I’d like to share an observation on the subject of wastewater. In most communities, the residents take for granted that wastewater is being continually generated and taken care of. It is seldom if ever a subject of conversation. Somehow it gets done without publicity and doesn’t permeate the conversation or the air.
That is, everywhere but Malibu, as my wife and I discovered when we moved to Malibu about 14 years ago. Almost immediately we heard more about wastewater, its treatment and septic systems than we ever wanted to know as fallout from the cityhood action prompted by the county sewer plans in progress at the time.
Now, in spite of why Malibu became a city, and regardless of assurances from staff and City Council that a treatment facility is not a term of the development agreement, the City Council, by approving the agreement, will achieve what the county could not. Malibu will earn the dubious honor of being the proud builder and owner of the “Best Little Old Outhouse” in the world, located on the most prominent spot in the city for all who visit to see and admire. And, in addition, the walkways and grassy expanses surrounding the ponds, created to hold excess treated water from this “poop plant” that cannot be evaporated or dumped into the creek, will provide an area in the Civic Center for strolling and picnicking by residents and visitors.
This will be, without doubt, a glorious enhancement of the unique character and environment endowed to Malibu by Mother Nature. One council member compared this deal with the purchase of Alaska. The Chili Cook-off site will cost Malibu $1.23 million per acre. The United States purchased Alaska for 2.3 cents per acre. What an astute comparison!
This great bargain, in addition, gives MBC entitlements permitting the construction of upwards of 400,000 square feet of new commercial and residential development. It also allows MBC and Mr. Perenchio to hook up all their properties to this treatment plant, immediately solving all the serious existing wastewater disposal problems of the Colony shopping center and golf course at taxpayers-you and me-expense.
Without the negotiating skill of our City Attorney and the devotion of our City Council and staff to the welfare of this community, the Malibu community could never have realized these wonderful benefits. It is a legacy for which our City Council and City Attorney can be proud, and for which the community should be immensely grateful. I am sure our local pundit, Mr. Arnold York, will deem it an honor to bestow Dolphin Awards on our council members and city attorney as well as Mr. Perenchio in recognition of their efforts to make sure the Malibu community can look forward to enjoying this beneficial amenity in perpetuity.
My vote on Nov. 4 will be determined by these observations.