County Lines: Public Comments Invited to Identify New Locations for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations |


Opinions of the public sought on the identification of new locations for charging stations for electric vehicles

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments is seeking public input to identify additional sites for future electric vehicle charging stations in six Central Coast counties, including Santa Barbara.

Electric vehicles would be critical in the fight against climate change, pushing local agencies to increase the number of vehicle charging stations available, especially in rural and traditionally underserved communities, a SBCAG spokeswoman said.

“Electric cars are the future of transportation and the number of these vehicles on the road continues to grow,” said Das Williams, Chairman of the Board of SBCAG. “We want to make charging as easy as possible and need the public’s help to identify opportunities to make charging even better and easier on the fly.”

The goal is to identify ideal locations in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties via the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy’s live mapping tool.

Public feedback collected through the tool will help create the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy, which will help drive the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the region, the spokeswoman said.

The interactive mapping tool is publicly available through October at

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, the Monterey Bay Association of Governments, and the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, along with the six counties, partnered to develop the strategy.

The public can find more information about the Central Coast Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy at

A quick video tutorial on using the interactive map tool is also available at


Safe water supply despite musty taste, odor

Residents of Santa Maria may have noticed an unusual taste or smell in the water supply, though city officials vouch for its safety.

Officials have been told by the Central Coast Water Authority that high temperatures have created ideal conditions for blue-green algae blooms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, affecting State Water Project customers, including those in Santa Maria.

The musty or earthy taste and odor are due to compounds produced primarily from blue-green algae and organic matter in surface waters, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Public Utilities.

Customers may have varying levels of taste and odor sensitivity, he added.

The Central Coast Water Authority will increase its monitoring and testing of the water and will also initiate additional treatment to counter heat-induced algal compounds.

Additionally, Santa Maria officials will continue to monitor the nature of the water, but only for aesthetic reasons and not for health reasons, the spokesperson said.

He suggested cooling the water or adding citrus before drinking to help reduce the musty smell and taste.

Other questions can be directed to the Utilities Department at 805-925-0951, ext. 7270.


SMRT Adds Jail to Weekend Itinerary

Santa Maria Regional Transit has made an additional service change to Bus Route 8 as part of its effort to expand mobility options, a SMRT spokesperson said.

Route 8 now serves the Northern Branch Jail located on Black Road only on weekends from 8:45 a.m. to 6:13 p.m.

The aim is to provide transportation options to families during prison visitation periods, which is considered vital in the rehabilitation process, the spokesperson said.

For more information about SMRT, including routes and fares, visit or or call 805-928-5624.

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