Tuesday, October 05, 2010


When I went out this morning to pick up the paper, I smelled smoke on the early morning air. Didn’t smell like a neighbor firing up a fireplace. Much sharper, more acrid smell. Has our burning time come at last to some wilderness somewhere?
Uh-Oh, Part II
Here’s the amended agenda item that’ll be before the BOS this morning sometime before the noon recess (to be carried over after lunch, if necessary, maybe.) See if you can spot the ginormous broken “Process Promise” (found repeatedly in the glossy brochures on the project that the County churned out  prior to the Survey "vote.") that will happen today. And get ready for the old bait and switches to be found in the Rates & Charges scheme and/or in a 218 protest hearing “vote.” The spin and 'splaining on that one will be worth watching. 

And as for the additional $750,000?  Ah, don't worry about it.  The Prop 218  $25,000 per-property "assessment" the residents voted for was merely a "suggested" amount.  Millions more can be added on to this project in a variety of creative ways.  But it isn't a "tax."  It's not even an "assessment."  It's a Rate and a Charge, see?

--Ratify Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions from USDA for the $87 million in funding then Direct staff to:
--Prepare a Rates and Charges Ordinance for subsequent introduction
--Cancel design-build contracting process for the collection system
--Request proposals for professional engineering services for the collection system design from the short listed collection system design teams.
--Prepare quarterly project and budget updates for presentation on the same date as the quarterly County budget reports
--Consider a Resolution of Intention to proceed with the construction and operation of a wastewater collection, treatment and disposal system for Wastewater Assessment District No. 1.
--Approve a budget adjustment by 4/5 vote in the amount of $750,000 from the Road’s Fund to the Los Osos Sewer Project
--Accept project update from County staff.


M said...

Ann, is there a link, or could you post the brochures you're talking about? I don't keep stuff like that, but it would be interesting to look at it again. Just to rate how much they are screwing us over and force home the fact that we don't matter.
Sincerely, M

Alon Perlman said...

I would hazard a guess that they are in a past projects documents or as a TAC folder in the County's website.
Item D.1 d.2
--Cancel design-build contracting process for the collection system
To d.2 or not to d.2

To direct staff to, or not to direct staff to, that will be questioned.

Looks like that could take all day.
Or 30 minutes in 2 minute segments.
Well, there's no way I'll make it over to SLO without filing a GHG EIR, so make your words count.

FOGSWAMP said...

With respect to the Federal Assistance Application for our wastewater project signed by Pavo on 5/25/2010.

I am curious how the County will comply with the "Assurances" section 11 of the application which states in part "Will comply, or has already complied, with the requirements of Titles 11 and 111 of the Uniform Relocation Assistance ..........Policies Act of 1970.

This Act provides for "fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced a result of Federal and Federally-assisted programs".

Title 11 uniform assistance speaks to a host of related items such as, moving and related expenses, replacement housing for homeowner, replacement housing for tenants and certain others, relocation planning, housing replacement by Federal agency as a last resort and even State required to furnish real property.

M said...

I just watched the Board meetings online (a good portion of it anyway) and I have this sinking feeling that the citizens of the prohibition lost again. Just like with State proposition votes, i'm not sure rather yes means no, or no means yes.
Sincerely, M

The Razor said...

Will provide an article soon, but here's some preliminary analysis: there are additional costs that weren't factored into staff deliberations of project costs (imported water rates, on-lot costs, etc.). We'll be paying more and more and more.

Mike said...

...quit yer belly achin'

YOU wanted the sewer out of town... well, you're getting it...!!!

Thanks all you loose can(n)ons...

FOGSWAMP said...

Mike old chap

Yep, I wanted to send my crap out-of-town.

But, I wanted to keep my crap in town for the bugs to eat and only send my urine (nitrates) out of town.

That way, I thought I could afford to stay in town.

Sewertoons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sewertoons said...

To quote from the document referenced above by FOGSWAMP,

"Certain of these assurances may not be applicable to your project or program."

Here is a link to the code mentioned:

Which part of that law applies to Los Osos?

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"Which part of that law applies to Los Osos?"

Why, the part the County WISHES it to apply to, of course. As with all things Sewerish, it's Humpty-Dumpty time.

FOGSWAMP said...


Like I said. I'm just curious, not certain.

One thing for certain is that many good poor folk will be displaced.

Mike said...

...but FS, isn't that exactly the outcome that the Recall was all about...??? I do remember Stan, Richard and Gordon warning us about the downside of stopping the legal sewer and "moving it out of town"....

