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Los Osos gets $87 million 

- WASTEWATER WORLD :  The team behind the Los Osos Wastewater Project funding is (left to right) Shelly Abajian, district director of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Fresno Office; County Supervisor Bruce Gibson; Congresswoman Lois Capps; USDA Community Programs Director Janice Waddell; and Sen. Sam Blakeslee. -  - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • WASTEWATER WORLD : The team behind the Los Osos Wastewater Project funding is (left to right) Shelly Abajian, district director of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Fresno Office; County Supervisor Bruce Gibson; Congresswoman Lois Capps; USDA Community Programs Director Janice Waddell; and Sen. Sam Blakeslee.
Congresswoman Lois Capps and California senator Sam Blakeslee fumbled to arrange pieces of a large foam puzzle. When they and a handful of other San Luis Obispo County representatives eventually figured out which piece was supposed to go where, it all came together and spelled out “Partners Investing in San Luis Obispo County Infrastructure.”

A parade of federal, state, and county representatives met in front of the SLO County Government Center on a cool Sept. 3 morning to announce that the United States Department of Agriculture had awarded $87 million to the Los Osos Wastewater Project. The money, made available through the last round of federal stimulus funds, will be split into a $4 million grant, with the remainder going to Los Osos through federal loans.

“This day has finally come,” Capps said.

SLO County Supervisor Bruce Gibson touted the funding as a much-needed means of reducing the per-person cost of building an estimated $165 million sewer for about 4,700 Los Osos homes and businesses. He said the goal is “to have the least impact on the residents of Los Osos and the most impact to their environment.”

A Los Osos sewer has been kicked around for about 30 years. The project was approved by SLO County supervisors and survived an appeal to the California Coastal Commission.

“There has been 30 years of controversy on this project,” Gibson said.

Public Works officials are scheduled to provide a project update and hold a rates and charges workshop with county supervisors and the public on Sept. 28.

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