Arroyo Grande back in regional recycled water project

September 15, 2021

By KAREN VELIE

The Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously on Sept. 14 to rejoin Pismo Beach and Grover Beach in Central Coast Blue, a regional recycled water project set to bring a reliable water source to the Five Cities area.

At a meeting in June, the city council voted to back out of Central Coast Blue unless their demand for the formation of a management committee, subject to the Brown Act, was formed to manage the project. The council also sought to require union labor and equal decision making during project construction and operations.

Pismo Beach and Grover Beach officials rejected Arroyo Grande’s demands noting the cost to their rate payers.

After months of negotiations, the Arroyo Grande City Council agreed to concede some of their demands.

Proposed terms:

  • Pismo Beach will retain the role of lead agency for purposes of developing and constructing the project. Pismo Beach agreed to discuss hiring union labor prior to “procurement.”
  • A Joint Powers Authority would manage operations of the project following completion of construction, with one representative from each city on the board, unlike the prior operating agreement.
  • Arroyo Grande’s water and cost allocations will be lowered from 39% listed in the original agreement to an amount closer to 25%.
  • Arroyo Grande will make an immediate payment of $86,000 to help cover their share of pre-construction costs.

After years of meetings, the cities of Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach agreed on plans for a recycled water project to bring an additional annual 1,000 acre feet of water to the South County cities, even during droughts. Another benefit would be the injection of recycled water into the basin, which could help protect against seawater intrusion.

However, in March, Arroyo Grande City Council members refused to approve the agreement unless it required union labor, even though the initial operating agreement already required a good faith effort to hire qualified local residents, whether or not they were union members.

Then in April, Arroyo Grande demanded the formation of a management committee.

Pismo Beach and Grover Beach responded by asking Arroyo Grande City Council members to agree to meet in a public forum to discuss their concerns.

On June 8, the Arroyo Grande City Council rejected the offer to meet, said they would no longer contribute to the project and again demanded the formation of a management committee.

At Tuesdays’ board meeting, the Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously to authorize the city manager to negotiate a cost-sharing agreement and a joint powers agreement with Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. Also, the council approved an immediate payment of $86,000 for pre-construction costs.


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shishkabob141

Seriously, it’s about time the AG council pulled their heads out, they need the water more than Pismo needs them.


kayaknut

Looks like Jimmy Pauldings union buddies aren’t going to be happy with him. I wonder if this will effect the union’s donations to Jimmy’s campaign for Supervisor?


obispan

Paulding is first and foremost a political animal. I put him in the Adam Hill category.