Nearly $4 million awarded to SLO County water projects, San Simeon declined

September 8, 2022


Six of the seven applicants vying for a cut of $3,8 million in state grants awarded San Luis Obispo County are in line to receive funding for water projects, while one local agency was declined because of multiple failures.

The seven applicants include the cities of Morro Bay and Pismo Beach; the Oceano, San Miguel and San Simeon community service districts and the SLO County Flood Control District. The SLO County Regional Water Management Group, which consists of local water serving agencies in the region, provides Prop. 1 grant distribution recommendations to the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

Distribution recommendations

Morro Bay – $1.2 for its recycled water facility.

Pismo Beach – $1 million for Central Coast Blue, also a recycled water facility.

Oceano – $600,000 for a water reliability project.

SLO County – $549,755 for a master water report system.

San Miguel – $300,000 for a water reliability project.

SLO County – $132,374 for operating the grant program.

San Simeon requested $1.5 million for a new water tank, which was denied because district staff and officials failed to prepare for the project. This is the second year in a row San Simeon was denied grant money because of issues with management of the proposed project.

The district had negotiated with the Hearst Corporation regarding a proposed easement to place a community water tank on the ranch, but that was before the Hearst Corporation learned the district had encroached on their land.

In 2016, the district built a reverse osmosis unit that encroaches on the ranch and into the public road right-of-way.

The district is currently negotiating with the Hearst Corporation regarding an agreement over the encroachment, which needs to be hammered out before the Hearst family is likely to allow an easement for a water tank.

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Maybe the County can buy back the 200 acre-feet of Santa Margarita Lake water permitted to the Town of Santa Margarita? This half century old permit was unilaterally let go by the County Staff to the detriment of the Town of Santa Margarita. Today the County is again notoriously creating costly problems that will need remedy at the expense of the same community they previously harmed. No recharge water, now high nitrates. High nitrates, need sewer. Need many new homes to fund sewer, no public review because this government driven and apparent media squelching.

Of course, none of this money was available to help out the people of Los Osos tagged with paying for an overkill of a sewer. Thanks a bunch.

Probably a good thing for San Simeon and frankly the rest of us. Charles Grace would have just siphoned most of money to his own firm disguised as “consulting” fees. Is this guy ever going to be fired?

I’m sure all that will be wasted,,,

First, compliments to Public Works, Water Resources for leading this grant process. This is a complex process that was fairly administered with evaluations and award recommendations by pier communities in the county. Bringing this kind of money to our county is a good thing. Well done to Supervising Engineer Brendan Clark and team. And thanks to the volunteers of the Regional Water Management Group for their time and effort in this process.