End of an era; Scotia property transfer starting soon

The Scotia Community Services District is very close to taking over responsibilities for running one of the nation's last company towns.

The final steps in the process are expected this week or next, the five board members will be sworn in and the transfer of Scotia assets and resources will commence.

The final procedural requirements could occur by month's end.

Local Agency Formation Commission Executive Director George Williamson is expected to sign a certificate of completion that will be filed with the Humboldt County Recorder's Office. At the same time, Williamson is expected to file a Jurisdiction Boundary document with the California Board of Equalization, a document that indicates the area over which the CSD will have responsibility.

Town of Scotia President Frank Shaw Bacik said the certificate incorporates all relevant details regarding what assets and resources will be transferred to the CSD.

"This includes civic buildings, and water, sewer, and storm drainage systems," he said, as well as vehicles, equipment, and funding specified by LAFCO when it approved the Scotia CSD formation.

The Scotia Fire Hall and equipment used by the Scotia Volunteer Fire Department will be transferred to the CSD, as will prominent civic institutions such as the Winema Theater, and Scotia Museum, recreational facilities like Fireman's Park, Carpenter Ball Field, Scotia soccer field, and the community forest along the Eel River.

The transfer will occur after the CSD Board of Directors have been sworn in, which will take place at a public ceremony to be announced in the near future, according to Bacik.

"It's taken a long time (to get to this point)," Bacik said, acknowledging that Scotia being one of the last company towns and having one owner is a contributing factor.

Meanwhile, plans to subdivide Scotia are proceeding. The project is anticipated to be completed in five phases over the next five years. The Town of Scotia will be spending between $12 million and $17 million to upgrade the infrastructure in Scotia before selling homes. Bacik anticipates that bids for Phase One infrastructure upgrade will go out in the spring of this year and work should begin this summer.

"The biggest challenge of all is the complex tactical planning needed to keep all the current systems operating, while the new systems are being installed," Bacik said.

Crews are currently working on installing new power meters on the homes in Scotia to convert from directly receiving power from Scotia's cogeneration plant to receiving power from Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

"When the new distribution system is in place, we will simply switch over to the new connections," Bacik said.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Town of Scotia President Frank Shaw Bacik said he will continue working closely with all parties involved as the Scotia Community Services District gets ready to take over responsibilities for running the town of Scotia.