Cayucos backs out of sewage plant deal with Morro Bay
May 4, 2015
Following a rift over plant ownership, the Cayucos Sanitary District has opted to scrap its plan to join the city of Morro Bay in building a new sewage treatment facility. [KSBY]
For the past 62 years, Morro Bay and Cayucos have jointly owned a wastewater treatment plant located in Morro Bay near the ocean. Morro Bay has a 60 percent stake in the plant, and Cayucos has 40 percent ownership.
In December, the Cayucos district board approved a joint powers agreement to build a new plant on a Chorro Valley ranch near Highway 41. The Morro Bay City Council selected the location for the new plant, which will cost approximately $75 million to build, after the California Coastal Commission rejected the city’s initial plan to reconstruct the existing facility.
On Thursday, the Cayucos board voted to pull out of the agreement with Morro Bay and to attempt to build its own sewage plant instead.
District General Rick Koon said Cayucos was not offered any ownership stake in or governance of the new plant. The district was asked to make a 28 percent capital investment, though, Koon said.
The Cayucos general manager said ownership of a new plant would allow the sanitary district to control its own rates.
Sewer bills for Morro Bay residents are expected to nearly double over the next four years. The Morro Bay Council approved the new rate structure, which includes an even larger increase in water bills, prior to Cayucos deciding to pull out of the wastewater plant project.
Morro Bay City Manger David Buckingham said he is disappointed Cayucos decided to suspend the partnership.