Adjustments to the water code are suggested, and wastewater education is made a priority

TEMPLETON — The Templeton Community Services District (TCSD) met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16, for closed session beginning at 6:15 p.m. and open session beginning at 7 p.m.

With nothing to report on closed session, the meeting went into the update from Sheriff and CHP, who both reported on the number of incidents locally, and specifically in Templeton. The Sheriff’s office noted that the numbers were down this year by about seven percent, from 1675 to 1563.

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the 25 available water units that are ready to be released. A presentation from Tina Mayer, District Engineer, touched on the Water Code Section 2.2.6 Water Allocation System.

Director Pam Jardini, well versed in the process of project applications in the county, noted that the verbiage in the Water Code of a “County Accepted Application” within 120 days was an unrealistic expectation, with applications sometimes taking upwards of a full year to be completed and considered “accepted.” 

After discussion and opening up for public comment on the issue, the board returned to a short closed session with legal counsel to take the water policy interpretation offline. Upon returning, General Manager Jeff Briltz summed up the break, “Because of the ambiguity and how county defines an accepted application, we think the board should make a minor change to the term to state that should be a beginning of the process and not complete.”

As the first two names on the water waitlist do not require a new county application, it was put to motion to proceed with the release of the current 25 water units and to also clean up the water code verbiage for future water units that become available. 

 The motion passed 5-0.

The next item was the COVID-19 status update from General Manager Briltz, who brought up “Clutter to Cash,” an organized garage sale event where they promote the local sales in hopes that items will be repurposed rather than end up in a landfill. 

The Board approved the event, deeming that as an outdoor event, COVID-19 restrictions need not apply. 

The next item the Board discussed was the potential Consulting Agreement with Wallace Group. The purpose of this agreement was to put in place more education for local businesses around wastewater and the treatment facility in hopes to reduce the strain on the wastewater treatment facility that it was faced in the fall and early winter in years past. 

While the Board expressed concerns around the lack of RFP (request for proposal) for this project, the agreement with the Wallace Group was approved 5-0. 

Director Geoff English, who made the motion to approve, stated, even with the lack of RFP, “I will support this motion tonight because there is a sense of urgency to it. Wallace group is well suited to do this project…There isn’t anyone on the central coast more qualified than he…. They would have finished number one in an RFP anyway.”

The last item to be addressed on the agenda was the Mid Year budget review and adjustments that were presented by Finance Officer, Natalie Klock. She reviewed and explained the reasons for certain surpluses and deficits and gave recommendations on staff on adjustments to be made. 

The full document for the staff-recommended budget adjustments can be found here.

The motion to approve the recommendations was passed 5-0.

The full agenda for the session and agendas for future sessions can be found here.

Getting through this together, Atascadero