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11/23/2023 Letter from the General Manager

Dear Cambrians, 

Reflecting on the last seven months serving the District, I have much to be thankful for. Just before the District hired me, I lost a family member to cancer. She was young and vibrant with a husband and two young boys who are 6 & 7 now. We have the boys stay with us often and cherish the fact she left us a piece of her in each of the boys. We often laugh about her little quarks and mannerisms that persist in her children. I am so thankful we get to be a part of their lives. I try to keep things in perspective when things don’t seem to go our way, personally or organizationally, yet we keep powering through. As such, today is a reminder to express gratitude for the abundance of love, joy, and shared moments that make life truly meaningful. May this Thanksgiving be a time of reflection, gratitude, and shared moments with those we hold dear. We wish you a day filled with laughter, love, and the company of cherished friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Administration & Finance Departments

District staff created a page on the website for current contracts, agreements, and grants. The link is

San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority

IWMA will be performing education and outreach visits in some Cambria neighborhoods. For more information, please review the letter here: IWMA will be providing the District with more details soon.

Grant Writing Services

The District selected Mr. Mermin to provide grant writing services and staff is working with District Counsel to prepare an agreement for consultant services with Elijah Mermin. As a senior grant professional with 19 years of experience for nonprofit organizations and government agencies, he is well-equipped to help CCSD identify and qualify appropriate funding opportunities and work closely with our staff to develop competitive grant applications.

District Policy & Fee Schedule Updates

Municipal Resource Group, LLC has finalized the Payment & Compensation Plan for the Management & Confidential Employees Group. This will be brought to the Board of Directors for review and consideration in early 2024.

The General Manager, Administrative Department Manager, and Confidential Administrative Assistant are continuing to work with Liebert, Cassidy, and Whitmore (LCW) on updating the District's Personnel Policies, Procedures, and Rules, which haven't been updated since 1987.

The General Manager, Administrative Department Manager, and Confidential Administrative Assistant are continuing to work with Bartle Wells & Associates to update the District's fee schedule, which has not been updated since 2013.  We met with Mr. Handlers this week to discuss the Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall rental fees. 

Information Technology

The General Manager and Confidential Administrative Assistant worked with CIO Solutions to design a SharePoint site and are moving file shares from the CCSD server to SharePoint. The migration will be completed on Monday, November 27th. 

Electronic Payment Service & Utility Access Portal

On November 16, 2023, the Board of Directors approved providing an electronic payment service and utility access portal through Tyler Technologies. The Administrative Services Manager and Confidential Administrative Assistant are working with Tyler Technologies to implement the electronic payment service function and utility access portal. Staff expects the project to be completed by Spring 2024.

Peak Agenda Management 

The General Manager and Confidential Administrative Assistant have finalized the Peak Agenda management portal with Granicus. Staff received training, and the cutover will begin in early 2024. The Board of Directors and Standing Committee meeting agendas and minutes will always be available on the District's website, but the public is welcome to use our new Peak Agenda Management portal below in early 2024. 

2024 Peak Agenda Management Portal

Records Retention Schedule Update

Gladwell Governmental Services met with each department to review the proposed changes and obtain additional changes for the records retention update. Gladwell Governmental Services is updating the records retention schedules for all District departments and preparing a detailed index of the schedules for Board approval.

Administration Office Closures

The CCSD administration office was closed from Wednesday, November 22, 2023, through Friday, November 24, 2023, in observance of Thanksgiving. The office will reopen on Monday, November 27, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. 

Administration Office Hours

The Cambria Community Services District Administration Office is open Monday - Thursday and every other Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment. The Administration Office is closed for lunch daily from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact the Administration Office at 805-927-6223.

Facilities & Resources Department

To submit general inquiries, or to report any issues on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, public restrooms, Cambria Dog Park, or to schedule a meeting with Facilities and Resources Manager Aguirre, please submit your inquiries or concerns here:

EV Charging Station Relocation

On September 14, 2023, the Board of Directors approved a Public Works Agreement with Thoma Electric to relocate the electric vehicle charging station at the Veterans' Hall and adopted Resolution 51-2023 for a budget adjustment. On October 16, 2023, CCSD staff held a kickoff meeting with Thoma Electric, and Thoma Electric informed the District of the necessary explicit specifications and requirements for an ADA-compliant parking space. An accessible parking space is required for this project as per grant compliance conditions. Two critical conditions of the specifications for ADA-compliant parking space are that the slope of the accessible parking space cannot have a slope greater than 2.08%, and the ADA space should be on the right-hand side. With these critical constraints accounted for, only one area of the Veterans Hall parking lot satisfied all specifications. On November 9, 2023, the Board of Directors approved the location of the new electric vehicle charging station. Work will commence as soon as the permitting is completed with the County of San Luis Obispo. 

