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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Council Seeks to Establish Community Facilities District for Sewer

• Members Are Expected to Approve $1.5 Million Contract with Engineering and Design Company

BY BILL KOENEKER


The Malibu City Council is set to adopt a resolution declaring its intention to establish a Community Facilities District at its meeting next week.
At the same time, the council is poised to approve an agreement with RMC Water and Environment in the amount of $1.5 million to provide engineering and design services for the wastewater component of what is still being called the Malibu Civic Center Integrated Water Quality Management Plan.
The amount was not included in the adopted budget for fiscal year 2011-2012.
Public Works Director Bob Brager, in a memo to council members, states funding did not include design and engineering for a completely, new and different dispersal process (lower aquifer injection).
“In order for the city to remain in compliance with the terms of the MOU, and to proceed with the design of the overall centralized wastewater treatment facility, additional funds are needed,” he wrote.
At a previous session, the council approved agreements with a bond counsel, legal specialists and banking and underwriting officers for financing a CFD for the proposed Civic Center wastewater treatment system.
At next week’s meeting, the council is also expected to adopt a resolution to incur “bonded indebtedness within such a CFD to finance the design of the proposed Civic Center wastewater treatment plant phase one.”
Council members were previously told another $6 million is needed to complete preliminary work on the design phase of the project including an Environmental Impact Report.
“I agree this is a good idea,” Mayor Laura Rosenthal had said about creating and using a CFD for paying for the sewer plan designs. “This is an innovative way to pay for this not by the city. I understand the frustration about [how this] will affect development in the Civic Center.”
Councilmember Lou La Monte had said, “Everybody up here was opposed to this project. Ultimately everybody was against us. This is what this is about, money. We need to meet the deadline for design. I don't think we should invest half of our own reserves. The people benefiting from this should pay. We are obligated to the [Memo of Understanding with the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board].”
Assistant City Manager Reva Feldman, told council members the agreements they approved do not authorize the issuance of any type of indebtedness or the formation of a CFD.
“Final approval of a CFD will require additional city council action and a vote by properties within the proposed district and will be brought forward to council at a later date,” Feldman said.
Next week’s action does not form the district, but declares the city's intention to do so and will declare what the city's intentions to do with the CFD. To use the CFD “to incur bonded indebtedness within such CFD to finance the design of the Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase One.”
City officials indicated the properties in such a district would include at this time only the commercial properties in phase one
However, there were protests from some homeowners who said they wanted “to be extracted from any district.”
Serra Retreat homeowner Ozzie Silna cautioned the city on how it proceeded. “We will be taking legal action against any and everybody on behalf of our self-interest,” he said.
In 2009, a previous council approved $2.6 million for an agreement with RMC Water and Environment to provide engineering and design services for what is called the Malibu Civic Center Integrated Water Quality Management Plan.
Of the total approved, $102,800 was used toward stormwater design and engineering services for Legacy Park leaving over $2.5 million for the design and engineering of a wastewater treatment facility.
City Manager Jim Thorsen talked about the need for meeting the MOU deadline, but did not talk about the design specifics.
However, Feldman, in her staff report, noted the design costs have increased because of the apparent dispersal process being considered, lower aquifer injection.
“All of the design and engineering work that has been completed to date indicates that the city will be able to proceed with a lower aquifer injection process. Exploratory test well drilling and groundwater extraction was successfully completed. It is anticipated that this assessment will be successful and allow the city to continue the project by constructing and testing a full-size well, the installation of six adjacent monitoring wells, and the completion of a final model,” Feldman wrote, in her memo to council members.
What Feldman told the council was the total of funds needed is $6 million, including final design and engineering for $1.5 million and an additional $1.9 million will be needed for the development of the EIR, final construction drawings, bid documents and all permits, bringing the total to $6 million. The funds provided by the city are expected to be reimbursed by the CFD. 

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