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Monterey county evaluates payment options for reservoir and dam maintenance



UPDATE 1/31/2020 4:00pm The Monterey County Water Resources Agency decided not to make a recommendation yet for which payment option should go on the ballot.

The agency decided to wait for more information to be released at the end of February.

“The actual methodology for the engineer’s report provides a little bit more direction in how we can evaluate these things," Former Monterey County Water Resources Agency General Manager Curtis Weeks said. "So we’re really looking for some additional info from the agency.”

PREVIOUS STORY: Monterey County landowners within affected areas will get to vote on how they pay for maintenance on South County water resources.

The Water Resources Agency held a meeting Friday morning to lay out the payment plan options for the project and get feedback from property owners who would be affected by it.

There is a pay-as-you-go option and a bonds option. The bonds alternative would give the county up to 30 years to pay off the expenses. However, it ends up being more expensive in the long run. On the other hand, the pay-as-you-go choice would cost less and take 6-8 years to pay off. But some residents were concerned about people's ability to pay it off so quickly.

“I’m thinking here that pay-as-you-go is a nice look at things, but you’re talking about a tremendous amount of money that I don’t think the average grower—or the average person is going to be willing to pick up,” Ocean Mist Farms employee Dale Huss said.

The Water Resources Agency will make a recommendation of a payment option to the Board of Supervisors today. If the board decides to recommend that option, it will be on the ballot.

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Shannon Longworth

Shannon Longworth is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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