Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Regional Board to recognize sewer advocates


The California Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Central Coast Region is set to recognize the proponents of the Rincon Point area septic to sewer effort, which was tentatively approved by residents in October with 65.6 percent of residents voting in favor of the switch.
The switch from sewer to septic was long championed by the group Heal the Ocean and its Executive Director Hillary Hauser, who claimed sewer systems, would improve nearby water quality.

In a resolution of appreciation for the proponents of the switch, the board praises those in favor of converting to sewer and says, “…The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region, hereby expresses its utmost appreciation for the tremendous efforts of the South Coat communities septic to sewer project proponents who despite challenges at many steps along the way successfully facilitated the design, funding, and approval of the sanitary sewer system.”
The vote came on the heels of a nine-year struggle by proponents to initiate the change, which continues to be a controversial issue in the Rincon Point, Sandyland Cove, Sand Point Road and Padaro Lane communities.
Hauser said a group called the Rincon Point Foundation has submitted legal challenges to the legitimacy of the vote.
Those opposed to the switch have insisted that spending millions of dollars on connecting the 175 homes in the four communities to the Carpinteria Sanitary District will do little to improve water quality.
Hauser said the Carpinteria Sanitary District has not yet given its nod of approval to fund the project. She said this won’t happen until the results of a LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) protest hearing are known.
The price of the project has been estimated at $10 million by District General Manager Craig Murray. If the project moves forward, each homeowner will have to decide whether to pay the $74,000 per residence as a lump sum in cash, or finance the amount over a 30-year period, resulting in a final cost of $88,000.

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