City of Morro Bay has made one thing perfectly clear: the citizens were right.
In their March 5, 2018 letter to Congressman Salud Carbajal, the city now admits to the Water Reclamation Facility having an estimated cost of over $150 million while residential water and sewer rates could cost over $247/month or higher with conventional bond financing.
Here’s a screenshot of the relevant portion of the letter, signed by Mayor Jamie Irons and City Manager Scott Collins:
We were told by the Council that residents opposing this gigantic project were exaggerating with their figures; that they were merely speculating on the estimated costs, despite the fact that they cited their sources in various staff documents. Now, the city certified what we knew all along in blue ink.
Similarly, we were told as recently by unnamed city sources in a KSBY segment about the Citizens for Affordable Living (CAL) workshop that water and sewer rates have not gone up in twenty years. Yet residents approved rate hikes in 2015 that went into effect, with each hike going into effect every July 1st through 2019. To date, there is no accounting of the funds raised by these hikes.
Now they ask residents to pay even more on top of rate hikes they can’t account for — and they expect our plant to be built in three years! They believe they can do this without a concrete project timetable, project management team and widespread community support.
Make no mistake: this is a clear breach of trust.
Save Morro Bay encourages residents to voice their opposition to the Water Reclamation Facility as currently proposed at the upcoming March 27, 2018 City Council meeting. More than ever, now is the time to take a stand.