Morro Bay picks new site for sewage plant
December 11, 2014
The Morro Bay City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to attempt to move its sewage plant to a location near Highway 41 about a mile outside the city limit. [Tribune]
Following the direction of a consultant, the council chose the 187-acre Rancho Colina property, situated in Morro Valley agricultural land near Morro Creek, as its desired location for the new plant. Capital costs for moving the plant to the Rancho Colina location are estimated at $75 million.
Last year, the California Coastal Commission rejected the city’s initial plan to rebuild its current sewage plant, which is in a state of decline. The plant is located near the ocean on Atascadero Road.
Rancho Colina project costs are less than half of the expenses involved in moving the plant to California Men’s Colony, which was the last remaining option the city was considering. Doing so would cost approximately $161 million, according John Rickenbach Consulting.
Currently, Morro Bay jointly owns its sewage plant with the Cayucos Sanitary District. The sanitary district will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss whether or not it should partner with Morro Bay in the project.
If the Cayucos opts to part ways, Morro Bay ratepayers would face an added hike to their water bills.
Morro Bay officials could reduce the impact of moving the plant on ratepayers by acquiring grants and making shrewd engineering and construction decisions.