About Community Services District (GCSD)
The Graton Community Services District (GCSD) provides wastewater treatment to the unincorporated Graton area, including a community of about 1,700 rural residents living in 450 homes, as well as a few businesses. The district provides reclaimed water to some agricultural producers in the area, in order to offset demand from groundwater and from streams in the Atascadero/Green Valley Creek watershed. No other water is provided to area residents as all are served through their own private wells.
The Board of Directors
The GCSD is governed as directed by State Law by a Board of Directors consisting of 5 members. Directors are either elected by the Graton ratepayers, or are appointed by existing Board members. Board members must be ratepayers within the GCSD boundaries. The Board members select one person to be the President. Other positions are Treasurer and Secretary. The President may appoint other Board members to be part of ad-hoc committees, as needed. However, the Board positions are voluntary positions and Board members are free to participate to whatever extent they are comfortable with. The Board ostensibly operates under the guidelines of a Policy Handbook, a decade-old document currently undergoing updating.
Board positions are not currently paid positions, although the Policy Handbook allows for such remuneration as well as participation in a District-paid health plan. No such health plan exists at this time, and the current Board has chosen to not institute either of these benefits at this time for the benefit of the District.
As is standard in most commercial enterprises, the duty of a Board is to set policies and then ensure that such policies are applied. Board members may have outside affiliations. One primary duty of this Board is to hire a General Manager who is responsible for all facets of the day-to-day operation of the treatment plant (and technically certified to do so). Due to the decrepit nature of the state of the old plant when it was transferred from the County to the District in 2003, the General Manager has also been responsible for the design and construction of a new treatment plant able to meet all the new technical and legal standards that have been put into force in recent years.
All residences in the district’s service area are required to be connected to the sewer district; no private septic tanks or mound systems are allowed, with few exceptions. Residents and property owners are encouraged to inform themselves about their responsibilities for maintaining functioning systems including backflow prevention and maintenance of private laterals within the district. More key information can be found here. New sewer hook-ups are available in limited numbers within the capacity constraints of the district for an initial fee of $10,352. Annual rates for sewer treatment are currently $1,574.37 and are collected on the property tax bill though Sonoma County.