The following is a letter to the editor, published here as opinion. The opinions expressed in this letter are those of the writer. If you would like to submit a letter to the editor feel free to write to [email protected].
Editor’s note: the following was submitted to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and The Mendocino Voice as a letter the the editor. The supervisors will be holding a special meeting concerning water shortages on August 24, 2021 at 1 p.m.; more details here.
To the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:
My name is Gary Starr, I am a 40 year Mendocinoite and 17 year home owner in the Village of Mendocino. I am an engineer by education and an entrepreneur by practice. I have been involved in several enterprises solving some of our more difficult environmental problems ranging from practical electric vehicles, cost effective solar, and water conservation and purification. I have been in the acquisition of financing of over $400 million dollars for these various projects. I have participated in many Village efforts including the art center, the pond, the park and authoring a book about Mendocino.
For years, I have been advocating for a better water system for Mendocino. Now after back to back years of drought, we find ourselves in one of the worst water situations in the history of the village if not the entire nation. Many of the news stories have highlighted the problem, I have seen very few solutions presented.
I believe we need to solve this critical issue.
- The current and immediate crisis. We need water now.
Solution: More Storage and More Water
Tanks are available, but they are expensive. Can there be a rebate purchase fund for tanks purchased during 2021 ? Transported water. Can we provide a rebate to help pay for the trucked in water during 2021?
- Short term local water creation solutions.
Solution: The quickest technology to implement is Air to Water systems and storage. A facility can be created quickly at various locations including at the MCCSD site. Just need funding or even co-funding, rebates to homeowners, business, or the MCCSD.
- Long term, permanent solutions. A serious plan needs to be put in place. Water reclamation, distillation, storage, and infrastructure. Major Funding is needed. Who is focused and working on this? Federal/State/ County funds? Bed tax? Grants? A new water tax/donation fund? Visitors love mendocino, they will help, if asked to and a plan is in place.
- It is clear that the MCCSD is underfunded and understaffed.
Solution: The County needs to make water for Mendocino a priority. Mendocino has an untapped resource. Business entrepreneurs and local resident volunteers. The Mendocino Water Angels could be created and fully mobilized. Governmental/Public citizen/volunteer group needs to be empowered. There are a multitude of fast track solutions, as just one example, we could create an ongoing source of water income by selling “Mendocino Fog Water” to visitors, donation boxes at restaurants, hotels, etc.
- Bed Tax prioritization. 2,000 visitors a day come to Mendocino. It seems that Mendocino creates quite a bit of bed tax, yet actually receives very little of the funds.
Solution. Can the County re-direct these funds? Is it time for Mendocino to become its own city?
I am available at your convenience. Thank you for your kind consideration.
44771 Main, Mendocino