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Oceano CSD rejects annexation proposal in 3-2 vote

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Posted at 11:03 PM, May 04, 2023

A proposal to merge the town of Oceano with the City of Grover Beach has been called off.

Oceano will stay Oceano, at least for the foreseeable future after a sizeable crowd voiced their opposition to joining the City of Grover Beach.

In a 3-2 vote, the Oceano Community Services District rejected a proposal that would have explored the possibility of becoming part of Grover Beach.

Community members cheered as the majority of the board voted against moving forward with the merger.

“I was happy that it didn’t have to go any further,” said Oceano Resident Shawn Ivey, who was at the at-times contentious meeting on April 26.

He says that the price tag for the feasibility study was too high for a town of 7,000 people.

“It doesn’t really make sense to pay for a study that the citizens don’t want,” said Ivey. “That’s the main concern for people that were there was unnecessary spending which we already have a lot of.”

There were also concerns about public safety if Grover Beach were to take over Oceano.

“If we were to merge with Grover, it would nearly double the size of the area that Grover would have to patrol,” added Ivey.

Others spoke out in favor of looking into the possibility--citing flooding concerns, a lack of funding for parks and infrastructure, and public safety.

“There was quite the community turnout at our last meeting. In fact, it was the best-attended meeting since I’ve been here the past three-and-a-half years,” said OCSD General Manager Will Clemens.

The discussion was brought up by SLO County 4th District Supervisor Jimmy Paulding.

“I respect the OCSD’s decision not to pursue studying a merger between Oceano and the City of Grover Beach. While Oceano faces significant challenges, there are also many opportunities on the horizon,” said Paulding in a statement to KSBY.

The general manager of the OCSD says the proposal will remain off the table unless a sizeable number of people come forward in support.

Supervisor Paulding says he will continue working to address flooding, infrastructure, and public safety issues.

Oceano is set to leave the Five Cities Fire Authority on June 30th.

That means the county will have to take over fire service for the town.