Camarillo Council pushes plan to protect besieged Camarillo Springs

view times;”>By Logan McFadden

prostate times;”>The Camarillo City Council moved forward with a plan to permanently shore up the besieged Camarillo Springs community at the Council meeting on Wednesday, December 10th. The City has coordinated emergency interventions to hold back the debris flows which first impacted the community during the Halloween rain storm HERE. A stop gap plan is under construction on Thursday in preparation for the rain storm forecast for Thursday evening and Friday. A permanent solution will be launched on Monday, December 15th, if the weather permits.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (NRCS) has surveyed the hill behind the residential community. NRCS has recommended the construction of improvements estimated to cost $360,000. The City will fund the construction project until a $270,000 federal grant is awarded. The grant funding is expected next week. The remaining $90,000 will be partially repaid by the members of the Springs Homeowner Association (HOA). Barbara Williams, HOA President, told the Councilmembers that the Camarillo Springs residents live on fixed incomes and would not have the resources to reimburse the City the full $90,000. She stated that the HOA has spent $50,000 to mediate the debris flow damage resulting from a fire in May 2013. In addition to the NRCS project, the Council approved $75,000 to cover costs already incurred and for additional remedial work projected through the end of the rainy season. Once the NRCS project is completed in approximately ten days, the HOA will be responsible to maintain the improvements.

The Council’s action will save life and property. Before the project can commence, the HOA must give the City a written statement to confirm that the HOA supports the plan. Barbara Williams stated that the HOA does support the NRCS plan while noting that the initial cost estimate was $220,000. The increased costs are needed as a result of additional geological testing. Barbara Williams also posed the concern that it is not clear that the HOA should assume the risk of financial obligations for any future problems arising from any unexpected failure of the improvements. Councilmember Jan McDonald stated that the NRCS project should go forward with the HOA’s reimbursement to be determined later. The City attorney, Brian Pierik, stated that the City and HOA were operating in good faith and that the “devil will be in the details”.

Logan McFadden is a city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District and a Convention of States District Captain.

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Regarding the article, “Camarillo Council pushes plan to protect besieged Camarillo Springs,” every disaster is an opportunity for more government intervention.
When houses were built in Camarillo Springs, presumably with all necessary permits, owners undertook the same risks as other homeowners. If my house gets flooded, I’ll have to deal with it.
Why does the government step in with money (mine and yours) to assist in such cases?
Maybe building houses right below steep hillsides that occasionally get burned off and then turn to mudslides isn’t such a great idea?