Parting of the waters: 2 local districts to split

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CARSON – Two regional water districts, which have operated under the same management for more than 50 years, are splitting up. The 59-year-old West Basin Municipal Water District, which serves the South Bay area, filed the notice of intent, forcing the split with the 54-year-old Central Basin Municipal Water District. Robert Apodaca, president of the Central Basin board, said his board opposes the split, but has no choice under the agreement between the two agencies. It must occur by July 1. The two districts purchase water from the Metropolitan Water District and then re-sell it to private and public water utilities. Local water officials fear their utilities might end up paying the price. “I think they’re having a divorce and we all get to pay the alimony,” said Jim Glancy, president of the Central Basin Water Association that represents private and public water utilities in the Southeast area of Los Angeles County. A study by Red Oak Consulting for the West Basin district found that it would have a one-time cost of nearly $1.4million and annual costs of $918,000. How the split will affect the Central Basin district remains unknown because it hasn’t been studied, Apodaca said. Santa Fe Springs gets about half of its water from the Central Basin district. Don Jensen, public works director for Santa Fe Springs, said he fears the impending split will raise its costs. “Until they can show us or demonstrate there won’t be a cost impact on the cities, I’m inclined to oppose it,” Jensen said. Gary Draper, general manager for Orchard Dale Water District, said the split could be a good thing. “We’ll be getting 100 percent attention on Central Basin issues,” Draper said. Apodaca said his board intends to minimize additional costs as much as they can. The two districts share 49 employees. The Red Oak study says the West Basin district will need 34 employees. Jose Fernandez, a West board member, said his board asked for the split because of their differences. While at one time there were similarities, the two districts now have significant differences, the Red Oak study shows, Fernandez said. The Red Oak report said the West Basin is characterized by an emphasis on engineering, construction and operations of projects such as its water reclamation plant and a possible desalinization plant. The Central Basin district has focused on pipelines and pump stations to use recycled water from the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, the study stated. “This is a natural progression,” Fernandez said. “They’re like two siblings who have grown apart.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022last_img read more

Read More →