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By Kristina Pritchett

The South Coast Water District Directors voted in favor of phase two of the public outreach with the Doheny Ocean Desalination project.

Phase two implements a community participation plan, essentially public education and outreach. It was approved for $226,770 and an amendment up to $22,671—10 percent contingency—if required.

General Manager Andy Brunhart said part of the phase included establishing branding for the project, creating separate documents for frequently asked questions, creating a target list and schedule for one year of community presentations, beginning to develop project tour plans and more.

Director Dennis Erdman voted against the action and said the district was “heavily spending.”

“This project is a costly project and we’re talking about adding $250,000 more to that expenditure list for public outreach,” Erdman said.

He added he would like to see the project go into the environmental impact report stage and the evaluation stage before the public outreach portion.

Erdman referred to the public outreach as “cheerleading” to which President Wayne Rayfield disagreed.

Phase two is scheduled to continue through June 30, 2017.

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