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Looking Back at 1955: Nacimiento Dam water denied to SLO County 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from the Sunday, August 21, 1955 Sunday Review:

–The San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors this week began looking for ways to legalize a so-called gentlemen’s agreement which they said was entered into with the Monterey County board for some 20,000 acre-feet of water impounded by a dam on the Nacimiento River.

The agreement was made at a dinner meeting between officials of the two counties two years ago, according to board chairman John Ruskovich, when Monterey County promised the water in exchange for being allowed to build the dam in San Luis Obispo County. But in a state permit, dated August 9, and authorizing the use of the Nacimiento river waters to a Monterey county flood control district board, no reference was made of the 20,000 acre-feet which this county should receive annually, nor of the agreement between the two counties.

Click here to read the full front page of the Sunday, August 21, 1955, Sunday Review.

A resolution dated February 1, 1954, embodying the verbal agreement was sent by this county to the Monterey county board, who acknowledged its receipt on February 8, 1954, and expressed appreciation of San Luis Obispo county’s efforts in the matter.

More recently attorneys for Monterey county have informed district attorney Herbert C. Grundell that the water code prohibits use of surplus waters outside of the water district, which lies in Monterey county. Monterey county officials also denied the existence of any agreement concerning the water when questioned by the state water resources board.

Ruskovich explained that a meeting of the upper Salinas Soil Conservation district, the Las Tablas Soil Conservation district, road commissioner Kenneth and county supervisors will be held when Beck returns from his vacation, to see how practical diversion of the proposed 20,000 acre feet of water would be.

City council supports petitioners’ stand on freeway approaches

-The campaign by Paso Robles businessmen advocation accesses onto the Highway 101 freeway was given full support of the City Council at Monday night’s meeting.

On a motion by Councilman Harry Appleton, the City Fathers approved the resolution presented by the petitioners, who were represented by Fred Osborne.

Other business included a discussion of the leasing of civic center land for a post office, and an authorization to execute amended terms of a lease being negotiated between the city and the Tidewater Associated Oil Company, which has a service station on the northwest corner of the civic center site.

A request by the owner of Hall’s Auto Magic car wash, to renew his business license, was held, until the noise situation which has brought complaints from neighbors is investigated by city engineer William Roe.

Mrs. Dodd guilty of manslaughter

-Mrs. Hazel Dodd, 52 year old housewife charged with the fatal shooting of her husband, Elmer, on May 31, in the couple’s ranch home near San Miguel, was found guilty of manslaughter, Wednesday, by the Monterey County superior court jury.

The jury deliberated for seven hours before reaching the verdict. Judge Anthony Brazil will sentence the convicted woman on August 25.

Read previous Looking Back articles

Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.