Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And don’t forget the BoS today at 2 pm.

Guest Speaker: Paavo Ogren, project manager, LO wastewater project
NOT YOUR USUAL ELECTION - Q&A’S ON THE 218 VOTE IN LOS OSOS - AUG. 7****************************************************

When Los Osos citizens cast their ballots this fall,
it’s not an election in the usual sense and votes will
be public record.

These and other aspects of the upcoming 218 vote
will be addressed by Paavo Ogren, county project
manager for the Los Osos wastewater project, on
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 7 p.m., at the Sea Pines Resort.
The talk will include an extensive question-and-
answer session. The event is free and open to the public.

Proposition 218 requires affected property owners’
approval of new fees and taxes, including sewer
assessments. The results of Los Osos’ vote will
determine whether the county proceeds with building
the community wastewater project or not.

“It’s an unfamiliar process with huge consequences
for property owners, and questions abound,”
said Gail McPherson, spokesperson for Citizens for
Clean Water, which is sponsoring the event.

“The community wants to find out about the 218 vote
– what it is and what it’s not, as well as its purpose,
scope and process.”
Citizens For Clean Water is a Los Osos nonprofit organization. It does not endorse any sewer site, technology, or project cost, but seeks to assure that all options are considered to achieve an open public process and informed citizenry.

For more details, please call 534-1913 or 459-4535

# # #


If approved by the Board of Supervisors at their Aug. 28
meeting, mail-in ballots will be distributed by early September.
The ballot may then be submitted, changed, or withdrawn
anytime prior to the conclusion of public testimony at a public
hearing tentatively scheduled for Nov. 20.

Voting is limited to owners of 4,700 developed parcels within the
so-called prohibition zone designated by the water board, as
these owners are the ones threatened with enforcement actions.
Owners of undeveloped land may have an opportunity to vote
at a later time. Renters are not allowed to vote.

It is not a one-person-one-vote process; rather, votes will be
weighted based on the total special benefits the property will receive
from the wastewater project. For instance, if the total special benefit
is determined to be $20,000 for a property, the ballot will ask the owner
to approve or deny as assessment of $20,000. Once all the ballots are
returned, the total dollar amounts will be added up, and the total dollar
amount of the “yes” votes will be compared to the total dollar amount
of the “no” votes. If the “yes” vote dollar amount exceeds the “no” vote
dollar amount, the assessment passes.

The county may publish the total monthly cost prior to the 218 vote,
but this will appear in supplemental information – not on the ballot.

While a pro/con analysis for the county has presented lower-cost
options to the abandoned mid-town project, final decisions on
location, type of system and exact cost will not be determined
prior to the 218 assessment vote.

# # #


Gail McPherson
Citizens for Clean Water/Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund
Cell 805/459-4535


Mike Green said...

Gee I wonder how much benefit my wine bar is gonna get? might lose some of its ambiance.

Crap! that means my vote will count less!

Lets just keep it our little secret.

See Ya tonight!

Shark Inlet said...

Ann and others ... please remember that there are essentially four (or five) special benefit levels only and that all properties in a category have identical special benefits that should relate to the fixed cost of providing the benefits to the property. It is not as if every individual property has a different level of benefit.

The five key types of properties are:

A - single family dwellings with septic tanks
B - single family dwellings with community septic (because they've already got a collection system it is less expensive)
C - condo/appartment dwellings
D - mobile homes
E - undeveloped properties.

I know that groups A and B will have different special benefits. The LOCSD approach also gave groups C and D different special benefits but I don't know what the County will be doing. Logic would suggest that fewer people tend to fit in a condo than could fit in a single family home, so the special benefits could be lower. (Note: a special benefit is not necessarily proportional to actual use of the services.)

Perhaps Paavo could clarify how condo owners, apartment owners and mobile home owners will have their special benefits calculated.

4crapkiller said...

To conspiricy boy and KMH:

A picture of the new type septic tank has been put on the Tribune Blogs.

One picture is worth a thousand words. I feel this picture will speak for itself as to the practicality of retrofitting the PZ with the new septic tanks for a step/steg system.

Can you imagine how long it would take to excavate 4500 properties and put in these tanks?

KeepMHonest said...

OK, CrapKiller, you have abandoned your negativity, if not your rhetoric, for once, so I'll do the same...After all, it's just a disguise, isn't it?

4crapkiller said... To conspiricy boy and KMH: "A picture of the new type septic tank has been put on the Tribune Blogs.
"One picture is worth a thousand words. I feel this picture will speak for itself as to the practicality of retrofitting the PZ with the new septic tanks for a step/steg system.
"Can you imagine how long it would take to excavate 4500 properties and put in these tanks?"

