Kudos to the city council! After declining the unhelpful and unenforceable CAWA/Golden State Water MOU, they got Golden State to sign an agreement giving us a lot more than it gives them!
What did we get?
- Existing lawsuits related to CEQA, the Public Records Act and the Brown Act have been dropped, saving us huge amounts of time and money.
- No new CEQA suits can be filed,crucial because you cannot complete eminent domain if a CEQA lawsuit is open.
- GSW agreed not to contest funding by revenue bonds. This has stalled eminent domain proceedings elsewhere.
- GSW stopped signature gathering for a competing initiative.
What did GSW get?
- The bond wording will say “up to $135 million” instead of “up to $55 million.” The total possible was always $135 million (the $80 million that would not raise rates plus the $55 million that was for “just in case”), but GSW hopes we will be fooled into thinking something has changed. If you supported the previous wording, there is no reason not to support this wording. The final cost will depend on the court, not on what the measure says.
- The city will release parts of the feasibility study used to determine the appraised value of $55 million for the water system, and the $80 million figure at which paying bond debt would be the same as paying GSW. GSW hopes they can contest these numbers, of course. So we got rid of some serious obstacles—Claremont 1, GSW 0!