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SLO County taking action on Los Osos residents with delinquent sewer bills

Visitors tour the new Los Osos sewage treatment plant during its grand opening in April 2016. San Luis Obispo County voted to collect outstanding sewer bills through property owners’ property taxes.
Visitors tour the new Los Osos sewage treatment plant during its grand opening in April 2016. San Luis Obispo County voted to collect outstanding sewer bills through property owners’ property taxes. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

About 14 percent of the property owners who have hooked up to the Los Osos wastewater treatment plant haven’t paid their sewer bills. The outstanding charges will now show up on their property taxes.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to collect delinquent fees owed to the county through property taxes. The board also voted to collect all sewer service charges on property tax bills for 2017-2018.

That means the county could eventually place a lien against any property with unpaid sewer bills.

Residents began hooking up to the Los Osos Wastewater Project in March 2016. A year after the sewer opened, some residents continued to resist connecting to the sewer because of the price of the lateral connection and the expected monthly bill.

Of those required to hook up to the sewer, 88 percent have done so. Those who do not hook up could face hefty fines and penalties both from the county and state.

The ongoing cost for the $183 million project for a typical single-family dwelling is about $164 a month, or $1,968 a year, according to a county report.

Delinquent sewer service charges add up to about $320,000. Outstanding bills for individual parcels range from $178 to $49,000, an amount owed for services to a mobile home park.

About 4,600 parcels in Los Osos are billed for the sewer.

Robert Shipe, who served on the sewer project's Technical Advisory Committee, was the first Los Osos resident to connect to the new sewer system Monday, March 29, 2016.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the total cost of the project.

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