July 2016

July 2016

Quality of Life and Hidden Assets

July 2016

What’s it take to enjoy a quality life in San Andreas?  We probably all share similar ideas, like family time to celebrate life events, elbow room for privacy, educational opportunities for our kids, a good AC or swamp cooler to beat the heat, and a strong sense of community.    What can be less obvious is a well-functioning public infrastructure that is often hidden from view.

Wastewater pipes are buried in the ground and under the roads, and the wastewater facility is tucked away on the edge of town; usually, we don’t think about these unless there is a leak or we see construction crews working or hear about a big project.   But the collection, treatment, and disposal of the community’s wastewater plays a big part in maintaining our quality of life.

Across the country, and especially in rural areas, we hear of public infrastructure that is in disrepair.  Sometimes there is a news story about a major sinkhole or collapsed bridge, or neglect that grabs our attention for a little while, then we are torn away to some other story or headline.

It’s easy to feel disconnected from the significant ‘hidden’ assets we have in San Andreas, and there is a hope and expectation that public officials are looking after these investments in a serious way.

At the Sanitary District, our Board of Directors provide steadfast oversight to the wastewater management to ensure the long-term interests of the District are taken care of, while our Staff are tasked with extending the useful life of our assets in a cost effective manner.   To this end, we recently completed assessments and masterplans for the sewer system and wastewater plant that provided basis for a prioritized list of projects needed in the coming years.  Our goal is to replace aging infrastructure prior to catastrophic failures, while seeking the maximum grants available to minimize the impact to sewer rates.

As we care for the public infrastructure, we are also busy applying for grants and low-interest loans to help pay for needed projects. Recently, I spoke to the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento about the financial need of small rural communities in funding wastewater projects.   The State seems to understand our dilemma and we are hopeful to receive 75% grant funding, along with low interest loans for the balance.   At the end of the day, all of our wastewater projects benefit the greater community and protect our quality of life.

Please feel free to contact us at the District office if you have questions.   Sincerely,