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SHIRLEY KIMBERLIN Everything I list turns to SOLD! 805-886-0228 This week’s listings on the back page Fire district in “holding pattern” on bond measure Great strides Guravitz back in CSFPD saddle By Peter DuGré “For us to get 66 and twothirds percent approval, the voting residents of this district will want to know, need to know, if the firefighters support this.” The CarpinteriaSummerland Fire Protection District Board of Directors remains unable to shift into drive to put a $10 to $12 million general obligation bond on the 2014 ballot. As the June deadline looms for making the November ballot, board members at the March 18 meeting decided that without clear support from firefighters to seek public funding on rebuild plans for both local stations, voters would be unlikely to open their wallets. The board will await ––Boardmember communication from Craig Price the firefighters association before spending further dollars on legal council and other procedural costs necessary to go to ballot. Boardmember Craig Price, a stalwart supporter of a bond measure to upgrade both Carpinteria and Summerland stations, said, “I want to have a better idea if we have a prayer of a chance of getting this bond passed,” Price said. “For us to get 66 and two-thirds percent approval, the voting residents of this district will want to know, need to know, if the firefighters support this.” Other points of contention for whether to move forward with the bond came from members of the public who had sat on a district ad hoc committee designed to study the proposed station rebuilds. The district hopes to move its 90-year-old Summerland station a stone’s throw up Lillie Avenue at the site currently occupied by the Mosquito and Vector Management District and to build a seismically fit station there as well as in Carpinteria, bringing both aging facilities into the 21st century. Although the ad hoc committee had recommended moving forward with a bond measure, members at the March 18 meeting said they needed more to time study issues with the location and designs of the proposed rebuilds. They also contended that a district-funded third-party study on engine response times by Diamante Partners was inadequate. Carpinteria resident Doug Treloar likened the proposed station in Summerland to the Taj Mahal and recommended simplifying designs to little more than four metal walls and a roof. He cited examples of fire stations constructed in the style called “butler buildings” in Montana, where he also keeps a home, as adequate and functional. “I’m here to say we can get by on a lot less than is designed,” Treloar said. FIRE BOARD continued on page 7 PhOTO By GArreTT COMBS And they’re off! runners sprint from the starting line of the 5k race in the 22nd annual Orchard to Ocean race on March 15. the three-in-one race, consisting of a 10k, 5K and one-mile fun run, saw hundreds of athletes pounding the pavement and the dirt pathways of Carpinteria in an effort to test their speed while raising funds for Carpinteria education Foundation. Top finishers earned medals paired with locally grown avocados and flowers and had an opportunity to stretch their legs under sunny skies. Water board scrutinizes groundwater supply By LeA BOyD In preparation for a drought that persists into next year and beyond, the Carpinteria Valley Water District board of directors met on March 12 and authorized a $9,720 contract with Pueblo Water resources for an updated report on the status of the local groundwater basin. high quality, abundant groundwater is considered the district’s ace up its sleeve as it faces a continued drought, and the report will better inform decision makers about the critical resource beneath their feet. Last completed in 2008, the hydrological study should provide CVWD with “one more tool to assess whether we want to continue to pump or change our pumping regime,” said District engineer Bob McDonald. he added that the study will also help the district to determine whether replenishment of the basin is occurring after the drought. At capacity, the valley’s groundwater basin contains 125,000 AF of water accessible to the district. Assuming a maximum draw of 6,000 AF per year, the district’s groundwater supply should last about 20 years, McDonald said. Low cumulative precipitation over the last nine years, however, has resulted in declining levels of groundwater. Sea water contaminating local groundwater is another risk the district may face if the drought persists and underground supplies continue to decline. The pressure of fresh water in the underground aquifers is thought to be keeping salt water from entering the water supply. Depletion of the basin below sea level, however, could result in salt water intrusion. Sea water contaminating local groundwater is another risk the district may face if the drought persists and underground supplies continue to decline. “We don’t have a way of directly telling (if sea water intrusion is) occurring,” McDonald said. he explained to the board that a testing well near Sandyland Cove would provide early indications of sea water in the aquifers. No plans are in place to drill such a well, but McDonald’s presentation gave the board food for thought. Boardmembers also voted to pursue a water exchange deal for 1,000 acre feet with San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, but the deal, which would have included other Central Coast Water Authority agencies, such as Montecito Water District, came to a halt when San Gorgonio’s board opted out last week. This winter is coming to a close as the third driest on record, and water agencies throughout the thirsty state are scrambling to find water. Deals to purchase and swap water are cropping up then disappearing at a fast clip. CVWD boardmember June Van Wingerden summed it up in a report on the last meetings of the Water Authority that she had attended on the district’s behalf: “everything I’ve said about these two meetings has probably changed at this point,” she said

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