Tuesday, August 02, 2005

$3,000 Tree Benches And $200 Month Sewer Bills

The price of the sewer for taxpayers, is being tracked by Ron Crawford, on his sewerwatch blog. At the time of the 1998 election that formed the Los Osos Community Services District, the monthly sewer bill for the county's project was estimated at about $60 - $75.

Future sewer bills in Los Osos are now estimated at over $200. per month, per household.

Ron writes (7/21/05): my favorite part about the most recent LOCSD cost estimates for the park at the sewer plant (picture below), besides, of course, the fact that a play field costs damn near $1 million, and a "Dog Park" is well over a half million dollars (who knew?), is that "Eucalyptus Benches" are $3,000 each. Now that's a nice bench. I wonder, will those benches be made from the same eucalyptus trees that need to be cut down to accommodate them?



And something else just occurred to me -- a Los Osos taxpayer that shot down Measure E-97 would have to pay that failed measure's tax for 300 years just to cover one "Eucalyptus Bench." Hmmm.

$2.3 million just for the park amenities, and that doesn't even include their operation and maintenance, estimated by local park professionals at another $3 million over the next 20 years.

Amazing. Just amazing.

4 Comments:

Blogger Spectator said...

You are misinformed. It seems that those in the manufactured housing parks will only pay $60 a month. Of course this is too much.

Right now the state of Conneticut is taking the federal government to court on the question of unfunded mandates concerning educational testing requirements. Apparently there is a law making unfunded mandates illegal. However, the feds have been giving the state increased funds to handle this; the state feels that it has been not enough. The supreme court may bypass the question of mandates and simply find that they were funded, or refuse to hear the case.

We are dealing with an unfunded mandate here in Los Osos forced upon us by the Democrat controlled legislature of California. Early on they were forced to establish their water quality laws upon us by the Democrat controlled Congress, pushed by environmentalists who wish well, but do not consider the results of their actions on people. It does make sense that we should not crap into our own well, but a universal law is not realistic. Each situation is different. There are local solutions to a problem.

We in Los Osos are polluting the bay by seepage of the upper aquifer through springs into the bay, and this seepage of pollution comes from leach fields from our septic systems which in the prohibition zone goes into the upper aquifer. But we have many birds in the bay, dogs and cats on land, and cattle that contribute 95% far more than human waste to the bay when it rains. Nitrates are not now a problem in our water supply but they are increasing. Our water is good, but hard. Perhaps the answer to the coliform polution ( crap )in the bay is to eliminate dogs and cats from Los Osos, and cattle and horses from surrounding areas that empty into the bay. Their crap pollutes when it rains, lasts for a while, and then is flushed from the bay by tidal action. But the bay is being silted over, and the tidal action vastly deminished, which means less flushing. Look at it at low tide!
The answer to pollution has always been dilution, and what is excreted, something else eats. I used to love to eat the oysters that came from the bay.

As far as pollution in the upper aquifer, we should allow only grey water to go into septic systems with their existing leach fields and require " green toilets " in the prohibition zone where there is insufficient distance between the leach fields and the water level. The result would be no nitrates entering the upper aquifer. Those who pollute should have the option to take care of their own problem, and it would be less than 10% of the cost of the sewer if every home in the prohibition zone was retrofitted with green toilets. In many homes, it would be slightly more than the cost of connection. Float a bond and retrofit all necessary homes with green toilets.

But alas, big government will not allow us to do this, and we can't even build a water plant to take care of the nitrates, should they become unhealthy, unless we build a sewer. Our elected LOCSD members have done the best they could do to comply with an unbending, universal law. Don't blame them, blame the law and the fools that left no options available when they wrote the law.

There should be options available, and obviously the Democratic Party controlled government has not been looking after our best interests by not allowing options.

And only fifty percent of the population votes? Most are uninformed? I guess we deserve unfunded mandates. Folks: Just bend over and ignore the fact that government controls our lives, and we ARE the government. Clear thinking is in order. Either comply with the law or work to change it. We are a nation of laws, and some of them make no sense at all, and worse than that, they never seem to get repealed.

And now I predict that ignorance will prevail, that the recall election will succeed, the LOCSD will be fined out of existance by the RWCB ( regional water control board ), the county will take over the existing project with no changes, suits will continue, prices will continue to rise, and the new board members, along with the two existing " move the sewer " members will be blamed for the whole fiasco.

On the other hand, they may be heros, if unfunded mandates are found to be illegal. But by this time, the LOCSD will not exist, and we will not be able to sue as an entity for damages due to an illegal unfunded mandate.

If my prediction is false, and the recall fails, we will have a chance at getting grants to mitigate this horrible cost, the LOCSD will continue as an entity, and if unfunded mandates are truely found illegal, we may recover the balance of our costs.

Don't hold your breath.

4:12 AM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Shark Inlet said...

Wasn't it Julie Tacker who was on the news back in Summer 2004, arguing that it was a good thing for the Coastal Commission to force the LOCSD to add the expensive ammenities back into the project before they would approve?

Yes.

Now she claims that even if the construction is started it could be stopped.

I guess Julie is made of money because every action she takes and every idea she promotes seems to raise the costs.

11:50 PM, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Lompoc Lamb said...

"’Dog Park’ is well over a half million dollars (who knew?), is that ‘Eucalyptus Benches’ are $3,000 each.”

I have seen many dogs simply "parking" on some cheap weeds, a hydrant or a postman’s leg. And, aren't Eucalyptus Trees plentiful up that way? How much does it cost to chain saw one into a bench? Gee whiz, I thought SB County was bad, but SLO is no slouch!

We have whom we have in elective positions because we are so ambivalent and would rather float our boat, walk the dog, sit on a $3,000 Eucalyptus bench or sip our favorite beverage than pay attention to politics.

Spectator has it 100% correct: “There should be options available, and obviously the Democratic Party controlled government has not been looking after our best interests by not allowing options.”

Of course, with liberals there are no options. In fact, the environmental laws they jam down our throats have no real technical merit, they just feel good and make the legislators able to appease the 1% of the population that wants no humans on the earth.

As for unfunded mandates – there is no accountability that way. The state legislature “feels” that an issue is important and that’s enough. “Let them eat cake” is the mood in Sacto.

The only way we will ever correct this problem is to have districts that are competitive - about a 50-50 mix should do it. I know lot’s of Democrats who can be convinced to support a common sense candidate, but they are trapped just like the rest of us. As long as there are safe district’s we’ll never see any change.

7:35 PM, September 10, 2005  
Blogger Lompoc Lamb said...

I just read the CSD "wastewater project expense chart", where is the wastewater treatment facility?

This is all esthetics except the lighting and conduit for the sumps!

7:39 PM, September 10, 2005  

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