Let’s talk: CCSD wants more time to discuss hot topics

Evening meeting set for Friday to go more in-depth with public; first up: water hookups

ktanner@thetribunenews.comJune 19, 2013 

They need to talk about it. And they don’t have a chance to do as much of that as they’d like during their regular monthly meetings, so Cambria Community Services District directors have set a rare evening session for Friday, June 21.

There are two main reasons for the special meeting and its less formal format, according to Mike Thompson, district president.

First, it will provide directors with the opportunity to talk informally in depth among themselves, in public, something they don’t have time to do during their packed-agenda regular meetings.

Second, the session will be “an opportunity for board members and the community to have an in-depth discussion about issues that should have more time allotted than is possible at the monthly board meetings,” which tend to run from four to six hours, Thompson said.

At the May meeting, for instance, two items on the consent agenda — topics which are supposed to be dispatched quickly — took several hours to complete, and the board didn’t get to the regular agenda items until after “members and the public were quite exhausted,” he said.

The main topic Friday will be how the district can issue “a few” intent-to-serve letters for water connections each year while a moratorium on new connections, begun in 2001 because of the town’s water-shortage crisis, remains in place.

Thompson said Friday’s format will be similar to workshops held in 2012 to discuss proposed revisions to the district’s fee schedules. At those informal sessions, “draft documents were available for review, and we did get some very good input” from constituents.

He said that among draft documents to be available for review prior to and at Friday’s meeting are:

• Administrative policies regarding the interim issuance of intent-to-serve letters;

• Proposed changes to the district’s municipal code, based on implementing CCSD’s Water Use Efficiency Plan;

• An ordinance amending several municipal code chapters relating to water conservation devices; and

• A resolution about administrative procedures “necessary to implement the issuance of intent-to-serve letters and the CCSD’s revised water conservation & retrofit program.”

No formal action is to be taken at Friday’s meeting. Thompson said it is expected that formal approval will be scheduled for the July 25 meeting.

The board already is receiving public input on the meeting’s topics. Mary Webb, vice president of Greenspace — The Cambria Land Trust, who testifies often at district meetings, sometimes representing Greenspace and sometimes as a private citizen, sent an 11-page email, including her analysis of the district’s potential projects: 13 with intent-to-serve letters, the wait list of 666 properties, commercial wait list of 10 and multi-family wait list of 13.

She also outlined the county’s separate water-wait list, the district’s active-service commitments and excerpts from recent news articles on countywide water-supply concerns.

Thompson said that, because of the cost involved (about $500), Friday’s study session will not be videotaped for future broadcast.

The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

Follow Kathe Tanner on Twitter at @CambriaReporter.

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