In the summer of 2017 I served as the interim city manager of Morro Bay after a 30-year career in local government.
During my time with the city I participated in a meeting with city staff and Coastal Commission staff to discuss keeping the plant at or near its current location. The Coastal Commission representatives were firmly opposed to reconsideration of this location after having denied the project in 2013.
They indicated that revisiting any location near the coast would take prolonged study and extensive mitigation measures that would likely exceed the cost of moving the plant to a non-coastal location. And if the Coastal Commission would even consider allowing upgrades to the existing plant, it would only be with a “planned retreat” to move the facility away from the coast in a 20-30 year time frame.
This “kick the can down the road” approach would cost us much more in the long run than a new water reclamation facility . The position of the Coastal Commission staff is documented in a follow-up letter to the city.
The proposed water reclamation facility is the appropriate project for Morro Bay that deserves to be funded and built. Further delays will cost us more.
Martin Lomeli, Morro Bay