The flood of special Cambria Community Services District meetings continues, with an outside possibility of having two of them on one day — Thursday, Oct. 15.
While a doubleheader may be a mind-numbing prospect for some district customers, CSD staffers say timing is critical for both issues that would be covered at the consecutive sessions: A potential increase in water and wastewater-treatment rates and the preparation of a groundwater management plan that must be completed and approved if the district is to receive a $4.3 million state drought grant. The district’s most recent plan was from 1980.
At press deadline, the district hadn’t yet released any details on either topic, and the schedule was far from firmed up for the hoped-for rate-increase workshop.
• The public hearing on the district’s groundwater management plan is on the agenda for a special meeting that starts at 4 p.m. Oct. 15, according to General Manager Jerry Gruber.
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Board members would discuss and consider initiating the process for preparing and adopting the plan. Gruber’s Sept. 24 staff report said the process leading to the plan would “include an initial workshop, where the public will be introduced to a draft GMP. This will then be followed by a public review and comment period, where written review comments can be provided to the district. A second workshop would then be held to receive additional verbal comments and to discuss any written comments received.”
The process, Gruber’s report stated, also would include providing a written statement describing the manner in which interested parties may participate in developing the plan.
The draft document would be available on the district’s website throughout the process, he wrote, along with any subsequent revisions to the draft.
Gruber confirmed Tuesday, Oct. 6, that the meeting also could include discussions on filling ad-hoc-committee vacancies created when former director Muril Clift retired Oct. 1.
The second public hearing for the groundwater management plan would be held Nov. 12.
• CCSD’s ad hoc committee on the rate increases might hold a public workshop from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, according to an Oct. 5 email from Gruber.
However, CSD Director Jim Bahringer, a member of the rate-increase ad hoc committee, said in his email that day that consultant Alex Handlers wasn’t available for that date. Bahringer and fellow committee member Amanda Rice were to phone-confer with Handlers on Friday, and then decide whether they could do the workshop on their own.
Part of their decision will depend on whether Handlers has come up with the new rate structure by then, Bahringer said.
According to the schedule Gruber presented in September, after the workshop (whenever it happens), the board is expected to take additional public input and finalize the new rates at its Oct. 22 meeting. Those rate proposals would then be included in the formal Proposition 218 notices sent to ratepayers, which are to be mailed Oct. 30.
Ratepayers would have until a Dec. 17 hearing to submit letters of opposition to the rate increases. If 50 percent plus one protest the rate hikes, they would not take effect.
If the rate of protest is lower than that, the board could approve the new rates that day, and they could be effective as of Jan. 1.