A community member just sent us this comment:
How can the environmental review process be completed in time for the proposed schedule?
The City has not yet even announced the availability of the ‘Initial Study / Mitigated Negative Declaration’ that its engineers are proposing be prepared and circulated for public review.
That will take several months at least, once a Notice of Preparation is circulated, to complete, and likely even more considering how controversial this issue might be. If the issue is elevated to requiring an EIR, then this Project’s environmental approval would take about 6 to 12 months at minimum.
That’s not even the half of it. If you read the draft grant budget, it says that they have allocated only $1000 for “environmental documentation/mitigation”. At the hourly rates they quote for every other part of this job ($60 to $188/hr), we could estimate that this would allow approximately 5 to 17 hours to review this entire project of smart water meters being installed in Mt. Shasta. This is $1000 out of a $2.5 million grant. That sure shows us what the priorities are. If you read the fine print on the draft grant budget, that $1000 is apportioned to $500 for “project description”, and $500 to “prepare environmental document”. So it really is only 2.5 to 8.5 hours for environmental consideration of this project.
The answer is: the review can’t be completed in time. Mt. Shasta would lose the grant money for failing the schedule. The draft grant budget shows a timeline of environmental documents to be complete in February: today it is only 43 days to the end of February.
Why is this being railroaded through so fast?