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Cambria can't afford to purchase new district offices 

The Cambria Community Services District (CSD) can't purchase the old library on Main Street after its request for a loan was denied.

In July, the district voted 3-2 to purchase the San Luis Obispo County owned library. The total price tag of the building including renovation was $957,527. The district currently rents its office space on Tamson Drive, and the idea of owning instead of renting swayed the board to try to purchase the library.

The district filed an application with Municipal Finance Corporation for a loan in the amount of $562,500 with an interest rate of 3.8 percent. But at the Oct. 26 district meeting, legal counsel Tim Carmel stated that just three days prior, the district was notified that its loan application was denied.

With that loan off the table, so is the purchase of the library, as it was part of the purchase agreement with the county.

CSD General Manager Jerry Gruber said the loan denial was caused by the $14 million Sustainable Water Facility.

"The money that's committed to the general fund from property taxes is already committed to the sustainable water facility as agreed to in that loan," Gruber said.

The CSD also discussed three district-owned properties—Van Gorden Creek, the skate park across from the Veterans Memorial Building, and pocket park at Bridge and Center Street—that it could sell. District board member Jim Bahringer said the properties could be used as collateral to approach the Municipal Finance Corporation again.

Bahringer also suggested that the district come up with another way to finance the library's purchase.

But recently appointed board member Aaron Wharton joined board members Amanda Rice and Harry Farmer in opposing the idea, saying it might not be the right time to make a purchase.

"The purchase of the building is a want, versus a need," Wharton said.

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