Maintenance Technician Recruitment

The District is currently accepting applications for the Maintenance Technician position. This recruitment is open until the needs of the District are met. To apply, please visit

Cambria Fire Department

Meet Interim Fire Chief

On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Interim Fire Chief Burkey will work out of the Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall again and would love to meet you and hear your thoughts on anything related to the Cambria Fire Department. 

Contact Interim Fire Chief

To submit general inquiries or to schedule a meeting with Interim Chief Burkey, please submit your inquiries or concerns here:

Firefighter Paramedic Recruitment

The District is currently accepting applications for the Firefighter Paramedic position. This recruitment is open until the needs of the District are met. To apply, please visit

Genasys Protect (Zonehaven) and Emergency Alert System

The Cambria Fire Department and its public safety partners are excited to announce the implementation of Genasys Protect (Zonehaven) which aims to prepare residents and businesses for emergencies or evacuations before an event occurs.  Interim Fire Chief Burkey is working with Atascadero Fire to obtain information regarding magnets and further department preparation and education.

Genasys Protect works by breaking the entire community into Zones, and each zone has a corresponding number on the map. A resident only needs to know their Zone identification number for evacuation and repopulation purposes. During an emergency, the Zone number will be provided along with clear evacuation instructions and emergency information. Genasys Protect will provide traffic in real-time, identify where possible evacuation centers will be located and use the latest emergency information provided by incident commanders on the scene as the emergency event unfolds. Be prepared for the next natural disaster by KNOWING YOUR ZONE

Know Your Zone in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Visit – type your address in the search bar or use your current address. 
  2. Click on the highlighted zone and locate the number of listed in the zone description panel. 
  3. Write your zone down and place it somewhere easily accessible by everyone in your house. 
  4. Click on Subscribe to Alerts to stay updated in case of an emergency.
  5. Explore the information provided in your zone's description panel and bookmark any useful links provided. 

More information will be provided as we continue to roll out this exciting new program for Cambria. Cambrians are encouraged to download the Genasys Protect application on your smartphone, enter your address and  save your zone.  If you need more information, or if you are having trouble downloading the application or need assistance locating your Zone, please contact Interim Fire Chief Burkey or come to the "Meet the Interim Fire Chief" on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and we would be happy to assist you. 

Winter Storm Preparation

Cambria residents can fill up sandbags at the Cambria Dog Park parking lot located at 2021 Rodeo Grounds Road and Lampton Park located at the corner of Lampton and Windsor.

Bring your sandbags and a shovel. Sandbags are available at most local hardware stores but not at the Cambria Fire Department. For additional information about emergency preparedness in Cambria, click here.

Weed Abatement

The inspection process has been completed, and Mike Rice Forest Yard & Garden and Paradise Tree Service have submitted invoices.

Water & Wastewater Departments

New Water and Wastewater System Superintendents

Toni Artho was promoted to the Wastewater Systems Superintendent position effective December 1st. Toni replaces John Allchin, who is retiring this month. Toni has worked for Cambria Community Services District since December 2016. 

Cody Meeks was promoted to the Water Systems Superintendent position effective November 20th. Cody has worked for Cambria Community Services District since February 2020. 

SR4 Well at Coast Union High School

The District has continued its efforts to negotiate with the Coast Unified School District (CUSD) for long-term access/rights to the SR4 well and easements. We have held two closed sessions and will respond to the CUSD formally on Monday morning regarding their Board discussion of a ten-year or 99-year term at 26k annually and creating a new easement access road. The CCSD will have an update for the community as soon as possible. 

Cambria Skatepark

The staff has a tentative meeting with our consultant to follow up on any updates or new requests from County Planning. Our CCSD consultant reviewed current permitting conditions with SLO County Public Works, who agrees that no additional sidewalks should extend beyond the utility vault. No amendment to plans or other engineering will be necessary. The staff has scheduled a follow-up in January 2024 on our waiver request. 

San Luis Obispo County Tourism Business Improvement District Cambria Skatepark Grant

The General Manager and Confidential Administrative Assistant applied for a grant for $4,750 in LFA infrastructure and beautification funding, which would be used to help fund the construction of the bathroom at the Cambria Skatepark. 

East Ranch Restroom

This project is currently in the planning stage of the construction permit process. Utilities staff are addressing submittal comments from the County of San Luis Obispo Planners and are in preparation for resubmittal.

Proposals are currently being received for the Cultural Resources Assessment. Cultural resources relate only to remains and sites associated with human activities and include the following:

  • Prehistoric and ethnohistoric Native American archaeological sites.
  • Historic archaeological sites.
  • Historic buildings.
  • Elements or areas of the natural landscape that have traditional cultural significance.

It has been determined that a Biological Monitoring Plan is already in place for this project.

