Complaints – and Relief – at CVWD Meeting


The Crescenta Valley Water District has become accustomed to community concerns over increasing water rates and the like. Its Oct. 8 meeting produced much of the same as the board of directors fielded two complaints from residents.

Chris Barnes and Paul Mitchell from Santa Carlotta Street attended the meeting, after they said CVWD’s slurry seal paving from earlier in the year left the road in poor condition.

“There are many places where the original asphalt is still showing through,” said Mitchell. He noted the slurry work done on Honolulu Avenue, which he found to be closer to his expectation for Santa Carlotta.

“When they did the slurry on Honolulu, they shut it down for two hours and then reopened. We were down for two days. We kept the traffic off for an extra day and still, when you turn your tires on the slurry, it’s ripping the slurry up. I don’t see any evidence of that on Honolulu.”

Mitchell and Barnes also expressed concerns over how the road would hold up in rainy weather since, in their opinion, the paving was done so poorly.

“It was a poor job. It was an inadequate job. It wasn’t done correctly,” said Barnes.

Barnes said that portions of the slurry seal are dried and hard as they should be, while other portions are soft and still subject to damage from car tires. The CVWD board said the work was done by a subcontractor with whom the water district had not previously worked.

CVWD also replaced water pipes on Santa Carlotta this year, though neither Mitchell nor Barnes took issue with that project.

The water district also contended with a resident’s request for relief from a particularly high water bill. Lisa Flores, 86, could not attend the meeting where the board discussed her high bill. CVWD’s Ron Mitchell said that no leaks were found at Flores’ residence and it was later revealed that the high water usage was the result of a grandchild who left a sprinkler on for at least a few days. The board eventually agreed to provide her with relief, though no more than $175. Flores had already been provided $125 of relief some years ago for a high bill. (CVWD does not exceed $300 of relief for any customer.)

But not everything was contentious during the meeting as the board also discussed a project to rehabilitate one of its lower- producing wells. CVWD engineer David Gould said they hope to have the well rehabilitation completed by mid-December. Gould also reported on the ongoing study for a storm water recharge facility in Crescenta Valley Park.

The water district will also be receiving funds for further projects from the settlement of Crescenta Valley Water District vs. Exxon Mobil, the lawsuit CVWD filed against several oil and gas companies for the contamination of local groundwater with MTBE (Methyl Tertiary-butyl Ether).

Gould said that the district’s policy committee had met earlier to discuss potential uses for the incoming funds. The committee came up with several ideas, mostly involving procedures for use of the funds, but also for potentially using the money to prevent further MTBE contaminations.

But with no concrete plan yet for the money, the board decided to postpone further discussion until the finance committee discussed the matter.