Yesterday was too nice a day outside to spend time reflecting on Saturday’s Netarts-Oceanside Sanitation District /DEQ public meeting. But here’s the short version.
The NOSD board wants to move forward and wanted YOU to come help them make a decision. The literature and news reports suggested they were debating a) go forward with the current plan to build the new plant or b) make the plant last longer while they work on other issues that could bring the overall price down so long as they managed a list of risks while doing so. It took nearly the entire meeting to establish that they can not fund “a” today. The content in between was a nice primer in the issues, good time lines, nice access to the “deciders”. Not so informative; the financial presentation, which at the end of the day is what the community is worried about. We’re not debating that we need to return clean water to the environment, we just want to do it in the most cost effective way.
Apparently DEQ had requested this meeting to hear what the community thought about their proposal to phase construction of the new plant. If at the end of the day that was the objective of the meeting in its entirety, I suppose that box gets checked off. But the meeting had been framed as an opportunity to help the board make a choice and, as it turns out, there was nothing in column A to order up afterall. And like the classic quip about Chinese food, the audience felt hungry right after the meal.
The Saturday meeting was not the last opportunity for the community to wiegh in per Board Chair Bruce Lovelin. A couple of good ideas and salient points made during the course of the meeting brought applause from the crowd. Hopefully the board will take them seriously.
More later. I have grandkids to visit with.