Arroyo Grande delays ballot on buying state water

The Arroyo Grande City Council decided this week to delay a ballot measure asking voters to allow the city to purchase state water.

Doing so would allow the city to diversify its water supply and provide water for future development or in case of an emergency situation such as drought, city officials said.

But council members, including Tim Brown and Caren Ray, raised concerns about the cost of the new water and whether other ideas have been thoroughly vetted.

“There’s no way you’re going to prove to me that paying for state water is cheaper than the sources we have now,” Brown said.Other council members said they believe state water may be the most cost-effective option, but want the issue more thoroughly analyzed.

The council voted 4-1, with Brown dissenting, to hold a meeting in June to examine how much water the city needs to meet anticipated future development, how much future developers might pay for it, and other issues.

They’ll decide later whether to place the question on the November ballot.

Arroyo Grande currently has groundwater and water from Lopez Lake reservoir.