Lifeguards needed for Templeton Park pool

TEMPLETON — The Templeton Community Services District held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Jun. 15 at 7 p.m. The meeting opened with the approval of the consent agenda before moving on to business, beginning with the Introduction Of Ordinance 2021-4 (Solid Waste), in which the Franchise Fees would be used to help offset the deficit that exists within Parks and Recreation.

In March 2020, the Board of Directors held a discussion concerning the use of Solid Waste Franchise Fees and whether or not State law restricts the use for specific purposes. Adoption of the Ordinance will allow the District greater flexibility in the use of Solid Waste Franchise Fees. In looking into this, it was determined that there was a current ordinance that prohibited the use of waste funds for any other purpose, so staff recommendation was to repeal this code section as well as introduce the new ordinance.

President Debra Logan made a motion to introduce ordinance 2021-4, with a second from Pam Jardini. The motion passed 5-0.

The budget was the next item on the list, presented by General Manager Jeff Briltz. The Finance and Administration Committee met and reviewed the preliminary Draft budget on May 6. After review, the Board directed staff to complete the budget. This new budget took into effect the changes directed at the Jun. 1 workshop to discuss the budget. The proposed fiscal year 2021/22 Operating Budget includes estimated revenues of $9.1 million and recommended expenditures of $7.2 million. The full agenda item can be viewed here: templetoncsd.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/4103?fileID=2808

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Director Wayne Petersen made a motion to approve the budget, which was seconded by President Logan. The motion was passed 4-1, with Director Navid Fardanesh in opposition.

Next, the Board, by motion, considered authorizing staff to cast an electronic ballot to elect one person to the CSDA Board of Directors, representing the Coastal Network, Seat A, for the 2022 to 2024 term of office. 

The candidates were Ms. Elaine Magner, Director of the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District, and Mr. Hugh Rafferty, Director of the Santa Maria Public Airport District.

The Board voted in favor of Elaine Magner, 4-1, with Director Fardanesh in support of Hugh Rafferty. 

The next item was the Nacimiento Water Recharge and Recovery Project at Creekside Site and to authorize staff to pursue an easement for a new Nacimiento turnout and pipeline to the site. The District currently subscribes to a total of 406 acre-feet of Nacimiento water per year. When the pipeline was in service, water was discharged into the Selby percolation ponds until 2019, when the East Side Force Main Project came online and required most of the capacity of Selby ponds for discharge of treated water. 

In 2017, the District acquired an additional 25 acres north of Creekside Ranch Road and began exploring the potential of combined sites for development as a new location for discharge of Nacimiento water for the District. The shorter travel time from the discharge pond and retrieval wells would shorten the wait time from 35 months to two to four months.

Tina Mayer, the District Engineer, presented the item, along with conceptual site plans and conceptual costs for the project, including options to phase the project. The plan was broken into a direct and indirect route, with the estimated price being 3.6 million for the direct route and 4.4 million for the indirect routes. 

Staff recommended the direct route, but in order to create the alignment for the water to be brought over to the location, an easement is needed. If there is any difficulty in obtaining an easement, staff would then look toward an indirect route.

Director Jardini inquired when the construction estimates were procured. Mayer responded that these were estimated in the past month from the construction estimates on the county website. “One of the reasons we have such a large contingency on there is to account for things like that.” Explaining that it is a high-level estimate, not a fine-tuned cost. 

The project, when completed, would provide around 630 new water units.

Director Jardini inquired as to whether the District had sufficient wastewater treatment facilities in order to accommodate this new water. Upon hearing that the District did not, and furthermore that the cost for increasing the wastewater facility wasn’t included in the budget. Jardini next asked about water units that are currently being held and not allowed to transfer within the District, which at the end of 2020 was 625 units assigned but not yet in use.

“So we have almost the equivalent water available if we would allow it to be used without costing our community 3.6 million dollars. And yet, that is your recommendation. I’m floored. I’m embarrassed as a district director. That we’re asking our community to come up with a 3.6 million dollar cost increase, without the sewage end being looked at when we have the equivalent available to us now.” Jardini stated.

Briltz responded that all the funding options that he explained had the capital fees paid by new connections, not by monthly ratepayers. He also reminded that the purpose of this project is to meet the peak need of summer usage. 

Briltz also mentioned the other options that the District looked into, such as a potential partnership with Paso or Atascadero for surface water treatment, rather than building this new facility, and that ultimately it was deemed most efficacious to create Templeton’s own facility.

The motion ultimately passed 4-1, with Director Jardini in opposition.

Briltz then gave the COVID update, which highlighted the extension of the executive order prohibiting water shut off for non-payment to Sep. 30, the acknowledgment that the Brown Act allowances would continue and be given ample notice before changes come, and the removal of the colored tier system, and the requirement to still wear masks for non-vaccinated individuals or employees. 

Additionally, a budget was presented to the governor with 100 million in special district funds for revenue loss, but at this time, the order has not been signed, nor does the District know how they could claim some of that. Lastly, the permits for Concerts in the Park had been approved, and concerts would start on Jul. 21, with more information to come in the next couple of weeks. 

Briltz then moved on to the General Manager’s Report, in which he spoke to the drought conditions in the area, which is now in extreme drought. He mentioned an incident in the skate park the prior week in which a teenager gave alcohol to a younger minor, which ended with the minor being hospitalized, but he’s recovering well. He also mentioned a traffic incident the prior week in which the back fence at German Park had been damaged, and the District is looking to see if the funds to repair can be recovered through the driver’s insurance or possibly the Districts.

Additionally, the County is hoping to get the Templeton Park pool operating for the second half of summer and is currently looking for individuals to fill lifeguard positions.

Lastly, Briltz commented on the 4th of July parade that will be happening this year and that Templeton’s very own Laurie Ion will be the Grand Marshal of the parade. 

The next meeting of the TCSD will be held on Jul. 6 at 7 p.m., and the agenda can be found on the District’s website at templetoncsd.org/AgendaCenter