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Council Moves Forward to Secure Funding for Sewer Design Plans

David Reznik of the Malibu Bay Co. said he is interested in working with the city to find "creative ways" to fund the design costs for the proposed Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The Malibu City Council voted Monday to continue with the formation of a Community Facilites District and call a special election for the levy of special taxes on select commercial property owners as part of an effort to fund the cost of sewer design plans. 

In a 4-1 vote, the council agreed to move forward, with Councilman Skylar Peak dissenting.

"I don't think anyone of us wanted this, but ... it's the law," Malibu Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal said, adding that she hopes the discussion around the issue keeps to the facts.

The city declared its intent to form the district on June 27, the first of many steps needed to finance the design of the proposed Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility. The city has already spent $2.6 million on the plans, with up to $4 million more needed for the final designs.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Regional Water Quality Board, the city is required to meet strict timelines to ensure that progress is being made on the design and construction of the sewer. The MOU requires commercial properties in the Civic Center Prohibition Area be connected to a centralized wastewater treatment facility by November 15, 2015.

Only 15 property owners within the CFD would be allowed to vote. If at least two-thirds of the property owners approve the tax, the $6.5 million in bonds needed to fund the design plans could be issued by December.

City Manager Jim Thorsen said two property owners did not sign the waiver, meaning the election cannot be held until Nov. 20.

During a public hearing, David Reznick of the Malibu Bay Co. said he believes property owners support the CFD and hopes the city can stay on schedule.

“I wanted to offer to see if we could find some creative ways to create some funding prior to the vote of the CFD,” Reznick said.

Steve Soboroff, who is developing the Whole Foods in the Park project, said he supports the CFD.

“Come hell or high water no matter what happens, this civic center has to stop polluting the ocean,” Soboroff said, as he was interrupted by protest from the audience.

Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin said the city does not agree that Civic Center is polluting the ocean based on new science that was submitted to the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Hogin said the amount of development that is allowed on property in the Civic Center is governed by the city's Local Coastal Program and its zoning ordinances.

"The city does not believe the Civic Center is polluting the ocean, but we are committed to phase one," Hogin said. "It will not be growth inducing for the Civic Center."

Mayor Pro Tem Lou La Monte said the city is not a bank and that property owners, who will benefit from the centralized sewer system, need to pay their fair share.

"I think this particular solution, while we are not positive it is going to work, this $6.5 millionis a way to find out," La Monte said.

Both Councilmembers Joan House and John Sibert reiterated the need to make sure the city does not pay any more for the design costs.

steve dunn August 15, 2012 at 01:33 AM
http://dontinject.org/ This is a MUST READ AND WATCH
steve dunn August 15, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Jessica will you please do an article on how we got in this position in the first place. It is time that people understand that this OLD outdated science is being shoved down the cities (many of them) throats.
J. Flo August 15, 2012 at 01:55 AM
If our City attorney is saying on public record > "Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin said the city does not agree that Civic Center is polluting the ocean based on new science that was submitted to the Regional Water Quality Control Board." then WHY is the City of Malibu caving to old, outdated science? And what can we do as citizens to stop this? I'm asking - how to stop these sewers? We all know that new septics are as good if not more effective than sewers and they don't pump more water into the ground onto seismic fault lines or send fresh water into a salt-water ocean. As a community we need to come together and do this on our own. Our City, as proven again last night, is not going to stand up for preservation.
Marcia Hanscom August 17, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Go to representatives running for Assembly, Senate. They are looking for votes. You are looking for leadership. Which of these candidates will represent the voters of Malibu?
R Y A N August 17, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Something about Christi not wanting to cause a train wreck. The whole point is to derail Regional's ILLEGAL train. Case in point: Talk of the State putting a freeway through the center of South Pasadena began atround 1960. Stately homes and tree-lined streets were to be converted into a freeway -- NOT! Fifty years later, THERE IS NO FREEWAY in South Pasadena. The elected councilmembers fought the freeway legally with resources that did not bankrupt that bedroom community next to San Marino. Focus and determination saved the City of South Pasadena from a catastrophe of the State. There will be no freeway in South Pasadena in the next 10 years for sure. Leadership made the difference. The councilmembers there protected the residents.

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