Morro Bay moves forward with wastewater project



Next July, the Morro Bay community will start paying to fund the long anticipated wastewater treatment facility.

City Manager Scott Collins told New Times the Morro Bay City Council approved the surcharges of $41 per month at its Sept. 11 meeting, because there weren't a sufficient number of protests against it from property owners.

"It's been a lot of work the past couple of years to get to where we are now, and we understand that there's a lot of people in the community who felt that it wasn't the right project or too expensive," Collins said. "Yes, it is an expensive project for a community of our size, and we're going to do everything we can to ensure we never hit [above] a $41 increase."

The fixed monthly surcharges billed per residential unit will total $41 per month for a single-family home. Multi-family and condominium units will incur a $32.80 per month total surcharge.

Utility bills for ratepayers could be as low as $168 or as high as $233, with the average customer paying $191.

Next up for the water project is for the city to apply for loans in the hopes of reducing the project's overall budget, Collins said.

"We're preparing to submit applications for the state revolving fund for their low interest loan," he said. "We did not include that in our rate analysis, but if we are successful in getting that, it could take another $5 to $7 off a month of that $41."

Last month, the city submitted its application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a low-interest federal loan that could fund half the cost of the project.

In April, the EPA made $5.5 million available for loans, and Morro Bay was one out of 12 chosen to proceed in the next step of the application process. Δ

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