Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside — a joint powers authority that manages the sewage treatment plant for Montara Water and Sanitary District, the Granada Community Services District and the city of Half Moon Bay — is running on operating reserves until all of its member agencies approve the budget that was supposed to be finalized by the end of June.
“It creates a problem for SAM,” said the General Manager Beverli Marshall. “We are a necessary entity. … I can’t tell everyone to go home.”
Because SAM isn’t funded directly by the ratepayers from the member agencies, it relies on funding from the member agencies to cover the cost of everything from payroll to supplies.
At its June 26 meeting, the SAM board voted unanimously to draw from its operating reserves to continue providing service before the budget is approved. The idea is that once the budget is approved, the operating reserves would be replenished.
SAM services cost $434,045 to operate each month, according to the agency. Approximately $850,000 sits in the two-month operating reserve and the rest of SAM’s money lies in the emergency repairs reserve.
Because of repair work completed in Montara in 2015, SAM is currently about $700,000 short of what is supposed to be $1.25 million in the emergency repairs reserve, Marshall said.
“This was supposed to be the year we start building back up,” Marshall wrote in an email the Review. “But the (Intertie Pipeline System) project is so (expensive), I was directed not to build in the reserve…
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