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8/4/2023 Letter from the General Manager

Dear Cambrians,

What a week!

I hope this message finds you well and thriving, even as we navigate challenging times. I write to you today with a sincere heart and a dedicated focus on addressing the concerns that many of you have graciously taken the time to express over the last few months of my tenure as General Manager. Your voices have been heard and are valued; you are an essential part of our community, and your input significantly shapes our collective future. Firstly, I want to express my deep appreciation for your continuous patience, understanding, and active engagement.

The concerns raised span a wide range, from fire safety and improvements in our public spaces to the delivery of efficient municipal services. It is a testament to your commitment to our community that you remain actively involved in these dialogues. Regarding our public spaces, we are working with several local groups who hope to revitalize parks and open spaces within Cambria. By creating more welcoming, inclusive, and functional spaces, we hope to encourage communal activities and strengthen our sense of community here in Cambria. We want you to see the transformative changes in the coming months.

As for CCSD services, we acknowledge there is always room for improvement. We have initiated a process to optimize efficiency and are investing in technologies to streamline our service delivery. Furthermore, we are exploring partnerships with external providers to enhance the breadth and quality of our services. This includes upgrading our water meters, enhancing our evacuation planning, Veterans’ Hall ad-hoc committees for more revenue for upkeep and maintenance, and grant writers for future funding of special projects. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of our current actions but a broad overview of your main concerns. We are committed to transparency and keeping you informed about our progress, and we will continue to share more detailed updates in due course.

Our community must remain where everyone feels heard, understood, and valued. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns help us grow and improve, and we appreciate your ongoing contribution. Your continued support and involvement are vital as we work on these and many other initiatives. Remember that we all have a part to play in building and maintaining the community we desire. Thank you for your patience, resilience, and dedication to our community. Together, we will continue striving for a community we proudly call home.

Administration Department

Ms. Fritz and Mrs. Dodson are continuing to work on the following projects:

  • Researching an electronic billing portal through Tyler Technologies
  • Researching vendors for accepting electronic payments
  • Researching vendors for updating records retention policy and schedule
  • Updating Novus Agenda to Peak Agenda Management 
  • Updating fee schedule with Bartle Wells & Associates
  • Working with Complete Paperless Solutions, LLC for Laserfiche support
  • Working with FEMA regarding the March 2023 storm damage 

Facilities & Resources Department

We are thrilled to extend our warmest welcome to David Aguirre, the newest member of Cambria CSD, as our Facilities & Resources Manager. He could not have come at a better time, with lots of action in the community and on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. David will have his hands full!

Mr. Aguirre and Mrs. Dodson collaborated to create an updated Facilities & Resources contact page on the CCSD website. 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 Mr. Aguirre, please submit your inquiries or concerns here:  Mr. Aguirre, Ms. Fritz, and Mrs. Dodson are working with Tyler Technologies to build a Facilities & Resources Department work order system; this should help us track the demand on our Facilities & Resources Department, which is already strained. 

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant Application

The District has successfully submitted the grant application for the skate park project before the June 1 deadline. The LWCF contacted the District requesting more information, and the District submitted the requested information on August 1, 2023. 

Update on PROS Commission

To create a uniform structure of advisory bodies, over the past couple of years, the Board has discussed dissolving the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Commission and re-creating it as a standing committee. By doing so, all CCSD advisory bodies will operate under the same set of Bylaws so that the size and composition, appointment method, agenda procedures, and other advisory body rules will be consistently applied. At the July 20, 2023, meeting, the Board introduced an Ordinance repealing Cambria Community Services District Code Chapter 7.08. That Ordinance is ready for adoption. Adopting Resolution 44-2023 will amend the Board and Standing Committee Bylaws to create the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Committee and repeal the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Commission Bylaws/Guidelines. Both the Ordinance and Resolution will be effective 30 days after their adoption. Current PROS Commissioners interested in participating in the PROS Committee will continue participating as Standing Committee members. 

Fire Department

On August 1st at 6:42 pm, Cambria Fire Department was dispatched for a vegetation fire with power lines down about 1-mile up San Simeon Creek road. Staffed with three personnel, we were able to cross-staff ME5792 and Water Tender 57 to help support the needs of the incident. This incident was just outside the district boundaries but had the potential to spread into Cambria quickly.

