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9/1/2023 Letter from the General Manager

Dear Cambrians, 

Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the power of collective action by laborers, who are essential for the workings of society. The day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. Labor Day originated during one of American labor history's most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S., the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks to eke out a basic living. Even though some states prohibited it, children as young as 5 or 6 worked in mills, factories, and mines. Workers of all ages faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities, and breaks.

In the broader sense, Labor Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the ongoing struggles and challenges that workers face and the importance of advocating for workers' rights, fair wages, safe working conditions, and the right to organize. Labor Day is not just a day off from work or the unofficial end of summer; it’s a lasting tribute to workers' contributions and a reminder of the importance of workers' rights in shaping a more just and equitable society. 

I am proud of our CCSD employees and the value they bring to our community. Our outstanding team of dedicated public servants strives to serve you daily. So much of what our employees accomplish happens in the shadows. As such, let it be known that they have my appreciation and the Districts. Our District is on the cusp of turning a very large corner on how our District has operated for years. The new leaders of our management teams have injected new life into the District as we head into a new fiscal year. We have some very bright days ahead of us here in Cambria. 

Administration Department

The CCSD administration office will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2023 in observance of Labor Day. For all Water and Wastewater emergency services, please contact the CCSD's 24-hour main line at (805) 927-6223. The office will reopen on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. 

The Cambria Community Services District Administration Office is open Monday - Thursday and every other Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm or by appointment only. The Administration Office is closed for lunch daily from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please get in touch with the Administration Office at 805-927-6223.

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
  • Updating Novus Agenda to Peak Agenda Management 
  • Updating fee schedule with Bartle Wells & Associates
  • Choosing a vendor to update our records retention policy and schedule
  • Working with Complete Paperless Solutions, LLC for Laserfiche support
  • Working with FEMA regarding the March 2023 storm damage 

Facilities & Resources Department

EV Charging Station

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 14.

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:  

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, and August 25, 2023.

The District applied for and was awarded a grant for $47,500 towards the skate park project from the San Luis Obispo County Tourism Business Improvement District. This item will go before the Board in September for approval to accept the grant. 

Update on PROS Commission

On August 10, 2023, the Board of Directors adopted Resolution 44-2023, which amended 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.

On July 20, 2023, the Board of Directors introduced Ordinance 02-2023, repealing Cambria Community Services District Code Chapter 7.08. Ordinance 02-2023 was adopted on August 10, 2023, and will take effect on September 10, 2023.

Water & Wastewater Departments

Coastal Development Permit for the WRF

District Staff and members of the California Coastal Commission (CCC) met on 8/31/23 for a discussion concerning the CDP for the WRF. The Coastal Commission is encouraged by the change in the District's approach to developing the CDP and our willingness to address outstanding mitigation issues surrounding the WRF. The Coastal Staff indicated that working with the County as the lead agency and then bringing the scope to the CCC for refinement would be the best course of action for finalizing the Permit. 

District Staff has held interviews with several consultants to assist the District in completing the WRF project description. Those consulting firms provided excellent recommendations and have extensive experience working with both County and Coastal agencies. A decision on the consultant for this project will be finalized by next week. A meeting is tentatively scheduled with the CCC, CCSD, and our consulting firm for the last week in September. This meeting will develop a more defined approach to define the needed mitigation and impacts of the operation of the WRF and the environmentally sensitive habitat in which the facility resides. 

AMI Meter upgrade

Our Utility staff met with Badger Meter representatives to review project engagement. Water staff will receive ten register replacements to install as a pilot program next week. The program will demonstrate the efficacy of the cellular transmitted data and provide staff with experience using the data portal for water consumption. Other topics, such as meter box lid replacement options, vendors to contact for installation, and planning for a phased delivery schedule, were covered during the meeting.

Also discussed was the lead time for the product. Unfortunately, some of the molded plastic materials have supply chain issues. The delivery for large quantities of new products is around six months. Fortunately, Badger is willing to work with the CCSD and deliver those quantities as they become available so internal staff can begin the replacement of failed devices.

Upcoming September Board Meeting Items (subject to change):

  • Discussion and consideration of approval of agreement regarding the relocation of the EV charging station at the Veterans' Hall
  • Update the assignment of banking powers
  • Discussion and consideration of PROS Committee appointments and designate a committee chair.
  • Discussion and consideration of emergency vegetation removal at Van Gordon Creek for flood control purposes and approval of a resolution for a budget adjustment
  • Discussion and consideration of concept plan for park facilities at East Ranch
  • Discussion and consideration of the General Manager evaluation process and form used to review the General Manager's performance
  • Discussion and consideration of approval of an amendment to the agreement for consultant services with Stillwater Sciences for an expanded scope of work for the Instream Flow Study
  • Consideration of approval of an agreement for consultant services to update our Records Retention Policy & Schedule
  • Discussion and consideration to approve Amendment No. 5 to the agreement for the use of the Veterans' Memorial Building facilities with American Legion Post No. 432
  • Discussion regarding evacuation planning
  • Discussion and consideration regarding approval of an agreement for the use of well SR4 at Coast Union High School 
  • Discussion and consideration to approve hiring a third maintenance technician for the Facilities & Resources Department
  • Consideration to accept grant funding from the Cambria Business Improvement District (CBID) for Tourism Infrastructure/Beautification grant application for the Cambria Skatepark project
  • Consideration to declare vehicles and equipment surplus 
  • Consideration to accept grant funding for extrication equipment

On Friday, September 8, 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 on everything. 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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