City of Morro Bay

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer talks with the city manager of Morro Bay, Scott Collins, about the local government's response to the pandemic shutdown. As a popular seaside travel destination in recent decades, the economic health of Morro Bay has been dependent on tax revenue generated by hotel occupancy, retail sales, and rental income from waterfront business leases—all of which have plummeted due to COVID-19. For the first time in modern history, Morro Bay has instituted reverse tourism promotions to discourage visitors and vacationers.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay city staff and officials held a town hall meeting this week to get public feedback on the future of commercial cannabis. Residents who attended expressed their support for cultivating both retail and manufacturing cannabis businesses in the seaside city. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

UPDATE: This week Morro Bay officials opted for a cheaper solution to the city’s wastewater treatment needs. In a 3-to-2 vote, the Morro Bay city council directed staff to pursue construction of a new sewage treatment plant estimated to cost between $123 and $136 million, That option won’t have advanced water recycling capabilities, as did another one of the council’s choices, priced at $167 million. But faced with public pushback, officials decided they could pursue phasing in water recycling at a later date. Since the estimated costs to build the facility were so high, the council also asked for a second opinion on the project’s total estimated cost.

Original story: This week in Morro Bay, city officials are weighing options for construction of the city’s new wastewater treatment plant, and staff says “substantial rate increases will be needed to pay for the new facility.”