Upon arrival, Engine crews found a large diameter tree had fallen, snapping the power lines. Due to the power lines down on both sides of the road and the fire line, crews could not engage in a direct fire attack. ME5792 was able to help coordinate three air drops to keep the fire from spreading until PG&E was able to secure the power lines. Once PG&E was able to secure the power lines, crews from CAL FIRE were able to make access and finish the fire suppression. Water Tender 57 secured a water source from a nearby ranch, shuttling approximately 2000 gallons of water. Total resources at the scene included five engines, two hand crews, Cal Fire Air Attack, Sheriff's Department, a water tender, and one battalion chief. The fire was contained at just over half an acre, and the incident was terminated at 9:43 pm. Additionally, upon dispatch to the fire, Chief Vincent returned to Cambria and coordinated the staffing of the fire station. Chief Vincent, Engineer Graves, and Reserve Firefighter Mahoney returned to the station within 30 minutes and staffed up the reserve fire engine, ME5791. The Board of Directors' recent investment in a second cardiac monitor allowed Cambria Fire Department to maintain a 3-person paramedic-staffed fire engine within the District.

Water & Wastewater Departments

Global Water Innovations is working through the process with the granting agencies. National Alliance for Water Innovations (NAWI) has approved the statement of project objectives. The project has now gone to the Department of Energy for their review. The piloting agreement would follow afterward. 

The District met with Senator John Laird on July 25 to discuss some of Cambria’s more pressing issues. Following in mid-August, District staff will meet with the California Coastal Commission representatives on the 10th and the 16th with Executive Director Dr. Hucklebrige and other key staff members. The participants will engage in constructive dialogue on many important issues, including the status of the District’s Coastal Development Permit for the Water Reclamation Facility, which we are working closely with the Coastal Commission to ensure the document has all the requirements to move forward. 

Update on EV Charging Stations

The CCSD installed an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station at the Cambria Veterans Memorial Building, funded through a grant under the SLO County Clean Air Incentive Program managed by the SLO County Air Pollution Control District (APCD). The EV station was constructed on the southwest side of the building in place of two existing accessible parking spaces. The former General Manager and staff stated that the location was the best choice because of its proximity to the electrical circuit box and the requirement for all public EV charging stations to be accessible parking spaces. Two new accessible parking spaces were established in the east side parking lot. The American Legion, which leases the ground floor of the Veterans’ Memorial Hall, previously utilized the accessible parking spaces and requested that the CCSD move the newly constructed EV Charging station to a different location. On November 10, 2022, the Utilities Department Manager/District Engineer was directed to pursue establishing the EV charging stations at the front of the Veterans’ Memorial Hall in the recommended area and coordinate with the Legion members in re-establishing the identity of the two parking places that were removed. I have coordinated with the American Legion members in re-establishing the identity of the two parking places that were removed and received quotes for the relocation of the electric vehicle charging station at the Veterans Hall. The District met with Thoma Electric, who has formulated a quote for the movement of the EV charging station. We will bring a budget adjustment to the Board to fund the EV station's movement on September 14th.

July 20, 2023 Board Meeting Documents

Resolution 41-2023 Amending the District's Salary ScheduleConsultant Services Agreement between CCSD & Complete Paperless Solutions (CPS) LLCFourth Amendment to Agreement for Consultant Services between CCSD and Moss, Levy & Hartzheim, LLP 

Upcoming August Board Meeting Items:

  • Public hearing to discuss and consider adoption of a resolution ordering abatement of public nuisance for the fire hazard fuel reduction program (FHFRP)
  • Discussion and consideration of adoption of ordinance 02-2023 repealing Cambria Community Services District Municipal Code chapter 7.08, which will dissolve the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission and adopt resolution 44-2023 amending the board and standing committee bylaws to create the parks, recreation and open space committee and repeal the parks, recreation and open space commission bylaws/guidelines.
  • Discussion and consideration of approval of an agreement for consultant services with optimized investment partners, a registered investment advisor.
  • Discussion and consideration of approval of an agreement for consultant services with cannon corporation for design and engineering services for the San Simeon water transmission main and effluent line replacement project 
  • Discussion and consideration of approval to proceed with procurement by non-competitive proposals for a sole-source acquisition of badger meter endpoints and software for upgrading district water meters to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meters, pursuant to the CCSD purchasing policy 2135.
  • Consideration of adoption of a resolution amending the list of designated positions subject to the district's conflict of interest code
  • Consideration of approval of purchase and sale agreement with Cambria Historical Society for the pocket park
  • Public hearing to discuss and consider adoption of a resolution approving the final CCSD budget for fiscal year 2023/2024 and reserve for encumbrances fiscal year 2022/2023
  • Receive and file the fourth quarter budget report for FY 2022/23
  • Discussion and consideration to fill the vacant seat on the finance committee.
  • Discussion and consideration of the adoption of a resolution delegating authority to the general manager to make a decision on an application for disability retirement.
  • Discussion and consideration of approval of the replacement Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary sign installation on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

Please see me, on August 9, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. at Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall. We will provide coffee, snacks, and the ability to engage in dialogue about everything Cambria. 

The Cambria Community Services District administrative office will be open Monday - Thursday and every other Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment only. The administrative 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 contact our administrative office.

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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