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SLO County Roundup

Cambria

Cambria Community Services District directors postponed Thursday a decision on taking the next step in planning a desalination plant.

More time is needed, they decided, to review detailed, technical comments about the district’s finding that there would be no significant environmental impact caused by drilling a series of holes on the beach near a popular public park and the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek.

The report said such impacts from the $733,000 geotechnical and hydrogeologic tests would not significantly affect the surrounding coastal habitat.

The holes are intended to provide an in-depth view of the area’s geologic makeup to see how deep the layer of sand and clay is atop bedrock, helping to determine how much sea water could be drawn through those materials and pumped to a desalination plant.

Test wells would be installed in as many as three of those holes, and regular readings would record the amount and quality of the water.

Each of the questions and comments on the environmental report requires an equally detailed answer, board President Greg Sanders said, and those were not available in time for Thursday’s meeting.

The Army Corps of Engineers is partnering with the district on the desalination project because Congress has approved spending $10.3 million in federal money on a plant that could ultimately cost more than $20 million.

Directors are expected to again consider the environmental report on the geotechnical testing at their March 25 meeting.

— Kathe Tanner

SLO County

San Luis Obispo Regional Rideshare and the Regional Transit Authority recently launched an online countywide bus- trip planner via Google Transit, a function of Google Maps.

The planner allows users to enter starting and ending locations at www.rideshare.org to receive walking, transit and driving directions and fare information.

SLO Transit launched the online trip planner for the City of San Luis Obispo at Thanksgiving as a pilot project, and its success fueled countywide expansion of the tool.

The bus-trip planner is also integrated with Rideshare’s new online carpool matching system and commuting cost calculator at www.iRideShare.org.

— Julia Hickey

Paso Robles

The City Council recently decided to implement all 14 Demand Management Measures in the city’s 2005 Urban Water Management Plan.

The city now uses six of the 14 Best Management Practices outlined in the memorandum, but to be eligible for state water management grants and loans, cities need to be in compliance with the California Urban Water Conservation Council.

The annual cost of the program is $2,900.

— Amy Dempsey

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