Anticipating a possible drought, the city will pay Carollo Engineers up to $122,000 to assess the cost of rehabilitating its desalination plant, built for $34 million at the tail end of the extended drought of the 1980s but quickly mothballed. In solidarity with people who called for increased water conservation, councilmembers Das Williams and Helene Schneider logged symbolic nay votes against the study. A vote in the same matter last week was invalidated because the council did not realize at the time that it needed a four-person majority on the matter.
With 67 percent of county trash diverted for recycling, the county and the City of Santa Barbara entered a mutual contract to share costs and revenues as well as strategies for even greater achievements in the recycling of residential plastic, glass, metal, and paper. Last year, the city contributed 52 percent of the 25,000 total tons of these commingled recyclables, earning $512,000 as its proportional share of the net revenue.
The City of Santa Barbara handed out its first annual Solar Design Recognition awards to 18 recipients. Five of them received plaques hand-created by area solar artist Brian Chandler, who burns images into wood using a magnifying glass. Categories were hidden solar projects, publicly visible ones, and special challenge projects including those on tile roofs or historic structures. Councilmember Roger Horton received an honorable mention certificate for installing three solar panels on his roof.