Staff anticipates resolving all planning issues and SLO County Planning response by January 2024 and anticipates ground-breaking by July 1, 2024. The vendor has a 240-day lead time (this is a prefabricated restroom that is yet to be constructed) to deliver the restroom facility.

On November 16, 2023, the Board of Directors approved a deed restriction to be recorded on the title of the Fiscalini Ranch as a condition of receiving grant funding from the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All of 2018 Parks Bond Act. The staff is bringing back another item for the Board of Directors to discuss and formally consider approving the issuance of an Intent to Serve letter to allow the restroom to receive potable water from the CCSD's water system and consider approval of a change to the Community Park Master Plan to allow water-serving restroom designs.  Staff has assembled the data for consumption from several public restrooms to present data for use to the Board of Directors to determine anticipated potable water use at the restroom.

Coastal Development Permit

The staff has awarded WRF CDP consulting to SWCA Environmental Consultants. SWCA is a consulting firm that, since 1981, has performed comprehensive environmental planning, regulatory compliance, and natural and cultural management services both locally and globally. SWCA will help the District update our WRF project description and work with our regulators to ensure its completeness. On October 17th, utility staff hosted our consultant for a site visit of the WRF and to discuss the history and status of the project. The visit included CCSD service wells 9P2 & 9P7, the future Zero Liquid Discharge site, and the evaporation pond. Our consultant will review the CCSD's CEQA and EIR documents and develop the new project description. Staff has scheduled a meeting with County Planning to discuss the intended approach and confirm their support. A key focus being developed by our consultant for the CDP is the restoration of the Title 27 pond to mitigate temporal losses since its implementation.

Utilities staff met with our consultant on November 3rd, who stated they would have a table summarizing metrics involving the application, i.e., the info hold, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) concerns, Instream Flow Study (IFS), and Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) development.  Staff is also internally reviewing info-hold questions and preparing a completion matrix to present to the County staff. Utilities staff and consultants have a follow-up meeting scheduled with SLO County Planning on December 13th, where they intend to deliver project components and completion matrix for evaluation.

Stuart Street Tank Construction  

We are currently in the environmental permitting process. The environmental permitting tasks are a bit more costly than similar projects due to their location in the Coastal Zone and the need to perform CEQA and NEPA analyses as required when funded by a federal grant. The tanks are also located in a Geological Study Area, which increases permitting complexity.

Utilities staff has prepared and submitted a draft contract to legal counsel for our consultant's design/ build engineering. The staff has completed and submitted the CEQA/ NEPA application documentation as per EPA Federal grant requirements. Other permitting requirements such as Geotechnical, Cultural Resources, land survey, biological, and grading and drainage plan review are being completed concurrently.

San Simeon Well 3

On November 6, 2023, the Resources & Infrastructure Committee recommended the replacement of the San Simeon Well 3 pump.  The selected contractor has been approved to replace the failing 50 HP Vertical Turbine motor, which has been in service since 1985. This item will be presented to the Board of Directors in December.

San Simeon Water Line & Effluent Line Well Field Transmission Lines

Staff reported that the preliminary research is going well. Most data have been gathered, and our consultants are in the process of reviewing it. The aerial survey is complete, and preliminary topo has been received. A final survey will occur once the final alignment(s) have been chosen. Preliminary Geotech constraints are being discussed with Utilities Department staff and consultants.

Action items:

  • Environmental consultants will help look at horizontal directional drilling (HDD) feasibility as we narrow down alignments.
  • The consultant will refine the alignments exhibit and send updated layouts to the Utilities staff.
  • The consultant will continue to work on the PDR (Preliminary Design Report) and get a draft to the District by the end of November.

Planned Activities during November:

  • Utility Research and Coordination.
  • Base Mapping - insert utility information into a base map of alignments.
  • Preliminary Alignment Analysis - refine potential alignments and update the exhibit.
  • CEQA Compliance- Continue researching and reviewing documents for environmental constraints analysis to be included in the PDR.
  • Biological and Botanical Assessment- Continue research and identify potential issues.
  • Cultural Resources Assessment.
  • Caltrans Permitting- contact Caltrans to determine the feasibility of parallel encroachment.
  • Geotech Constraints and Alignments Analysis.

Instream Flow Study (IFS) & Adaptive Management Plan (AMP)

CCSD utility staff and Biologist Kevin Merk assembled for an informal meeting to discuss upcoming AMP and IFS work. Biologist Merk will be assuming the environmental and biological reporting for the District, replacing long-time District biologist Cindy Cleveland. Merk led the environmental and biological reporting for Morro Bay's Wastewater Treatment Plant project and developed beneficial contacts with the EPA while obtaining their permits for its operation. We hope to use his experience with the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). WIFIA Grant communication for the EPA to acquire funding for the District's environmental endeavors. 

