‘You Will Never Get Water… Service in Redway’: Gyppo Ale Mill Owner Alleges Community Service District Wants Zero Growth

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Open letter from Julie Peacock:

CaptureAbout two years ago, Josh and I were sitting with some of our very dear friends, Tara and Laif Larson. They relayed what we thought to be just some hill gossip. It went something like, “My parents friends said you will NEVER get water and wastewater service in Redway.”  We laughed it off and said, well that is preposterous! But guess what, who ever you were, you hit the hammer on the nail. We are never going to get service in Redway.

We attended last night Redway Community Service District meeting along with thirty other supporters, made up of family, friends and people that we now know but didn’t before. It was incredible inspiring to hear your kind words about our project.  After public comment, the board quickly ushered us out into the cold night to wait over an hour as the Redway Community Service District board went into closed session conferring with their counsel.  After attending other board meeting in different districts, where closed session is held before the general public meeting, it is always somewhat a shock the treatment that we the mere public receives by the RCSD.

The meeting returned to an open meeting and discussion began on the first agenda item, New Connection Policy. Something I would like to point out is everything about this particular board is a mystery to me.  I went and picked up the agenda packet at 11am on Tuesday and the three resolutions that were passed last night were not included.  We asked why these were not included in the agenda packet and the response was, they were not ready.  It is amazing what the RCSD can do when they put their mind to it.

To the group dismay, this new policy was for all new applications for water and /or wastewater service to be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.  This puts a lot of power into the hands of the board.  Even though our application was turned in back in January, this new resolution now guides procedure for it. This does not seem legal to us and our council doesn’t believe it to be legal either, but if want to prove that it is illegal, we must again go back to court.  This is something that we do not have the time, energy, heart or money to do.  So what this now means, is that the Redway Community Service District Board of Directors now has the discretion to choose between projects will come to life and which projects will die in planning, something they seem to have always wanted to do.

Next up was a resolution to raise connection fees.  Again, this was not something that was included in the agenda packet that I picked up just a little over 24 hours before the meeting.  I do not have the exact numbers for what the rate changes are here but from the last person to hook up to the next person to hook up, my memory of the change is from $1400 to $14,000.  Lucky for that last person.   And then one more little bit of power that can be wielded now by the board is Section D of this resolution.  Special Connection Charge.  Here it reads

“In addition to any other charges established herein, the District may establish special connection charges, for any connection to the District’s water distribution system when, in the opinion of the board of Directors of the District, the circumstances of such connection will place an unusual impact on the District’s water distribution system necessities the establishment the payment of charges over and above those established herein.”

All of this is good if you have the right people in here that have the right guidance.  You need some progressive thinkers and people that are willing to take action.  Have a vision for where they want our lovely Southern Humboldt to go.  But when you get people in there that want to set the growth rate for Southern Humboldt at ZERO percent, which as been discussed at the RCSD,  Redway may have reason to be alarmed.

Then finally on to the last agenda item that we were going to stick around to find out about.  It was our application for service.  Once again, a resolution to deny our application had been written up but was not in the agenda packet.  And once again, they are asking more from us.  I don’t need to go over what we have already been asked to do and comply with only to have the rug yanked out from under foot  but now,  they want us to fill out yet another application and quietly sit back and wait.  But then again the question of how long is raised and an issue of trust.  We’ve been sitting for two and half years now.  I felt like we were patient, but apparently that is not long enough.  It is clear no matter what we do or what we say, that this particular business is NOT welcome in the Redway Community.

Southern Humboldt, we thank you for all the love, encouraging words, support and time you have given to Josh, Esmé and I as we struggled to bring this brewery to life. But just like Eel River Brewery that tried to bring craft beer to Southern Humboldt so many years ago, we too have failed.  We shed a small tear and look fondly to the future of Gyppo Ale Mill, just not anywhere near the town of Redway.



  • They sound like a bribe to is on the agenda. Set them up on film taking a bribe and watch them do time.
    Watertdistrict people are not even humans.

  • Food for thought

    Move up to eureka where the water district there let’s any ol ” agricultural” grower pull into their fill yard with their personal water truck and take off fully loaded and head straight out of their watershed. Don’t waste your time lagistisizing the situation because it’s simply a money game.

  • Who ever controls the water,…..controls Barter Town!
    No wait
    I thought I might have been in the” thunder dome.”

  • water is our most important resource I’m sorry but I agree with RCSD.

  • Ripple In Still Water

    You are asking for a permit to open a water-intensive business in the middle of a long-term drought in an area with not much water. Then you complain and tell us it’s a conspiracy?! Perhaps you don’t care about the South Fork Eel’s declining health like many of us. Good luck with your brewery! I hope you can locate it where using large amounts of water is not an issue and I wish you happiness and success!

    • You missed a lo of good points: Why an agenda packet doesn’t contain all the materials within 24 hours of a public meeting? Because they probably break the Brown Act all the time.

  • Sometimes, bad timing is just bad

    Sometimes, the drought halts new stuff.
    A new brewery would use lots of water, and didn’t I read an article this last summer about how Redway was also finally having water woes?
    The “special fees” at this time might be related to such woes. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Afterall, the whole state got signed up for extra fees for ” not lowering water consumption” to some degree. Even for those who already were conserving like mad.
    Try again after this (hopefully) wet year. And I would include statements that reflect the extra water available if it works out, and you do it, that way.

