their own little you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours operation?


If y’all were so smart, why hasn’t a new plant been built yet? Why has there been no progress ? Why do y’all insist on calling this a “quaint fishing village” when you favor the proliferation of very “unquaint” boxes in the hills and make a Disneyland of the Embarcadero? You, all-knowing old timer, have managed to create a ragtag discordant Discount Store atmosphere in what really was a quaint fishing village. Yes, I remember fisherman’s nets behind the Bakery. Dollar Store, handy but never so quaint.


35 years has indeed been long enough for me to see Morro Bay run into the ground by putting puppets in office to enforce the whims of a few odious power brokers. This past election has put you all on notice and your vehement reactions are quite telling.I choose to give the new Mayor and Council some time before declaring a disaster. Who knows? Dealing with reality might actually be quite refreshing.


Pelican1

If you don’t like the Los Osos reference, just remember, in this case $@%& flows up hill.


cooperdog

If you think the problem they’ve created with this decsion is bad, wait until you see their solution.


SLOthinker

The fun begins! The comparisons with Los Osos are just to easy to pass up. lol


But seriously, if you are going to pull the permit, why would just suspend the consultant contracts? Especially when Wallace is involved.


I feel sorry for the residents of Cayucos, no doubt they will be hosed by theses actions also, and they didn’t vote these clowns in.


brook

Cayucos has a couple of their own “clowns” who are accountable to the citizens. Cayucos citizens, save one or two, have registered little interest in the project. Hard to assess if they even think about the current situation.


taxpayer

You will soon find out what Cayucos thinks about it and its going to cost the citizens of Morro Bay a lot of money. Dealing with the reality that was created by this vote won’t be refreshing, it will be devastating to the ratepayers of Morro Bay.


brook

Cayucos can think whatever they like. Reality is they are into the mess up to their necks, having rubber stamped every failed idea along the way.


What’s devastating is the JPA’s having already spent a boatload of taxpayer’s money for nothing.


You can keep shouting “Fire”, but I don’t think you’re going to get the result you’re looking for.


Truth

Ask your public authorities and contractors if your sewer plans are compliant with The Clean Water Act…a simple question right?


US CODE Title 33 Chapter 26 section 1311(a) makes it is unlawful to discharge pollutants off your property UNLESS YOU APPLY “pretreatment” (1317(b)) to remove disease carrying pathogens and cancer causing toxic pollutants.


Public Health Code and Public Law 92-500 aka THE CLEAN WATER ACT of 1972 is a “Congressional Mandate of the Highest Priority”. It requires you implement the “best available demonstrated control technology” to remove ALL pollutants from your discharge AT YOUR PROPERTY BEFORE IT GOES INTO A SEWER, as to “PREVENT SAID POLLUTANTS FROM MIGRATING into our drinking water, rivers and oceans just as it RIGHT NOW.


The Morro Bay and Cayucos dilapidated sewer has gigantic holes that are dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of RAW SEWAGE into our drinking water EVERY DAY!

.

It is the RWQCB’s SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITY to promulgate this technology which has existed for decades and to assist in the implementation of it to remove 100% of ALL POLLUTANTS and then recycle that water to be used over and over to stop our water shortage problems.


So think about it…the RWQCB is GUILTY for causing the problem in the first place! If the RWQCB enforced THE CLEAN WATER ACT there would NEVER be another sewer spill. Pollutants would be removed at everyone’s property and we would all be purifying and recycling our water ending our shortage of water problem…plenty of clean, healthy, drinking water to go around.


The RWQCB is GUILTY of not enforcing The Clean Water Act which by the way carry Federal fines of $25,000 per day and up to 3 years in prison per day of violation. Sad when your own “government agency” is the real criminal!


Make sure the Morrow Bay/Cayucos/Los Osos projects are compliant with The Clean Water Act over 1,500 people die every day in this country from cancer. The liability is much greater than the cost of a sewer. You cannot put a price tag on human life!


racket

:::::Paging slowerfaster::::


This is what you get when you put starry-eyed idealists in positions of power.


There is no possible way this can end well for the citizenry.


Pelican1

Los Osos north.


kettle

What a great idea. Pipe all of the sewage from Cayucos and Morro Bay to the new Los Osos plant and help split the cost. Economy of scale and all that.


What could go wrong that hasn’t already.


taxpayer

Morro Bay, you have just become Los Osos. Get ready for years and years of problems and expense that could have been avoided. By the way, how does Christine Johnson get to vote on this when her husband is one of the appelants to the Coastal Commission? Can anyone say “conflict of Interest”? These three councilmembers have done more damage to the economic well being of the taxpayers and business people of Morro Bay and Cayucos that anyone in previous history.


Bored Watcher

Why would it “add up to seven years” to move the sewer plant?

If someone is comparing their move to that of Los Osos post AB2701; that would be a mistake. Los Osos is building a collection system, too. Morro Bay already has one (it’s leaking, but they have one). Additionally, SLO Co. prepared their sewer for the Tonini site, which was flatly denied by their own Planning Commission. Too bad they spent millions on their EIR and wasted time on evaluating that parcel down to the detail of whether or not there was a presence of the (extinct) Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat.


Best wishes to Morro Bay. Shed the consultants…including Wallace. No good can come from those good old boy relationships.


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