The Instream Flow Study (IFS) aims to do more analysis on Van Gordon Creek, incorporate comments and groundwater modeling, and develop protections for resources. IFS consultant biologists visited the creek while it was flowing in June, went through the watershed, looked at the habitat, and collected photos. The consultant is reviewing groundwater reports to see how they concern Warren Wells and Van Gordon Creek and will put together a comment matrix for all comments addressing all concerns. The consultant is in the process of making IFS revisions promptly for the District's review.

We look forward to creative discussions concerning topics such as habitat restoration of the Title 27 pond and WRF mitigation.

Zero Liquid Discharge Program

The Department of Energy has approved Global Water Innovations (GWI) tasks and timelines, the final step needed for grant clearance. A working pilot is being constructed while the awarding of funding is being anticipated.

Water Meter Replacement Program

The initial pilot program has been slowed due to supply chain issues. Staff was fortunate enough to receive ten of the Nicor Antennae with Orion cellular programming to commence the long-awaited pilot program. The Orion Cellular endpoint is an innovative, two-way water endpoint that utilizes existing cellular infrastructure to deliver meter reading data efficiently and securely to the utility via the cellular network. The units were received and installed on November 8th. Even this tiny pilot has proved beneficial for determining accurate provider coverage in varying community topography.

Utilities staff will be assessing the operational systems of the Orion monitoring and data software interface for the remainder of the year. The significance of the meter upgrade is the ability to access integral data needed for water consumption monitoring, leak alerts, and commercial versus residential utilization.

East-West Village Transmission Line Replacement

All phases of the transmission line repair are complete, and permanent repairs have been made. Road surface repairs are finished and have been inspected by the County of San Luis Obispo Roads staff.

The repair contractor has submitted the final invoice. The original proposal of $132,234.50 was maintained, even with the additional equipment and labor of the added half-day for concrete thrust block removal. An accompanying invoice for $7,413.17 for the equipment and labor from the initial first day-of-leak repair that was performed was submitted.

A notice of completion will be submitted to the County to finalize the project.

Status of the Wastewater SST Project

Mrs. Dodson created a Wastewater SST Project information page on the website. It is available here:

November 16, 2023, Board Meeting Update 

For a more detailed Board meeting transcript, go to

  • The Board of Directors received and filed the first quarter budget report for FY 2023/24.
  • The Board of Directors approved the Ad Hoc Committee Report for the Strategic Plan Workshop process and appointed Dick Clark as the facilitator.
  • The Board of Directors approved providing an electronic payment service and utility access portal through Tyler Technologies.
  • The Board of Directors approved the deed restriction as part of the requirements for grant funding for the East Ranch Community Park public restroom.

November 16, 2023, Board Meeting Documents

John Allchin's Proclamation2023-2024 First Quarter Budget ReportCCSD Strategic Planning Process Ad Hoc Committee Report - Board Approved 11/16/2023Tyler Technologies Executed Quote 

Upcoming December Board Meeting Items (subject to change):

  • Election of Officers
  • Discussion and consideration of Standing Committee chair and liaison appointments
  • Establish the 2024 Board regular meeting schedule
  • Discussion and consideration to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Regional Biosolids Cooperative
  • Discussion and consideration to approve an Agreement for Consultant Services with CSG Consultants for fire protection plan & review services
  • Discussion and consideration of Ad Hoc Committee Report for brine waste disposal options
  • Discussion and consideration to approve an agreement to the second amended and restated JPA agreement of the Integrated Waste Management authority and adopt a resolution (On 10/31, the County Board of Supervisors voted to rejoin the IWMA through a Joinder Agreement. This agreement fundamentally addresses two issues. 1) It allows the County to rejoin the JPA with one seat and one vote on the IWMA Board.  2) It allows the IWMA Board to move the election of its officers to the beginning of the year. This agreement provides a pathway for the County to rejoin the IWMA with a single seat and a single vote on the IWMA Board. IWMA is asking that CCSD place approving the Joinder Agreement on an agenda for the CCSD board's approval so that they may bring the County back into the IWMA. Once the member jurisdictions have approved the Joinder Agreement and the County is officially a member of the IWMA, IWMA will transition the County back into the IWMA and realize the full benefit of a regional agency.
  • Discussion and consideration to approve the updated Budget Policy
  • Discussion and consideration of Policy 1040.2 Regarding Response to Correspondence to the Board, CCSD Operating Principles Policy 4005, Policy 1045 Legal Counsel and Auditor Policy, and Elimination of Policy B-02-2018
  • Discussion and Consideration to approve a Public Works Contract for replacing the San Simeon Well 3 pump

On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., I will work out of the Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall. I would love to meet interested community members and hear your thoughts. We will provide coffee, snacks, and the ability to engage in dialogue about everything Cambria.

As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas. If you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me or any of our management team.

Thank you again for your support; I am at your service. 

Matthew McElhenie

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