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I’ll admit that my knowledge about the Los Osos sewer situation is what I read in newspapers and websites. Saying that, it appears the path we are headed is that the County taxpayers are going to need to pay a good portion of the bill for the sewer because the delays have caused the costs to exceed what Los Osos’ians can afford.

I know that a lot of County residents won’t be too happy to have to pay because Los Osos was unable to resolve their own problem (given 30 years). Sure seems like there has got to be a better solution. Here’s my idea….

The County should look to building a workforce housing development near Los Osos that would use the yet-to-be-built sewer system. Get the public agencies in the County (police, fire, school districts, etc.) together and figure out what the housing requirements are to attract and retain good employees. Build a 300-500 unit development using the latest technologies for a “green” community. Make this a showcase for other cities to learn from.

To help with the costs, solicit corporate involvement with the project. Get a phone company to lay fiber optics throughout and Cisco to develop a “connected community”. Bring in GE for their smart home energy management technologies. Add solar and wind power elements too if feasible. Also, get Cal Poly involved. I’m amazed that we have one of the nations top Universities in our backyard and I see very little leverage of the brainpower of tomorrow to help with our area. Poly is also good at raising money so make this project a showcase for them. Make this something the Governor gets behind too.

If tourism is our area’s bread and butter, this will also have great potential to highlight the area. What a PR story about a community and businesses getting together to solve both an environmental problem (the septic tanks polluting the bay) and workforce housing problem. Build a learning center at the “green village” where people can come learn all that was done. Increase in tourism will help offset some of the costs.

As a County taxpayer, I’d be more open to funding a sewer project that could handle both Los Osos and a green village. Heck, if this is done right we may get some State agencies to help out with funding too that wouldn’t have happened because of the history of events to-date.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile