RMWD joins emergency road talks

By Karen Brainard

Talks are under way for a proposed emergency evacuation route in Ramona that could affect Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD) property, said board President Bryan Wadlington.

Wadlington made the announcement at the water board’s June 14 meeting. He said identification of an emergency evacuation route is still in the exploratory phase. Wadlington emphasized that, if it affects district land at the Santa Maria Water Reclamation Plant on the west side of town, there would be no improvements or modifications made to the property.

“It will be a rural off-road, merely a way to get out,” he said.

Wadlington said he and Director Joe Zenovic, who sits with him on the water district’s Fire Ad Hoc Subcommittee,  attended a meeting with representatives from the Ramona Community Planning Group and County of San Diego.

“It was a productive meeting in that we were able to see each other’s position,” he said.

In other business at the board’s June 14 meeting:

•The water board approved a revised budget calendar and Proposition 218 timing for fiscal year 2011-12, as it is currently undergoing a rate study. The board’s second budget workshop is scheduled for the July 12 water board meeting. Proposition 218 letters are targeted to be mailed to customers the week of July 18 to meet the 45 calendar days’ deadline for a Sept. 13 special public hearing.

Proposition 218 letters are required by state law to give customers an estimated not-to-exceed rate of increasing water and sewer rates. The budget is slated for adoption by the board on Sept. 13.

•The board agreed to send a letter to the County Board of Supervisors addressing the shortage of sprayfield property available in the water district to meet the growth projections for Ramona as outlined in the county’s proposed General Plan Update. A similar letter was sent to the supervisors in July 2009; however, Assistant General Manager David Barnum said, the water district never received a response. That letter noted that the county acquired a large number of acres in Ramona dedicated to open space and grasslands, eliminating most of the land that could be used for wet weather storage and sprayfields, and asked that a portion of that land be made available to RMWD.

•Maggie Johnson with the San Diego Country Estates Association addressed the board members, asking them to work with the Estates homeowners association to pursue grant funding. The funding could be used to create additional storage ponds at the San Vicente Golf Course and bring in more recycled water from the San Vicente Water Reclamation Plant to be used for irrigation, she said.



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