  • If a fiber optic cable can be run up and down the highways for economic benefit why not do the same with water?
    The bundling of all services in central county is an idea taught in school for planners and nothing more. We still have this thing called freedom to dream.
    So. Hum and the Van Duzen areas along 36 could be good for more than timber and cattle with a water supply ( the new gold } and peoples imagination.
    Sometimes people not indoctrinated into planning culture might see things the pros have become blind to.

  • Having been part of the Eel River Brewery kerfuffle I’m not surprised by this incredible loss of another much needed legitimate business in SoHum. The Eel River Brewery was wise enough to cut their losses and run to Fortuna where the business park greeted then with open arms. My company followed them and provided the heating and kitchen ventilation for the brewery. The local Fortuna building inspector was a quite frequent visitor and told us that if we needed any information on how to do the job properly to please give him a call. I know that there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, (ironic pun), but the city was more than happy to get new business at the time.

    When the Redway water district was formed back in 1964(?) there was plenty of water for future growth and business expansion. What happened to all that water? Where did it go? Is there some kind of an evil magic water disappearing act at play?

    I am very grateful for the Gyppo Ale Mill’s valiant effort to be part of our community, I’m am saddened by the loss for them, and us.

    • The water is still there until it travels thru RCSD’s corroded and cracked 1964 infrastructure at a 30% monthly loss.
      Pressure needs to be put on RCSD to bring their system up to par during a drought. Wasting up to 30% of the monthly usage to leaks underground is absolutely insane. We could open 5 brew pubs with the surplus.

  • The cards seem stacked against them alright. They’ve contributed to hospice & other important causes, have created their own biofuel method, to save energy, and provide a tasty beverage. Unless the RCSD published notices that every new business must bring their own water, I fail to see their standing. There are workable solutions, such as rain water cachement, purchasing water from abundant water sources, (use it or lose it), capping production during drought years, or other suggestions.
    I have a feeling this goes deeper. The “zero growth” is one such path that is a common goal across America now. Despite California being only 10% developed, the new agenda for 2030, is for 1% development. Hence the city planner’s push for stack & pack communities, costly car registrations & gas, & the push for “national” parks, “monuments” & “public” lands. This is called “urban renewal”, “sustainable communities”, and other nonsense plans that restrict communities (people) into a more controlled environment.
    There is also a conniving campaign by the “health” groups, sponsored by the governmental agency NIH, to push enjoyable consumer products into financial prohibition. The wineries, breweries, tobacco companies (& all farmers related to any said company), plus firearms companies, have all been denied the right to donate to the homeless, cancer research, hospitals, emergency relief, etc… despite the fact the funds are tremendously needed & wanted. These companies were at one time, the backbone of America. They supported clubs, groups, communities, sports, in so many ways, and now they are spit on. The next time your community does a community drive for blankets, food, Meds, clothes, healthcare, for the homeless, remember this one simple fact every time you pay a tax. Your tax dollars are being spent against you.
    Good luck to Gyppo Brewery, I hope things get sorted out. Besides, craft beer has vitamins. The community could use a pick me up.

    • Google: healthy communities prohibit alcohol, tobacco, firearms,
      You’ll see it’s been instigated for quite awhile: ie.. “Land Use Planning and the Control of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Fast Food Restaurants”

      There are more things to google, if you’re truly interested in learning about the new & not so improved Amerika.
      Ie… Loretta lynch & global police speech. (bye bye constitution protecting sheriff, hello NWO global UN police).

  • Would it be possible to open a brewery in an incorporated part of the county? With your own water and disposal? you don’t have to go to far from Redway to be out of Redway.

  • Guess no one saw my comment. Go to Eureka or Arcata. Humboldt Bay MWD is looking for industrial water customers to replace the 1 million gallons a day both pulp mills used. They have water to sell and are actively seeking industrial customers. You are an industrial customer looking for a provider of water. Why you dont simply call them is beyond me….

    • Doesn’t a brew pub use lots of water? I’m pretty sure making beer requires a lot of water. Last eight years Redways been scraping by with their water supply. In fact I believe that it was so severe water restrictions were set last year. What makes it seem that a brew pub of this size could be sustained here if rain continues to be anemic? Oh yeah. Welcome to local politics too.

    • Believe me, McKinleyville needs a new brew pub. Six Rivers just sucks.

    • Probably because so hum folks want so hum eats . We would like a good restraunt brewery ! I don’t want to drive my ass to fortucky every time I want something other than the usual over priced Cecil’s or benbows moldy oldies .


  • Cry Me A River

  • For those interested in technical reports and water rights here is a study for Humboldt Co.
    It addresses the actual problems with water supply in Humboldt which has nothing to do with lack of water but everything to do with poor antiquated infrastructure. Also touches on important information concerning water rights which is very misleading in here in Humboldt.


  • Until we all get over the requirement to poop in our water supplies, this will not resolve. Compost Privies are used in urbanized areas all over the State. They are considered “illegal” because those in the business of dictating such nonsense have a death grip on the laws they write to perpetuate the problems, not solve them.
    Single family methane recovery systems also exist, illegally. And they both have worked for YEARS without problems. Learn. Start with The Origin of the Feces by David Waltner-Toews and see where it takes you.
    “Perc” tests have been used to control population growth in California for a very long time and will continue to do so as long as we continue to behave like sheep. No dis to the sheep; they already know better.

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