Friday, November 18, 2005

Note re Posting Documents on the CSD Website

One of the folks who regularly comments on this blog tried to access the LOCSD's website to find the LOCSD's "Response and Request for Continuance" (to the RWQCB's Dec 1 hearing on 4 CSD properties, NOT individual homeowners) and found the documents weren't posted. I asked in the CSD office and was told that Annie Mueller is in charge of getting those documents posted and she's tap dancing as fast as she can. If anyone wants a paper copy in the meantime, they can stop by the office and ask for one.

I would urge everyone interested in Sewerville, to attend the RWQCB's hearing on December 1. It's in SLOTown and apparently will start a 1 pm. And, of course, get a copy of the "Response" and do read it. Lots of interesting stuff in there.


Shark Inlet said...


As of Thursday sometime before 7pm the file was online for your reading pleasure.

Personally, I am still perturbed that this response contians a misrepresentation of the SRF contract language, something that will likely not impress the SWRCB should this matter be appealed.

The key point of the response should be:
"We didn't delay things by very long at all and did so only because we needed to clarify the legal impact of Measure B. Once we figured out a way to continue with construction at TriW without breaking the presumed law we attempted to start work back up but found we couldn't get contractors back to work because our lender had stopped payments. These things are all beyond our control."

The RWQCB would certainly know this board pushed for Measure B and they would certainly know that the CSD board stopped construction far too quickly, but it is far easier to forgive someone who says "we goofed" than someone who tries to justify their goofs by blaming others.

Face it, if this board gets fined, their actions in Sacramento on Wednesday certainly makes their chance of successful appeal far less likely.

Another Sacramento factoid is that the RWQCB lawyer got up and said that if the CSD were to take the state deal the RWQCB would likely fine them far less because it would be a good faith effort (on the part of the CSD) to make progress toward the goals stated in the time schedule order.

I didn't hear anyone from the CSD report on that fact in Thursday's meeting. Funny that they would overlook a key point that could be worth millions of dollars.

Anonymous said...

You cannot believe a word they say in Sacramento. A RWQCB lawyer saying if the CSD took the state deal, the RWQCB would likely fine them less. The work "likely" put a knot in their offer. Flim flam artists. Not to be trusted based on their past performance record.

Churadogs said...

Wow, so the RWQCB lawyer tells the State Water Board, If the CSD takes this deal, we won't fine them as much, even though we're supposed to base Our fines on an INDEPENDENT set of findings and rules, not on what another agency does on an entirely different matter (a loan, NOT nitrates) Does the term tag-teaming ring a bell? Instead of regulatory agencies focusing on their legally mandated responsibilities, Agency A now uses Agency B (and vice versa) as a swinging cat in a game of Team Tag. Hmm, does the word collusion ring a bell?

Shark Inlet said...

Let's get one thing straight. The SWRCB and the RWQCB are two different boards with two different responsibilities and they are not allowed to act together.

The reason the RWQCB lawyer got up to say that the fines would likely be less if the district takes action toward resolving the problems is that the RWQCB always takes positive action into account before assessing fines. He wanted the LOCSD to know that the RWQCB would view a refusal of the SWRCB offer differently than an acceptance from the point of view of fines.

If you want to doubt the guy, fine.

To me it would seem that when you are drowning in a raging river and someone you don't really trust throws you a rope ... you don't refuse the rope just because he might let go later. There is always the chance, even if slim, that you will get saved.

In this case, accepting the state offer doesn't hurt the community. If anything, it would allow the people to vote on whether we would prefer the TriW site with 2.3% or whether we would prefer somewhere else at a higher rate. The idea behind Measure B is to let the people vote. Why are you afraid of letting the people decide this issue?

Even if you think that the recall and measure B votes decided the issue once and for all, I would suggest that if even 200 people community wide have changed their minds based on the new information about whether we can move the plant and keep the SRF (we can't), a vote today could go differently.

I feel like Moses approaching pharoh when pleading to the CSD: "Let my people vote." (Note: should be sung in a booming bass voice.)

Churadogs said...

Dear Inlet, the key word in your first sentence is "allowed."

Churadogs said...

Wow, if the LOCSD"s "Response" is posted, then my hat's off to Annie!

Shark Inlet said...


Should I gather from your response that you feel that the RWQCB and the SWCRB are required to take opposite sides on various issues?

Both groups are fed up with Los Osos, but for different reasons. The SWRCB because we asked to borrow money for one project and then, after they told us that we cannot use it for a different project, we tried to do so anyway. The RWQCB is fed up with Los Osos because we promised to make progress on a project by such-n-thus date but we haven't.

Both groups are frustrated with this CSD board because the CSD board has intentionally taken actions that they've been told not to do by these boards that have authority over the CSD.

Perhaps you don't want the state government to have any authority over the community. Sometimes I don't either. On the other hand, if higher-ups don't exert control from time to time, we'll end up with an even more bizarre state than we currently have.

Face it, this community has had a real problem with our groundwater. Had a sewer and plant been constructed some years ago we would not have this problem. We could have been making progress two years ago except for lawsuits filed by friends of the current board. This current board has chosen to stop the first actual progress in 30 years only to say "we want a different plant in a different location, what and where exactly we don't know, but we don't want to continue making progress with what is the only known solution to date."

No, the RWQCB and the SWRCB are not in collusion. The regional guy just got up and mentioned that if the CSD takes the deal and commits to the pumping out of problem septics the RWQCB would view this as making some progress toward the goal of reducing pollutio Claims of "we would do something but the SWRCB stopped us" don't ring true when this board is the group who pushed for Measure B.

Churadogs said...

