SLO County found nothing wrong, now forced to investigate

30 December 2020

By Karen Veli

San Luis Obispo County spent years dismissing allegations of San Simeon Community Service violating competitive bidding rules related to government grants. Now, the state of California has ordered the county to investigate as it serves as the administrator for the three grants.

It is alleged that the district failed to take bids for contract work in 2017. Area residents and local activists asked both San Simeon officials and the SLO County consultant to bid on the big contracts in view of the district’s alleged failures. However, public officials rebuffed his efforts.

The San Simeon CSD began applying for a grant in 2016 to upgrade its water system. Two years later, during a June 18, 2018 San Simeon CSD board meeting, District Manager Charles Grace asked the board to approve the $ 225,960 no-bid contract.

The contract for the engineering and design of a potable water repository, according to the minutes of the meeting, will go to Phoenix Engineering. The board voted unanimously to accept Grace’s request.

During public meetings, residents complained that district governments had failed to comply with Code 4529.12, that “all architectural and engineering services would be purchased according to a fair, competitive selection process.” San Simeon CSD officials responded that the contract was not for engineering or design, but for professional services, making them the only source of work.

Prior to the board meeting, San Simeon resident Henry Kriziuk arrived at the State Controllers Office to clarify the bidding requirement. State policy analyst Alexandria Green noted in an email that even though the contract was for professional services and not for engineering or design, bidding would still have to go out if the cost was over $ 45,000. In this case, the contract was for $ 225,960.

SLO County joined in July 2019, when it entered into an agreement with San Simeon CSD to fund and distribute the grant. The agreement was approved by SLO County Counselor Rita Neal.

Krzyuk then asks Neil to investigate the award of a no-bid contract. He did not support the decision by the district legal attorneys Natalie Fry Locke and Jeffrey Minery to endorse the contract, while state controllers about the need to make a bid to serve professionals over $ 45,000 Forwarded email from office. Letter to Neil on September 30, 2020. Minneri and Fry Lackey are members of the law firm of Adamski, Morowski, Madden, Cumberland & Green.

Krazysuk wrote in the letter, “There is no evidence of a fair, competitive selection process for this engineering work according to the grant agreement and state law.” “Many objections to this sole sourcing are on record.”

On October 14, Neil informed Krzyuk that she was not going to investigate the issue based on an explanation of the law and emails from the state Comptroller, which conflicted with Minieri’s interpretation.

“In reviewing the information, it appears that you disagree with the legal interpretation made by the attorney for San Simeon CSD as well as the information provided to you by the Office of the State Comptroller,” Neal wrote, it appears That the state agrees with the Minor. .

Krizciak gave to the state’s Department of Water Resources, which provided the grant to investigate the failure to bid for the contract. The state consequently ordered the county, as administrator of the grant, to conduct an investigation.

On December 21, the county ordered the district to respond to a long list of questions and record requests about three state grants approved in the last four years to the state, according to a letter from John Deodie, SLO County’s interim public works director Ordered to give. In addition to asking questions about the district’s lack of a competitive bidding process, the county’s questions also focus on building its water treatment facility at Hearst Ranch without focusing on San Simone.

The county’s six-page information investigation found three state integrated regional water management grants for $ 362,431, $ 177,750 and $ 500,000. One of which was awarded based on the status of the disadvantaged community of San Simeon.

Questions and document requests from SLO County include:

  • A copy of the current procurement policy of SSCSD and the timing of the contract with Phoenix Civil Engineering to work on the well head treatment project.
  • A survey showing the location of the well head treatment project
  • There is a possibility of this fact or possibility if any member of the SSCSD board or SSCSD staff is aware of the well head treatment project or any part built on the land thereof, when the fee is not being charged by the SSCSD and if the SSCSD has notified Released and district or DWR
  • Documentation of the process by which SSCSD selected Phoenix Civil Engineering to work on the reservoir expansion project.
  • Land Use Permit and Grading Permit from San Luis Obispo County
  • A detailed written response, supported by legal analysis of applicable laws, including, but not limited to, Government Code Section 4529.12, and the SSCSD must be accompanied by any and all information in support of its response.
  • A detailed written response if the well head treatment project complied with both Proposition 84 grant agreement and standard condition for Proposition 84 grant agreement and whether the well head treatment project was constructed solely on the San Simeon CSD property as both The funding agreement states. Grant agreement.

San Simeon CSD officials have until Jan. 20, 2021 to follow the county’s request for information.

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