Mad River Union
MCKINLEYVILLE – The McKinleyville Community Services District is buying a roughly 80-acre ranch that it plans to use for the disposal of treated wastewater.
The MCSD Board of Directors voted unanimously Feb. 5 to enter into a purchase agreement to acquire what was once known as the Pialorsi Dairy. It includes a house, barn and milking parlor and is located on the south end of town near the Hammond Trail Bridge.
The d-shaped property includes land west of Fischer Road between MCSD’s Fischer Ranch and the Mad River. The property is bordered by the river to the south, U.S. Highway 101 to the east and the Whitemire Avenue/Stapp Road/Anderson Avenue neighborhood to the north.
The district will pay owner Dolores Pialorsi about $1.3 million for the property. The district plans to obtain financing for the purchase and will use Sewer Department funds to pay down the debt.
The Pialorsi property is located adjacent to the MCSD’s Fischer Ranch, an 80-acre property southwest of the corner of School and Fischer roads. It’s used for reclamation.
The district releases treated wastewater in the Mad River under the Hammond Bridge, but is only allowed to do so in the winter months when river flows are high enough. During the summer, or when river flows drop, the district disposes of the wastewater by using it to irrigate the Fischer Ranch.
The acquisition of the Pialorsi property will provide the district with additional disposal capacity.
MCSD Manager Greg Orsini said that if the ranches are properly managed, he believes they will provide McKinleyville with all of its disposal needs to full build-out.
Before escrow closes in 60 days, the property will be inspected to make sure there’s no hazardous waste.
Orsini said that the district has yet to determine whether it will lease the property for hay production, as it does with the Fischer Ranch. The district also hasn’t determined what it will do with the house and outbuildings.
The purchase of the Pialorsi property was spurred, in part, by the decommissioning of the district’s percolation ponds, which are located near the Mad River roughly across from the Mad River County Park boat ramp.
The district disposed of about 25 percent of its wastewater in the ponds. However, a new state mandate would have required that the district conduct extensive studies to demonstrate that the perc ponds have no impact on the river. Instead, the district plans to turn the perc ponds into a coho salmon nursery, which would connect to the river. Planning for that project is underway.