Did you see the picture on the back of the last issue of the Rock, of the main gravity line repair in a hole some 20 feet down in the ground? That's worth millions (that's $$$$$$$) of words. Come on, get real, for once in your life!

You're just focusing on the front-end commotion of putting in septics, not on the gravity disaster of deep trenching 42+ miles of Los Osos roads! Look at the picture in the Rock. That's where it's at! The installation of a septic is a pinprick comaprted to that. The gravity crater is a real shocker.

The possible $100 million to $200 million difference between STEP and gravity is a no-brainer. Get my drift? In plain talk even you might be able to comprehend, the difference in costs between STEP and gravity collection is the difference between LIFE and DEATH in Los Osos. Is that clear enough for you?

Yes, I can imagine the time it takes to install 4,500 septics, no problem. No, I can't imagine deep-trenching 42 miles of Los Osos roads for the "right to be taxed" millions more than is needed? Just so Public Works can ruin Los Osos and to fill the coffers of Montgomery Watson Harza? No way.

You either have to be crazy or in someone's hip pocket to go for a bad bargain like that?

Which one are you? Be honest!


4crapkiller said...


So where are the figures to prove your speculation that step/steg is 100 to 200 million less than gravity?

If the figures were clear and not twisted, I would be agreeing with you! I want the least expensive option that will do the job. I do not want to pay one cent more than I have to.

All we have ever received from you is opinion without any documentation: "pie in the sky".

I think my belief in the "cargo cult" has more validity unless you provide real figures and documentation.

Every time I read your stuff, I have to remove my shoes, stockings, and have to hike my dress up to keep things from being soiled. Then I have to wash.

Are your eyes brown?

In any case, the property owners and the county will decide.

Step is dead! Nobody in their right mind, after they see the picture, and contemplate the trenching and disruption would want step/steg unless it was far cheaper.

Conspiracy Boy said...


Bearden sued the county and got money right? (flooding) -- is that where he got the money to buy his septic show piece?!

Was that the county's answer to combat the Rock's back page photo of what the streets of Los Osos will look like?!

and P.S. you said, "the figures were clear and not twisted, I would be agreeing with you! I want the least expensive option that will do the job. I do not want to pay one cent more than I have to...."

That is an outright lie, and you know it. Nobody would post promoting the mega gold plated sewer 24/7 (and I mean 24/7) unless they wanted that system real bad.
But liars lie...and when someone lies about one thing, chances are they'll lie about everything else, and you have. Are you Gail? Richard? Pandora?

Sorry, CrapKiller, I'll take that nice septic and save a couple million dollars! Thank you....

And maybe when your gravity system fails and your home is condemned then you'll want to come use my place...just a thought...

Shark Inlet said...

What is amazing here is that one of you is saying "the cost of putting in a new septic tank is not that much and STEP is far cheaper than gravity" and the other of you is saying "the cost of putting in a new septic tank is a lot, but STEP won't really save that much money at all."

Maybe a few actual or assumed numbers would help us figure out which is more realistic.

TriW had the collection system penciling in at $70M and individual homeowners responsible for decommissioning their own tanks and connecting to the system which would run (on average) about $4k.

I would have to assume that the installation of a new septic tank would be at least $2000 more than the cost of decommissioning an old tank. That means that STEP will run the community about $10M more than gravity for this one issue.

The question is this ... does STEP save the community at least $10M to justify this cost. If STEP were to run $50M today for the pipe install but it were to take an additional 2 years ... two years more than TriW ... to be designed and to get approval, we've got STEP costing about $60M ... and with the additional $10M cost of the new septic tanks it sounds like a wash to me ... the only benefits of one system over another may only be O&M costs.

That's ignoring some very real issues, like financing (interest rate and term) and financing requirements (like extra electrical work for a STEP system) that are important to consider, but let's not just say things like "STEP is waaaaaaay cheaper" or "replacing every tank in town is waaaaaay expensive". Let's put some numbers out there and make the argument something more than just rhetoric...

Mike Green said...

There is one measure of a good compromise:

Nobody gets all they want.

Go County!

Sewertoons said...

keepmhonest, your "pinprick" will cost me thousands personally to replace the trees and landscaping that must go to fit that stupid blimp with two 24' manhole covers into my yard. No thanks, fill my old septic with rocks and be done with it. I don't want to swirl test potential toilet tissue types and count the sheets I use. If the drain clogs, I want to use Draino, not wrestle a snake. Sorry, got better things to do.

The trench picture in the Rock looked nothing like the trenches I saw here in the streets for the last project. Anyone take a shot of that to refute The Rock's alarmist idea of what it will look like??