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2020 President Reports

MARCH 2020 REPORT FROM CAMBRIA CSD BOARD PRESIDENT HARRY FARMER

Due to current circumstances, my monthly Table Talk meeting at the Redwood Cafe will not take place until further notice.  Yet there is much to report to the community, including from this past Monday’s Special CCSD Board meeting on March 23rd, that will provide needed information to Cambria residents.

First, everyone should be assured that basic, essential community needs regarding water and sewer services will function as usual.  Staff continues to do their jobs as needed, both on-site and in the field.  If someone is unfortunately affected by the COPID-19 virus, other staff will fill in, and many are cross-trained in both areas to address whatever issues, such as water leaks, that may come up.  All residents should be feeling safe and secure regarding water and sewer, as well as services provided by the Cambria Fire Department and Emergency First responders you depend on from our Health Care District.  In unanticipated circumstances, we can also rely on other agencies to assist in providing manpower, and we will do the same for them.

On another topic of much importance at this time.  Many community members, especially those in the service industry, such as restaurant and motel workers, have temporarily, but hopefully not permanently, lost their jobs, and their source of income.  Your Cambria CSD is well aware of the challenges facing low and moderate-income workers, as well as the business owners in our town.  Some may not be able to pay their utility bills for the foreseeable future.  Instead of instituting a community-wide policy in this area, the District will be available to discuss the needs of individuals, families, and businesses, on a case by case basis.  

Many folks will no doubt be calling the District office with their concerns.  In these health challenging times, the office is temporarily closed.  Yet we have an answering service that is fluent in Spanish as well as English who will forward any messages to our staff receptionist and billing coordinator, who is also bilingual, and we will make every effort to accommodate the needs of our community members.  Also, do not leave any cash payments at the drop box at the office.  Please call the office at (805)927-6223 to make arrangements in this area.

Obviously these income stresses will also be felt at the District by lowered revenue.  We will be making spending adjustments in the annual budget as deemed necessary.

Here are some other basic information and comments you may need to know:

PLEASE BE ALERT to what you flush down the toilet!!  With more folks staying at home on a daily basis, more demands will be placed on our sewer collection system and our wastewater plant.  ONLY FLUSH YOUR WASTE AND TOILET PAPER in the toilet!!!  DO NOT FLUSH any disinfectant wipes, paper towels and facial tissue, diapers or baby wipes, medications, cooking grease, kitty litter or other items!!  You should be putting these in the trash!!!  Please use good judgment and common sense in this very important area being provided by your Services District that you depend on all the time.

The two public restrooms in town are presently closed for health precautions.  The District is currently reevaluating this temporary policy, but obviously there are many issues that need to be taken into consideration.  At this time the Vet’s Hall restrooms will continue to be closed during Friday Farmer’s Market.

When doing lengthy hand washing at home or elsewhere, try not to let the water run throughout the process.  Lather up, turn off the water while you sufficiently scrub, then turn the water back on to rinse.  Every little bit means a lot these days.  Also, don’t forget to do the same when you brush your teeth.  Wet your brush, turn off the water, brush your teeth, then turn the water back on to rinse your brush and wash your mouth.

Take every advantage of the many opportunities to go on walks in our town, from surface streets, to the various trails, and at the State Park.  However, some trails at the Fiscalini Ranch are now designated one way due to health concerns, including the much used and enjoyed bluff trail.  Please be considerate of others and obey these temporary rules.  Due to folks disregarding the social distance rule, the recently opened and very popular Pismo Preserve was closed to public access.  We certainly do not want this to happen on the Ranch in these times where we need an even greater opportunity to get much-needed exercise and be out in nature.

Also, it appears that many second homes normally only occasionally occupied are now being lived in full time, as homeowners are leaving their primary residence elsewhere and staying in Cambria on a more full-time basis. This will, of course, put more demands on water and sewer services. When you communicate with our part-time residents, please inform them of the circumstances mentioned above, especially the not to do’s regarding toilet use.

Obviously, no matter what our health and income circumstances, we are all in this together, not just in Cambria and the Central Coast, but all over Planet Earth.  We are so fortunate to be living in this very special place, surrounded by friends and neighbors and the beauty of nature.  Most of us are taking a little more time to be grateful, to connect with others, especially those in need and folks who live alone. More volunteerism and generosity of spirit is occurring to provide for the needs of others, especially individuals and families that are now financially challenged.  And while we may not be able to share hugs and handshakes, a wave and a smile, and expressions of love and kindness, will go a long way these days.

Ultimately we will be a more conscious, caring and compassionate society as a result of this crisis/opportunity being presented to us. 

Blessings, take good care.

Harry Farmer