Ya gets what ya wished for... If you didn't heed the warning and didn't but money aside each month for the coming sewer (no sewer was always only a wet dream and MTS was done with NO THOUGHT to the future costs), then you have no one to blame except yourself for voteing in a group bent on stopping any sewer, anywhere and at all costs... So suck it up, get ready to pay for this folly or move... simple choice... It's exactly what you wanted...

M said...

How much cheaper was your sewer Mike?
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

...should be the same as yours...and a lot more than would be had the original system been constructed... The wwtf on the tri-w site would be complete and fully functional by now... and my monthly bill would be lower than it's going to be...

Of course when the County opens up LOV to subdivisions thanks to another large wwtf, the per household connection/collection costs should come down... and you know how happy I'll be once the whole County gets to help us pay for all these delay-driven cost increases... don't say it won't ever happen, the County wants a larger property tax base to pay for all the social programs... and here's where I differ with the view that the County likes open ag land because there is less infrastructure O&M expense... I believe the County really wants the residential & commercial property developments because of the continual churning and turn over of ownership which generally results in increased taxable value... ag land does not turn over nor increase in taxable value nearly as much as residential & commercial... enjoy paying the higher monthly sewer fees and do thank the post recall folks... or move... understand Arizona is good place to park your trailer...

You had a choice... now you have another one...

M said...

The Pismo site would have been up and running way before Tri-W and half as much. So there. Certainly had I known how Pandora and company were setting us up for the Tri-W boodogle I would have never gone along. I'm getting sick of you people telling me to move if I don't feel like paying this much. We have guarantees of cheaper systems, but Nooo that's just salesman talk. You can't believe that! No, we're just going to force the most expensive possible system on you and if you don't like it, lump it or leave. What kind of a friggin town am I living in where people say that to their neighbors? Anybody willing to take that bet that MWH gets the project? My tarot cards say it's a done deal. I know one thing, I gotta figure out how to get on the Staff that's informing the BOS. The tribune said that most of the 6 million+ is staff cost. In 4 yrs? Them cats are making some money.

Mike said...

...there are NO guarantees (PERIOD!) The Ripley and other plans were merely "PRELIMINARY" and did not stand up to permit reviews....!!!! Get it through your head, you were fed a line of crap and a very large money pit under the guise of worthless guarantee...!!!!!!!! ...and YOU believed it...!!!! Ripley or any of the other alternate systems could not get the government permits....!!!!!!

It is so sad that so many of you could not believe what our CSD had worked through... Gail, Lisa, Julie, Al, Kieth and Jeff were just lying through their teeth to undermine all the difficult decisions made by the past Boards... At this point, I have zero sympathy for those who complain about the ever increasing costs... There never was a "free lunch" in this sad saga... We've been screwed by the bunch of so-called sewer experts spawned in our septic tanks...

Spectator said...

Mike: "so-called sewer experts spawned in our septic tanks". This sort of reminds me of a dissertation on "headless brown trout" that appeared on the Tribune blogs years ago before the Trib canceled them.

Ann: Good report on government incompetency. And you want government to manage health care?

I guess that one must simply learn to suffer!

FOGSWAMP said...

Mike........Seemingly you are spinning so much it is affecting your brain, or you are smoking something rather powerful, or perhaps dwell on some other planet.

Contrary to your self-serving remarks to spin the costs of the project today vs the cost when the three komokozi pilots were shot down, the true fact is that there is very little, if any, difference in costs. Thanks to the unprecedented economic turndown.

On Oct 1, a 26 page White House report says that bids on stimulas-act projects came in so low that agencies were able to fund 3,000 additional projects beyond what they initially projected. Contract bids in the $130 billion construction-related projects have come in anywhere from 6 to 20% below expected costs.

Revenues have declined dramatically, but so did construction costs worldwide.

If you search (Engineering News-Record) for falling project costs, you'll find project managers are reporting 20-30% decline in costs of building highways, roads water plants and wastewater plants.

Competition today is cut-throat and fierce, so sale prices are down, big time.

For example, Hughson, Ca accepted bids last year for a new wastewater treatment plant and expected it to cost $35 million, the lowest bidder was $15 million (Hughson Chronicle 6/30/09).

In Florida where dozens of highway projects are moving ahead, estimators figured a highway project would cost $90 million, the lowest bidder was half that at $45 million (ENR 6/8/09).

