City Secures Millions in Federal Funding For Largest City Infrastructure Program
Monday, March 9, marked a historic milestone for the City of Morro Bay and its Water Reclamation Facility Program as it secured up to $62 million in low-interest funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. Alone, this loan will make available up to 49 percent of the project cost in low-interest funding, which is ultimately expected to save Morro Bay ratepayers $29 million over the life of the project.
“Securing this low-interest federal funding is a sound financial decision for the City,” said Mayor John Headding. “Signing the agreements now means that we will lock in near-historic low-interest rates and ensure maximum benefit for our rate payers.”
Read the full news release here.
Underground Utility Work Completed for Water Reclamation Facility Project Pipelines
From November to January, the City of Morro Bay conducted work on Atascadero Road, Main Street, Quintana Road and South Bay Boulevard to gather information about and confirm the locations of buried utilities. The work provides the City’s team with important information about the location and depth of the existing utilities in the public right-of-way. For additional information, please read the construction notice.
California Coastal Commission Issues Coastal Development Permit
The California Coastal Commission issued the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the City of Morro Bay Water Reclamation Facility project in November 2019, marking an important step in the permitting process for the City’s largest-ever infrastructure project. The CDP was unanimously approved by the California Coastal Commission in July 2019. View the permit here. More information about the CDP Special Conditions can be found here, and review the Special Conditions here.
60% Design Complete for Pipeline Project
The 60% design of the offsite facilities, including the pump stations, pipelines and injection wells, is complete. The pipeline design team has all field investigation information to complete the design by the end of 2019 or early 2020. The construction of pipelines and pump stations will begin in July 2020.
Through November 2019, project team members are meeting with businesses along the pipeline alignments to discuss individual business operations and access needs. These business insights will help the City prepare traffic control requirements, mitigation measures and bid specifications for construction.
90% Design Underway for Water Reclamation Facility
The 90% design for the Water Reclamation Facility is underway by the Design-Build team, and is expected to be complete in November 2019. The final grading package for the South Bay Boulevard site was completed in Fall 2019. Because the project will be completed using a design-build method, construction will start prior to the receipt of final plans and specifications.
New Rates to Appear in August Bill
Beginning in July, the City of Morro Bay’s combined water and sewer bill increased in order to fund operations and maintenance of the entire water and sewer system, along with important infrastructure improvements including the new Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). The increase appeared in the August bill for water/sewer use in July. Additional information is available here.
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.