February 10, 2022Read the PDF version of this District Update by clicking here.
We hope 2022 is off to a good start for you. Your CSD Board continues to make progress in our efforts to implement the voters’ decision to convert the community’s individual septic systems to a community wastewater reclamation system that will improve and protect our groundwater quality.
$150,000 State Matching Grant Agreement Finalized in January
At its January meeting, the Board signed our final $150,000 matching grant agreement with the State; this grant allows us to move forward with much of the planning and design efforts outlined below.
Wastewater Collection and Reclamation Project Update
In October, the District Board authorized Stantec Engineering to move forward with the concept and preliminary design of the project. On February 2nd, Stantec provided the Board with the Basis of Design report, which is the first step in the preliminary design process for the project. Once approved by the Board, the Basis of Design will provide an outline to guide the project design and development. In March, the Board will receive an updated Basis of Design report from Stantec which should be sufficient to provide the public with a first look at what the treatment and collection system will look like along, with an estimated cost estimate.
The District continues to pursue information on potential wastewater treatment package plant siting locations so that an accurate Assessment Engineer’s Report and Financial Plan can be prepared (see more about the Assessment Engineer’s purpose and report below). The initial site evaluation process is intended to determine a realistic range of expected costs for budgeting purposes, and to see if there are any potential “acquisition opportunities of convenience”, meaning potential sites that may include excess right-of-way, or private land that may be offered for sale. To that end, you may recall that the District secured an easement agreement with the County of Santa Barbara in 2019 for a .25-acre parcel located adjacent to the southern border of Mattei’s Tavern that could potentially be used in the overall system design and siting process.
To further refine our siting study efforts, last fall the Board directed Stantec Engineering to perform a 3rd party assessment of the 18 potential package plant sites first identified in the June 2021 Urban Planning Concepts’ Desktop Siting Analysis. Stantec has developed a matrix to rate the sites based on a technical, engineering, and environmental perspective that works best for system operations and the community. The results of the study were provided to the Board at its February 2nd meeting and can be found online in the February meeting packet. These efforts will assist in developing estimated acquisition costs for inclusion in the Assessment Engineer’s Report as well as identifying the scope for the environmental review and public hearing processes.
Selection of The Assessment Engineer
The District anticipates completing the selection of an Assessment Engineer in March. The Assessment Engineer will develop a financial model that will be used to develop estimates for annual property tax assessments for all costs associated with the development and operation of the Wastewater Collection and Reclamation system. The estimates will be based on the Board’s efforts to develop a mix of grant and financing options focused on reducing costs to the District’s property owners. Later this year, the Assessment Engineer will detail financing and benefit assessment information in an Engineer’s Assessment Report that will be shared with the public prior to the property owner benefit assessment vote required by Proposition 218.
The Board has retained grant expert Greg Jaquez from MNS Engineering to identify and apply for grant funds the District is eligible to receive.
District Aggressively Seeking Grant Funding
As mentioned above, the Board President recently executed the funding agreements for the State Grant which will provide up to $150,000 in matching funds for the preliminary design of the septic to sewer conversion project. The Board has also retained grant expert Greg Jaquez from MNS Engineering to identify and apply for grant funds the District is eligible to receive. Mr. Jaquez and his group have extensive experience in finding grants to fund critical infrastructure projects and have identified a number of prospects including the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, Small Community Drought Relief Program, Sustainable Groundwater Management Program and the recently approved Federal Infrastructure Program. We are also working with Santa Barbara County and are beneficiaries of a $180,000 funding for preliminary studies. We are working with others, including the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) group, and non-profit Heal the Ocean to develop funding partnerships.
The District has returned to in-person Board meetings held at in Stacy Hall at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Los Olivos at 6:00PM on the second Wednesday of the month.
Return to In-Person Meetings
After several months of virtual meetings, the District has returned to in-person meetings. Board meetings are held at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2901 Nojoqui Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441, in Stacy Hall at 6:00PM on the second Wednesday of the month (with a couple exceptions). Thank you to St. Mark’s for welcoming the District to hold our meetings where residents can easily participate. The following 2022 meeting calendar was adopted by the Board:
February 2 March 9 April 13 May 11
June 15 July 13 August 10 September 14
October 12 November 14 December 14
Covid masking and distancing protocols will be followed. Please check the District’s Website for Meeting Agendas and materials here or phone us at 805-946-0431.
Updates are going paperless
The District is committed to going paperless to the greatest extent possible to save ratepayer funds and paper. This will be the last hard copy update sent to District residents via the U.S. Postal Service due to rising production costs.
Please encourage your neighbors and other interested community members to sign up as well. Updates will also be available on the District website.
If you have any questions or comments about our District’s work, please contact Doug Pike at email@example.com or (805) 500-4098.