The problem we have with our wastewater project cost is that Paavo has his arms firmly around a single (short, short list) bidder, for some reason.

Mike said... go complain to the SLO DA or Calif AG... there is nothing you can do to stop this sewer...!!! but you won't take my word for it, so have fun where ever you move to next.... maybe one of the local sewer experts can help you pack...

Churadogs said...

Mike sez:'and here's where I differ with the view that the County likes open ag land because there is less infrastructure O&M expense..."

You're overlooking a small fact: The ag land east of town is ALREADY "broken." Been broken for years. Ranchettes are the first step.

Mike sez:"so enjoy paying the higher monthly sewer fees"

Since we don't know what the final costs will end up being, you're making stuff up . . . again. You're sooooo cute when you do that. But you forgot to add the three exclamation points.

M sez:"What kind of a friggin town am I living in where people say that to their neighbors?"

The same kind of town where a Citizen of the Year demands the Water Board "Fine the CSD (read: citizens) out of existence!" The same kind of town where anonymous commenters come on this site and ridicule The Los Osos 45, those citizens who were singled out for regulatory abuse. And "Mike" says to you, ". . . so have fun where ever you move to next.... maybe one of the local sewer experts can help you pack..." and "understand Arizona is good place to park your trailer..."
THAT kind of town, M. You live in THAT kind of town.

John sez:"Ann: Good report on government incompetency. And you want government to manage health care?"

Actually, I think the Government is managing my Medicare program very well indeed.

FOGSWAMP said...

Mike ..... Banzai, Long Live the Emperor

You speak like a downed kamikaze pilot that failed his "tokko" mission.

Silenced, only to speak up again with a fist in your mouth as if you never heard a thing.

Recommended reading; Blossoms in the Wind (Human Legacies of the Kamikaze).

The Razor said...

People in Los Osos live in that hostile political climate, but the good news is that the majority of people in town are good people who don't anonymously berate their neighbors and demand that they should be "fined out of existence." I think those people are the people we should be fighting for.

Los Osos can improve without the help and without the votes of those who live for the "obstructionist" ad hominem.

Mike said... how do you like the County's sewer Plan...??? The sewer IS coming inspite of the few still parading in front of the BOS, or maybe by now, because of the parade... Even Mr. Mecham has his limits...and nly one vote...!!!

...and isn't the CSD's bankruptcy working out to the benefit of the entire community...??? How's the PZLDF lawsuit holding up...??? really is too bad you think I'm only one individual...I am more of this community than you would like to believe...!!!! I do vote and I do pay property taxes in Los Osos... Does Al, Julie, aaron or ron...????

Watershed Mark said...

Aaron, Please don't overlook the storm water project ahead.

Mike said...

Storm Water...???

Doesn't that mean ANOTHER set of large collection pipes in the street...???

That's in addition to the waste water colection pipes and the drinking water pipes and electical distribution, street lighting, telephone/cable tv conduits...

Hell, we should start another parade to the BOS to stop LO from being dragged into the 21st Century... We can't afford another project, no one will be able to afford to live here... The sky is falling, the sky is falling... !!!!!!


FOGSWAMP said...

Mark ....You're sure right. Storm water drainage in Los Osos is a big problem at times. Most (not all) recent commercial projects in town were required to retain the water on the premise with large diameter underground pipes, etc.

It should be interesting to see how the gravity pipe installers deal with the dewatering water necessary to lay the pipe in many locations.

Perhaps our 45 miles or so of deep trenches will act as a sort of "French Drain", like we use on our septic tank leach lines and get that polluted storm water down into the upper aquifer before it reaches he bay.

Churadogs said...

Fogswamp sez:"It should be interesting to see how the gravity pipe installers deal with the dewatering water necessary to lay the pipe in many locations"

Since sealed, pressurized pipes are (I think) supposed to be used in certain low lying areas, I wonder if they'll use the sideways boring system that a STEP system uses in those really wet areas, the same system that a STEP project would have used all over town, thereby solving the problem. In the other areas, suppose they'll have to pump and truck the water somewhere?

On the bright side, if the water table lowers over time, some of the lowest lying areas will be able to absorb runoff better since the soil won't be so saturated. So that'll help. But, no mistake, an expensive upgrade of storm water projects is coming. I hope part of the component will be on-lot efforts by home owners to retain their own runoff. Lots of creative ways to do that. Would also love to see maybe tax breaks for retrofitting water-absorbing driveways vs. tarmac. for example. Ditto for all gutters & etc.