By Isiah REYES
The Crescenta Valley Water District held a public hearing on Tuesday to listen to comments and concerns from the public about the proposed water rate increase, which would become effective July 1.
The reasons given by the CVWD in proposing the water rate increase include the need to replace aging infrastructure. Some portions of the district’s water distribution system are over 50 years old and are approaching, or have already reached, the end of their lives. This includes pipes, wells, pumping plants, reservoirs and other infrastructure.
Most of the residents at the meeting were not happy with the proposed water rate increase. Local resident Michael Chonos said the rate increase is unprecedented, stating he believes residents are being charged illegally. He wanted to rally the other residents at the meeting to form a class action lawsuit.
“I’ve been here for many meetings and people have said eloquent stuff but it doesn’t matter how good your argument is and it doesn’t matter what question you ask, because we’re going to get shut down,” said Chonos. Many of the residents voiced their displeasure at not having their questions answered by the board. The board of directors instead opted to post the answers to all the questions online at the Crescenta Valley Water District website in a week’s time (www.cvwd.com).
Other reasons CVWD is proposing a water rate increase is to develop new sources of water supply and dealing with reduced revenues from reduced water sales. The District is currently dealing with budget challenges for the 2015-16 fiscal year that includes meeting the mandated water conservation goal of 24% reduction in water use, reducing the use of imported water and power costs, and continuing with water meter replacement, valve exercising and fire hydrant maintenance programs.
One of the major capital improvement projects this fiscal year was to complete installation of Well 16 located at the former Rockhaven site. CVWD will be breaking ground on a new transmission main, which will consist of excavating about 1,250 linear feet and installing the new 8-inch water transmission main that will transport water from the new groundwater well (Well 16) to the District’s Glenwood Nitrate Removal Treatment Facility near the intersection of La Crescenta and Sycamore avenues.
E&R Construction Inc. was awarded the contract and has begun exploratory excavation work on the 2700 block of Hermosa Avenue to verify depths of surrounding utilities. E&R Construction is scheduled to continue exploratory excavation along La Crescenta Avenue from Hermosa to Sycamore between June 15 and June 22.
E&R Construction is scheduled to start construction of the new pipeline on June 23 along the 2700 block of Hermosa. There will be a temporary road closure on Hermosa to thru traffic between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and the road will reopen after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and remain open on weekends. E&R Construction should complete the work on Hermosa within three weeks. E&R Construction will continue to install the new 8-inch water transmission main along La Crescenta Ave. from Hermosa to Sycamore and it is projected to be completed by Aug. 20.
Local residents are encouraged to call Christina Olmedo, project manager, for construction related questions at (818) 248-3925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The board of directors may adopt, revise, or modify the rate increase as proposed at a special board meeting that is scheduled for June 30.