Montgomery Watson Harza, project design engineers for the controversial Los Osos sewer, reported Monday that files and computers had been stolen from their local office at Sunnyside Elementary School. The theft coincides almost perfectly with an announcement from the CSD of a resolution to investigate activities pertaining to sewer contracts, spending, and design.
Montgomery Watson Harzaâ€™s Los Osos staff redirected inquiries to their Colorado headquarters, which, as of press time, had not heard about the reported break-in.
As the district faces the possibility of losing $135 million in State Revolving Fund (SRF) money â€” the CSD has until today, Wednesday, Nov. 23, to accept or reject the State Water Boardâ€™s ultimatum â€” its directors continue to focus much of their attention on exposing improprieties of former staff members.
The CSD intends to investigate all engineers, consultants, and contractors involved in the contentious project since 1999. In a separate investigation, the CSD also hopes to gain a better understanding of the SRF loan procedures.
â€œHow did this loan go forward?â€? asked CSD President Lisa Schicker. â€œThey gave out the money before the election, and then they said the election changed everything.â€?
In addition to calling for those investigations, the CSD must also gauge public opinion in the community to determine whether to accept the terms of the state and proceed with sewer construction at the downtown site, or lose the SRF loan. All five CSD directors were elected on the platform of moving the sewer, but the community remains narrowly divided.
â€œItâ€™s not like we can never get another loan,â€? Schicker said. â€œWe can get back in line. This isnâ€™t our only chance.â€?