Nipomo services district could end moratorium on new water hookups

About eight months after it placed a moratorium on new requests for water hookups, the Nipomo Community Services District could soon reverse the policy.

The district board at its Feb. 27 meeting will consider starting the process to reactivate its processing of applications for new water service.

If the board moves ahead, it will take about eight weeks to revise the district’s water code to again process new applications, according to a news release.

“We want to be responsible stewards of our limited water resources and at the same time get our local development community back to work building our community as soon as possible,” board President Jim Harrison said in the release.

The district stopped processing all new applications for water service in June after Nipomo property owners voted against paying for construction of a pipeline from Santa Maria to bring water to the community.

The supplemental water is necessary, district officials maintain, to reduce over-pumping of the community’s only source of water, an underground aquifer.

At its Jan. 23 meeting, the district board heard two separate requests regarding water service, but denied both.

Since then, the board has moved ahead with plans to construct another pipeline project — this time a phased plan that doesn’t rely on a new tax. On Feb. 13, the board voted to put the first phase of the pipeline project out to bid.

The first phase, estimated to cost $14.1 million, would connect a pipeline to Santa Maria’s water system, install it across the Santa Maria River and connect to the community’s water system. Two other phases of the project are planned to increase the pipeline’s capacity.

The board will consider awarding a contract in April, and if the project moves forward, construction could start as soon as May and be completed by September 2014.

The Feb. 27 board meeting starts at 9 a.m. at 148 S. Wilson St. in Nipomo. More information is available at www.ncsd.ca.gov.