Dear Inlet, regarding the "real problem with our groundwater," wereyou as surprised as I to the annual well reports that showed the average nitrate level at 10.4, and the notation that 10 is the maximum allowed by the state. .4 over on averate. 10 legally allowed maximum. And, the question asked of Mr. Miller, "If the community instituted a septic tank maintence plan and a mandatory water reduction (lo-flow, toilets, showers, etc.) would that likely reduce the nitrate load so it would come under the state allowable level? And the answer he gave was, Yes, very likely.

Gee, and here I thought we've been told for years that if we don't put in a sewer IMMEDIATELY, we'll all die in the streets like dawgs!

Add to that Dr. Kitts requrest to stop spinning his DNA sampling on coliform in the bay, and once again, it turns out that we're NOT all gonna die in the streets like dawgs.

And people wonder why I keep smelling rats. Gimme that cheese!

I have said before and I'll say it again: This is NOT rocket science and this is NOT personal. Had this community been given ACCURATE information from day one, no spin, no hidden agendas, no bald-faced lies, no "missing" information, etc.we wouldn't be in this mess now.

Shark Inlet said...

So the world won't from a nitrate point of view if we don't put in a sewer immediately. On the other hand, the nitrate levels have gotten much worse over the timeperiod since we've been mandated to put in a sewer and started fighting with the state.

There is a mandate to sewer the community. How can we do it as cheaply and as quickly as possible? Further delay to study the possibility that a slightly better plant can be built out of town will only cause further cost increases.

Again, the question isn't how evil and wrong everyone else has been in the past, the question is how we are going to move forward now? In town at $205/month or out of town for some $70/month more ... if we are lucky. What is your choice? Me, I vote for less expensive.

Churadogs said...

I vote for a plant that will give more bang for the same buck, one that will allow more flexibility in dealing the "deferred" costs of sludge treatment and disposal, de-watering and ag-exchange, lower long-term O,M.& R costs, and a possible way to avoid importing state water. Once again you keep citing the $205 a month figure as if that were real. It isn't because it doesn't even begin to inclue the "deferred" costs the present plan has left out.

Shark Inlet said...

The "negotiations" resulted in finding an approximate $20M savings total (including O&M cost differences) for moving the plant out of town. The swing in the interest rate by 5.5% (from 2.3% to 8% because by suing the state we'll never be able to get even market rate bonds again) will put this "cheaper" project at about $100/month above what the TriW project would cost us. My mistake for using $205 again. I should have been more clear.

So, what will give the best bang for the buck? TriW will be less expensive per month than the out of town plant if we have to finance it on our own.

So, when are you going to start lobbying the LOCSD board for the TriW site? Please at least admit that the people should be given this choice rather than have it made for us by people who lied (told us we could keep the SRF loan even if we move the plant and told us we wouln't be fined when it looks like we will be) during the election. Now that more facts are available I would suggest that many people regret their votes for the recall and Measure B. Of the five people I know who voted for the recall and Measure B four of them regret their decision already. The only one I don't know regrets the recall and Measure B is one of the boardmembers.

So, considering that it is now likely a minority of people who support suing the state, losing the SRF loan, getting fined and moving the plant ... how can this current board continue their folly? Certainly their argument can't be "the will of the people" if they won't take the state deal and let us vote.

Churadogs said...

Once again, please understand that the monthly fee you think is attached to Tri-W does NOT include the deferred costs of ag-exchange, sewage/sludge, MBR replacement costs every 7 years, increasing electrical costs, & importing state water, & etc. The estimated Tri-W costs are just the tip of the iceberg. If you can barely afford them now, . . . .

Shark Inlet said...

According to Lisa's presentation last night, the O&M savings for an out of town pond versus an MBR plant are about $10/month per household.

I would think that she and Rob would have a pretty good idea of the real costs if anyone does.

So ... the $205/month might be $215/month instead. It still beats the heck out of $275/month.

How you can figure that $275/month is less, I don't get.

This is why I assumed that you are wealthy ... it is only those of us who are wealthy tho think nothing of some $60/month like you seem to.

Churadogs said...

Dear Inlet, What's the $275 figure you're looking at? If it's based on your 6% private loan or boan, what about an assessment that would then qualify us for a zero-interest loan, as Tacker spoke about Tuesday night? As nobody's penciled that out, don't know how much that would save. As always, the figures mentioned are ALL tentative. That's why I would caution anyone to be very careful about making a judgment on figures that, at this point, are ALL "iffy."

Shark Inlet said...

The zero-interest loan Julie was talking about (if I understood correctly, she babbles a bit) would be accomplished by borrowing more money to begin with.

It doesn't actually lower our long term costs at all. As an example, if you borrow $100 at 10% interest/year and pay it back a year later you pay a total of $110. If you borrow $110 at 0% interest and pay it back a year later you pay a total of $110. In fact, when you go for these sort of deals they are inherently more risky for the lending organization, so they tend to charge more to compensate for the additional risk.

I believe Julie was bringing this up because people keep harping on how dumb it is to turn down cheap money when the only other options are market rate. Maybe she was confused about whether this was a realistic option or maybe she was just trying to confuse those in the audience who aren't up on such matters, I can't decide. What do you think Ann, was she confused or just trying to snow us?

By the way, considering you keep telling us that all these figures are tentative ... it seems that you want us to discount the analyses we keep seeing in the newspaper and the analyses we can do ourselves in excel. It would be far better if you would offer alternative figures that could help us understand why we shouldn'tt worry. After all, every analysis of these issues which I've seen that makes any sense has the conclusion of some additional $50/month or more (quite often $100/month or more) by giving up the SRF and moving the plant.

Give us a bone, Ann. If you are in good with the Julie and the CalTrans4, why don't you tell us what numbers they were looking at that make them feel comfortable voting down the SRF. (Oh yeah, John looked distinctly UNcomfortable in his vote ... probably because he knows that turning down the money is very risky at best and downright stupid at worse.)