Maria Lorca’s letter “Keep Big Grape out of your wallet,” Feb. 11, has a major error in it that changes the face of the debate over who might dominate downstream Proposition 218 votes in the Paso Robles Basin. Proposition 218 votes are based on the benefit received, not on acreage.
For any proposed Proposition 218 vote, an engineering study is done to determine who benefits and to what degree. Those who benefit most, pay most, and have the most votes. Those who are not affected or do not benefit, do not vote and do not pay. As an example, if a recharge project were proposed for the Paso Robles Airport area, the study would show who in the surrounding area would benefit and to what extent, in dollars.
There could be concentric rings of benefit determined; those closest would have the most benefit, the most votes, the most to pay. The next “ring” out would benefit less, have fewer votes, and less to pay. It’s unlikely that a local recharge project near the center of the “red zone” would benefit those out in Creston, so the Crestonites would bear no responsibility for cost. Proposition 218 ensures a fair distribution of cost to benefit. That is how Proposition 218 works ... and it is fair.
-- Laurie Gage - Paso Robles