EPA Loan (WIFIA)

CALs REVIEW OF THE CITY’S LOAN APPLICATION FOR LOW INTEREST FEDERAL FINANCING  
The City of Morro Bay has applied for a low interest (2.5%) federally financed loan (WIFIA) in the amount of $82 million dollars, which is half of the $167 million dollars budgeted for the new sewer project.
Many community members, have reviewed the application submitted by the City, and found the following omissions or distortions, all of which in our opinion are material to the decision to award (or not award) this financing to the City.
Here is a summary of the omitted or misleading information on the application:
  • Failure to provide information on much lower cost project alternates.
  • Failure to mention major community opposition to the currently proposed project.
  • Failure to mention how narrow and ineffective the outreach program has been.
  • Failure to provide pertinent information re: the City’s financial health. Many reserve accounts are depleted or empty, and the City does not have funds to adequately pave its streets.
  • Failure to mention a much less expensive means of enhancing Morro Bay’s water supply.
  • Failure to mention the sewer and water rates were increased in 2015 on the basis of building a new $75M plant. Those funds have not been fully accounted for after numerous citizen requests, and two more increases from the increases of 2015 are still scheduled to go into effect through 7/1/19.
  • Misleading statements that imply that water quality problems to the environment are caused by the existing sewer plant.
  • Misleading statements regarding the performance of the existing plant.
  • Misleading statements that imply the new plant will not be impacted negatively by sea level rise.
We ask that all parties involved with the review and approval of the loan application to give a hard second look at this application.  The City conducted a “peer review” cost analysis in June 2017.   A group of “experts” reviewed the project concept and costs.   Each and every one of the reviewers’ primary comment stated — “If you are going to build a new plant, build it at or near the existing plant.”   This project outlines the opposite, as it moves the plant three miles inland!  Regardless of the appealing low interest rate of the WIFIA financing, the loan is not affordable for this community.
EPA Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)
Morro Bay WIFIA Letter of Interest (Application)
Anaylsis of Morro Bay WIFIA Application

 

 

2 thoughts on “EPA Loan (WIFIA)”

  1. The conduct of the Council seem to be very questionable. Could we ask the San Luis Obispo Grand Jury to open an investigation of their conduct and practices.

    Like

  2. My water/sewer bill is already excessive. I wouldn’t mind a one-time (reasonable) assessment but my property is my second home. I’ve already stopped watering; showers are only every 3rd day and I seldom do laundry. This price gouging is putting me out of my home. There must be an alternative, more affordable, solution.

    Liked by 1 person

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