The Razor’s Los Osos Best and Worst of 2009

2009 was the year that included the removal of STEP/STEG and other alternatives from the County Los Osos Wastewater Project’s design-build process, a formal complaint against Public Works director Paavo Ogren and hours of tedious — but sometimes heated — debate at the Planning Commission meetings. Along the way, mistakes were made on both sides of the debate while everyone hopelessly expected some of the bigger problems to be mitigated. Contrary to what the County of San Luis Obispo has said, the County has unanimously sided with County staff recommendations with each and every turn involving the LOWWP. With hope fading in their eyes, a small group of Los Osos residents pleaded with the board to reconsider their decisions, but the board moved ahead. Those with the loudest objections to the County were silenced with Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s wave of the hand, a chuckle out of pity and a quick tug of the microphone plug — and the microphone was off. On a few occasions, Gibson asserted that most of the people of Los Osos approved of their handling of the process, but do they?

Whether you like it or not, it’s unarguable the County made an incredible amount of what they would call “progress.” The Planning Commission moved forward with the project, changing many of the project conditions, most of which remained uncontested by the Board of Supervisors. The BOS successfully paved a clear path for the project to be considered by the California Coastal Commission, which will discuss the LOWWP and the appeals in January of next year. The County also managed to secure consideration for USDA grant money (through a population waiver) thanks to the provision on Los Osos added to the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which President Obama signed into law. Let’s not forget the $35 million dollar authorization in the Water Resources Development Act, which is available for federal appropriation. The only problem is that after lingering fees and changes relevant to the sewer, which include paying off the interest of the USDA’s $64 million loan, Los Osos residents may not actually see the savings.

For now, let’s take a look at what’s happened in 2009 and check out the highlights.

Continue reading The Razor’s Los Osos Best and Worst of 2009