A 12-acre site south of the Morro Bay Power Plant is the best place for the city’s new sewage treatment plant, according to a new report recently released by the Morro Bay Public Works Department.
The 344-page report examined the viability of seven locations in and around Morro Bay as potential sites for a new treatment plant. The cost estimates to build a new treatment plant range from $90 million to $160 million, depending on the location.
The Morro Bay City Council will discuss the report when it meets Tuesday night. The council’s goal is to make a decision on the new site by the end of the year, Rob Livick, director of public services, said in a staff report.
The city is looking for a new location for its sewer plant because the state Coastal Commission rejected plans in January to rebuild the plant at its current location near the beach at the end of Atascadero Road. Morro Bay runs the plant jointly with the Cayucos Sanitation District.
The report was discussed at a public workshop Nov. 5 that was attended by about 50 people. It has also been reviewed by the city’s Public Works Advisory Board.
Reaction to the report has ranged from “sticker shock” at the price of the new plant, to concerns about odor problems, Livick said. The city is considering holding another workshop Nov. 23 to get more public input.
The seven sites analyzed in the report in order of ranking are:
- Power plant: The site is on 12 acres of the southernmost part of the Dynegy Morro Bay Power Plant near Highway 1. It ranked highest because its location within the city made it the least expensive option at $90 million.
The site was also favored because, although it is close to the bay, it is not in a floodplain, is on an undeveloped part of an industrial site, would not be visible from Highway 1 and does not have agricultural soils or endangered species habitat.
This site is advantageous because it is farther inland and has farmland nearby that could take some of the plant’s treated water for irrigation. The property is also large, which would give the city flexibility in its design and layout.