Santa Maria Times Coverage of NICE Steering Committee

Today’s Santa Maria Times is also running a story about the formation of the new NICE Steering Committee. You can read the entire story here, as well as after the jump. For a recent history of media coverage of the Nipomo Incorporation movement click here.

Nipomo cityhood backers persevere

By Randi Block/Staff Writer

The push to make Nipomo a city and gain more local control over planning issues is making progress as a committee was recently formed to research the steps necessary to make the idea a reality.

A dozen Nipomo residents formed a steering committee last month to explore a feasibility study that could determine whether the community brings in enough revenue to fund all of the services a city would need, said Guy Murray, a Nipomo resident who has been leading the incorporation push.

The group also talked about forming a nonprofit organization so residents will be able to donate money to the effort, which may cost around $200,000 before incorporation could receive approval from the San Luis Obispo County Local Agency Formation Commission.

“This is a conversation that’s been going on a long time, and this is the most interest and amount of different people I’ve ever seen involved in this process,” Murray said. “It’s been a discussion in the community since the late 1990s, and this steering committee and nonprofit is a huge step forward.”

The steering committee was named the Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education (NICE) and has 15 members, including Merle Ackerman, Kevin Beauchamp, Al Daurio, Clyde Cruise, Bonnie and Mike Eisner, Dan Gaddis, Jim Harrison, Ingmar Lauringson, Keith MacGregor, Bob and Lynn McGill, Joe Tomei, Susie Hermreck and Murray.

The group plans to meet the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Nipomo Library on West Tefft Street. Also, group workshops will be held quarterly with the first one scheduled for April.

Meetings will be open to the public, and Murray said residents are encouraged to attend and offer comments on different incorporation topics.

One of the first tasks to be tackled will be to update and supplement the initial feasibility study, which needs to take a more detailed look at Nipomo’s growth patterns, Murray said. That may be accomplished by hiring an outside incorporation expert, but it’s unclear how the group would pay for the consultant, he added.

A number of subcommittees – aimed at everything from forming a nonprofit organization to public outreach – were also formed, and they are looking for additional public participation.

Anyone interested in offering comments about incorporation or getting involved with the effort can e-mail Murray at nipomolaw@aol.com.

For more information, visit http://www.nipomoincorporation.org.

Randi Block can be reached at 347-4580 or rblock@santamariatimes.com.

March 6, 2007

Thanks to Randi Block for researching and writing this news update!

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