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Malibu City Council to Consider Next Step For Civic Center Sewer

The Community Facilities District, which will be comprised of commercially zoned property owners within the Civic Center, is expected to pay for the design and Environmental Impact Report for the sewer.

The Malibu City Council is expected on Monday to vote on whether to declare its intention to establish a Community Facilities District, which would reimburse the city for design and other initial costs for the proposed Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The Community Facilities District (CFD), which will be comprised of select commercially zoned property owners, who are willing to contribute, within the Civic Center, is expected to pay for the design and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the sewer.

An affirmative vote by the city council will not form the district, but merely take the next step in the process of putting together a CFD.

Separately, the council will also consider a $1.5 million contract with the engineering design consultant, RMC Water and Environment, to complete the EIR and final design.

The funds are needed to keep the project on schedule, according to a memo written by Malibu Public Works Director Robert Brager.

In May, the council approved a Bond Counsel Agreement with Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth for bond counsel services to help establish a Communities Facilities District (CFD), which will be used to fund the design of and environmental work for the planned sewer.

The council also approved an agreement with Stone & Youngberg to provide investment banking and underwriting services, as well as an agreement with David Taussig and Associates, Inc. for tax consultant services associated with the creation of the district.

In 2010, the State Water Board imposed a civic center septic prohibition that required a central wastewater facility to be constructed for the Civic Center properties. The prohibition area, which included some 500 properties, mandated that the owners cease discharge into their septic systems. 

The commercial properties within the Civic Center, which are in Phase 1, are required to connect to a central wastewater facility by 2015. The residential properties, which are in Phase 2, are required to connect by 2019. 

In August of 2011, the City of Malibu and the Regional Water Quality Board entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allowed more flexibility in the phasing of the project, but mandated that the city meet strict timelines to ensure that progress is being made on the design and construction.

Malibu has already paid $2.5 million for ongoing design, according to City Manager Jim Thorsen. That cost could rise to $6 million.

During the May 30 meeting, Councilmember Lou La Monte said the city should not pay for the design and other costs from its coffers.

“The people that are benefiting from it are the ones that should begin to start putting money up," La Monte said.

The proposed CFD would be comprised of commercial property owners who would finance the remainder of the design costs and reimburse the city for a portion of funds that have been spent. Tuesday's decision does not require any residential Phase 2 areas, such as Serra Canyon, Malibu Colony, and the Civic Center Way condos, to participate in the CFD.

The final construction of the wastewater treatment facility would be dependent upon the formation of an Assessment District comprised of all Phase 1 commercial properties, according to the city.

Malibu Patch will have more on this story after Monday night’s meeting.

Julie Eamer June 25, 2012 at 04:25 PM
OMG...here it comes...............Say good bye to what we once knew......Didn't Malibu become a city to STOP SEWERS??????
PCH Commuter June 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Why do we need sewers in the Civic Center area?
John Mazza June 25, 2012 at 07:16 PM
"During the May 30 meeting, Councilmember Lou La Monte said the city should not pay for the design and other costs from its coffers." We shall see how he votes. The staff report says that the city will contribute $1.5 million and will be reimbursed only $1 million of the $2.5 million that has been spent so far. Why should the citizens pay $1.5 million when all the benefits to to the commercial land holders ? I hope Lou LaMont meant what he said.
Diana Mullen June 25, 2012 at 09:54 PM
It was my understanding, as well, that Malibu became a City to STOP THE SEWERS! What is happening here?! That was one of the very reasons for incorporating. Why is the City bowing to developers?! What happened to protecting and enforcing our General Plan?
Cece Stein June 26, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Yes, we voted to become a city so we could stop the sewers for development reasons. Sewers themselves are not the problem. While we slowed the nightmare of what development would do to our beloved rural coastline, we did not stop the pollution caused from our third world methods of discharging human waste into the high water tables below our houses and businesses. Stopping the sewers has been a double edged sword because the City Of Malibu has not enforced stricter regulations on all outdated/antiquated septic systems and our beaches or receiving "F" grades. When tides are very high and beach front residents sometimes can't flush there toilets because their leech fields and septic tanks are inundated with saltwater. What comes up must go down. Garbage in, garbage out. The Regional Water Board is having to step in because Malibu has not stepped up to the painful task of properly enforcing discharge violators. Take a walk at low tide along beach front properties that are on poles and hanging off the shore bluffs. If you can't see the leech fields bleeding onto the beaches you surely can smell it. We are one of the wealthiest beach communities in the world. We should be able to have healthy beaches free of household and human waste and the ability to keep development at bay. We prevented the Chili Cookoff area from being developed and we can retire the rest of the commercial areas too. We need every Malibu resident on board to accomplish this.
Mark Hayes June 26, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Previous councils knew from the beginning that Regional Wastewater wasn't going to wait forever for the existing commercial properties to prove they were compliant and stop the stink we all took for granted as we exited our favorite restaurants. Nothing was done for over a decade and the feeble attempt to make it appear as if Legacy Park could solve stormwater and wastewater was folly at best. The blame is easy to spread over years of noncompliance and the inevitibility of a central system for the civic center. When the Specific Plan was completed at around $600,000.00 it called for a centralized system to resolve existing center and future center problems for waste. In the previous councils wisdom it was "shelved" and then the development applications commenced. We have created a scenario that is a nightmare and I really hope the present council can find a legal way to slow all of the proposed development down.
sean June 27, 2012 at 11:02 PM
We the people of Malibu have to take some responsibility and make sure we have a sewer system. Our City government has totally failed us and has created a situation that leads to contamination of the water table every time e flush out toilets. This is unacceptable in a City that has such wealth and resources. Stars such as Anthony Keidis and Pamela Anderson act as though they care about the environment but they are polluting the water table recklessly and no one is calling them on it. If the City of Malibu had any guts it would enforce the implementation of a sewer at any cost.
hellwood July 18, 2012 at 09:24 PM
other cities with sewers are getting failing beach grades as well. there are less invasive and expensive solutions. We, the people of Malibu don't want your sewer sean

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