wastewater treatment plant

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, the city of Morro Bay continues its effort to build a $126 million dollar wastewater treatment facility near the north end of South Bay Blvd. But a group of residents are putting on the brakes with a referendum campaign; the county is currently verifying signatures that could trigger a public vote.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay water and sewer residential customers will be paying up to $41 dollars more a month for service, starting next summer. On Tuesday night, the Morro Bay city council voted to raise the rates, after counting the results of a community vote. Those opposed to the rate increase were short by an estimated 636 protest votes.

Greta Mart

Morro Bay officials recently decided upon a location for the city's new wastewater treatment plant. The city council opted for the inland South Bay Boulevard site, which will cost approximately $25 million more than if the city challenges a host of state agencies and insists on rebuilding in the current, beachside location. 

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.”