Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – The McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) may expand its boundaries and annex hundreds of acres to its north and south.
The MCSD has hired a consultant to study the annexation, figure out the proposed boundaries and do all the paperwork necessary for the district to bulk up and grow.
Part of the impetus for expanding the MCSD boundaries is to make them reflect the areas that the district already serves.
There are several parcels to the north and south of town that receive water service from the MCSD but are not within the district’s boundaries. There is also a 33-acre park that the MCSD acquired south of the intersection of North Bank Road and Azalea Avenue. Although the property is in McKinleyville, it is outside the MCSD’s boundaries.
Another anomaly exists at the north end of town above Clam Beach – the tiny Patrick’s Creek Community Services District. Located along Patrick’s Creek Drive, the entire district contains 17 homes.
The Patrick’s Creek district is surrounded on three sides by the MCSD, which provides water service to the residents. The micro-district’s purpose is to collect money from the property owners to maintain their shared roadway, along with culverts and a retaining wall.
MCSD General Manager Greg Orsini said he plans to write a letter to the Patrick’s Creek CSD asking if they would be interested in being annexed into the McKinleyville district. Orsini stressed that the MCSD “just wants to start a conversation” with Patrick’s Creek on annexation. Orsini said he would want there to be some level of consensus among Patrick Creek residents before proceeding with annexation.
If the MCSD were to annex Patrick’s Creek, and if the MCSD were to agree to maintain the neighborhood’s road, McKinleyville would have to take on road powers, which it currently does n0t have. Roads in McKinleyville are under the jurisdiction of the County of Humboldt.
Because road maintenance is extremely expensive, the district would only take on small sections of roadway with an existing maintenance funding source, like the Patrick’s Creek CSD.
According to Orsini, the MCSD does have some of the equipment and staffing needed for road maintenance.
Although the County of Humboldt is responsible for maintenance of public roads in McKinleyville, the MCSD has about five miles of road at its own facilities, like the sewer plant, its water tanks and at parks. These roads require routine maintenance, a task carried out by MCSD staff.
Orsini said he doesn’t have a total number for the amount of acreage the district might annex. There is not a timeline for the project either.
Expansion of the district would first require approval by the MCSD Board of Directors, then approval from the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo).
According to LAFCo’s website, the agency “facilitates changes in local governmental structure and boundaries that fosters orderly growth and development, promotes the efficient delivery of services, and encourages the preservation of open space and agricultural lands.”