October 5 marked the ribbon-cutting of the new Civic Center Water Treatment Facility, but the project is only partially complete—according to the septic ban enforced by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, neighborhoods such as Serra Retreat and Malibu Colony are to be hooked up in the next phase of the project. Also on the docket is Hughes Research Laboratories, better known as HRL, and the condominiums along Civic Center Way. In total, an additional 445 properties will join up to the facility—247 single-family homes, 191 condos and eight other properties—during its mandatory second phase.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, the City of Malibu held a public meeting with residents of those neighborhoods to describe Phase 2 of the sewer project, which is estimated to cost nearly $50 million and must be operational by November 2024. 

When it comes to the cost per homeowner, specifics were scant. Based on the cost of the first phase of the sewer project, assessments provided by the city estimated “residential estate properties,” processing an estimated 700 gallons of water per day, could see an assessment of $10,000 per year for 30 years. Single family homes, estimated to pass 366 gallons of water per day, would be assessed at about $5,000 per year for 30 years—but City Manager Reva Feldman assured homeowners those assessment estimates would drop once new calculations are completed.

The first cost associated with the second phase of the project comes from the design of the second phase, estimated to cost $4 million. Feldman suggested local commercial property owners may be willing to form an assessment district to cover those costs.

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