Frequently Asked Questions Updated
The frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the WRF Program have been updated and can be viewed here.
Rate Study presented to City Council: June 28, 2018 @6:30 PM
On Thursday, June 28th, Alex Handlers from Bartle Wells Associates presented the findings of the Draft Rate Study to City Council. A copy of the Draft Rate Study is available here. The individual Council members were polled on two questions: putting the WRF Program surcharge on the monthly utility bills or County tax rolls and front-loading or phasing-in the maximum surcharge. Polling was mixed, but the majority of Council wanted the surcharge to be front-loaded and placed on the monthly utility bills. Video of the meeting can be seen here.
Rate Study presented to Joint PWAB, WRFCAC, and CFAC: June 25, 2018 @3:00 PM
On Monday, June 25th, Alex Handlers from Bartle Wells Associates presented the findings of the Draft Rate Study to a joint meeting of the Public Works Advisory Board, Water Reclamation Facility Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and Citizens Financial Advisory Committee. The individual committee members were polled on two questions: putting the WRF Program surcharge on the monthly utility bills or County tax rolls and front-loading or phasing-in the maximum surcharge. Results of the informal poll were mixed. Video of the meeting can be seen here.
Joint Community Workshop: June 23, 2018 @ 1:30 PM
On Saturday, June 23rd, the City Manager, City staff, and WRF program manager held a community meeting hosted by Don Maruska to discuss the latest rate increase information and potential options for implementation of any rate increases over the next several years. Options posed to the community included front-loading or phasing-in the maximum approved surcharge and placing the surcharge on either the monthly utility bills or County tax rolls. Components of the workshop included a presentation, information kiosks where residents could get additional information on topics ranging from potable reuse to maximizing the value of the project for the community, and an exercise to gauge the community’s preference on implementation of the rates. Video of the workshop can be seen here.
Blue Ribbon Commission Releases their Findings on New, Proposed Rate Increases
On Thursday, June 21st, the Blue Ribbon Commission released their report on the proposed water and wastewater rate increases. The Commission considers the $41 per month surcharge for the combined water and wastewater bills to fund the WRF Program is reasonable. The Blue Ribbon Commission’s findings came from more than a half dozen meetings with City staff and Bartle Wells Associates over several monthly and detailed review of the latest capital improvement programs for water and wastewater developed under the City’s OneWater Plan. The Blue Ribbon Commission report can be viewed here.
WRF Update presented to City Council: June 13, 2018 @ 6:00 PM
The City manager, City staff, and the WRF program manager presented a comprehensive status overview of the WRF Program to City Council at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall. Topics covered included the reasons why a new wastewater facility is needed, an overview of the program budget and schedule, discussion of the procurement of the design-build team for the onsite components of the WRF Program, and a summary of 2015 rate increase. Video of the meeting can be seen here. At the meeting, staff requested Council to identify Filanc/Black & Veatch as the preferred proposer and begin negotiations. The City Council provided this direction.
Library Forum: May 16, 2018 @ 3:00 PM
The City Manager, City staff, and the WRF program manager held a forum to address the community’s questions about the WRF Program at the Morro Bay Library. The forum was moderated by local business owner, Don Maruska. The forum consisted of a brief presentation, a facilitated question and session, and public comment. A copy of the presentation can be found here.
Blue Ribbon Commission created to Inform Rate Study
At the WRF Public Forum held at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall on April 25, 2018, City Manager, Scott Collins, announced the creation of the Blue Ribbon Commission who will work with City staff, the program management team, and the City’s rate consultant, Bartle Wells Associates, to review operations and maintenance budgets, look at ways to reduce the cost of the WRF Program, and determine the reasonableness of rate increases. The members of the Blue Ribbon Commission have a long history in the community and are John Martin, Barbara Spagnola, Joan Solu, and Homer Alexander.
Water Reclamation Facility Goals
Morro Bay’s Water Reclamation Facility Community Goals, adopted by City Council in December 2013 and amended on October 24, 2017, are:
- All aspects of the WRF project shall be completed ensuring economic value with a special emphasis on minimizing rate payer and City expense.
- Communicate WRF project progress including general project status, milestones, and budget/cost information to our community members regularly.
- Produce tertiary, disinfected wastewater in accordance with Title 22 requirements for unrestricted urban irrigation.
- Design to produce reclaimed wastewater to augment the City’s water supply, by either direct or indirect means, as described in a master water reclamation plan and to maximize funding opportunities.
- Include features in the WRF project that maximize the City’s opportunities to secure funding and maximize efficiencies.
- Design to minimize the impacts from contaminants of emerging concern in the future.
- Ensure compatibility with neighboring land uses.