City makes third offer for purchase of Claremont’s system from Golden State

by Angela Bailey, the Claremont Courier

The dance for ownership of the Claremont water system continued at Tuesday night’s city council meeting with the city transmitting an updated offer to Golden State Water Company to purchase its system and assets for $56,335,000. This is the third appraisal and offer made to the private, investor-owned company that serves water to residents and business owners in Claremont. 

 Read more on the eminent domain case.

“Since the last offer of $55,094,000 in October of 2013, Golden State Water has increased rates and revenues,” said City Manager Tony Ramos. “The offer made to Golden State Water is based on a comprehensive and detailed property description and is for the current fair market value of the utility system.”

The offer was updated as part of the city’s eminent domain case against Golden State. At a motion for judgment hearing on April 30, 2015, the court ordered the city to amend its complaint within 60 days and to include an updated offer letter. Before submitting a new offer, the city directed its appraiser to update the valuation, taking into account changes in the system since the last appraisal in 2013.

Read more on the motion for judgment hearing.

The updated offer made by the city is based on information contained in the latest annual report filed by Golden State for the Claremont District for December 31, 2014.  The offer also contains a more detailed description of the Claremont water system. The water system services all of Claremont, as well as small portions of the cities of Montclair, Pomona, Upland, and a small adjacent area of unincorporated Los Angeles County.

At Tuesday’s Claremont City Council meeting, Mr. Ramos also reminded the community that Golden State Water will be holding a public hearing on rates and conservation on Thursday, May 28 at the El Roble Intermediate School auditorium.

“The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and I strongly encourage residents to attend,” he said.

Read more on the rate case.

Golden State Water Company began the current rate-setting process in July 2014 when they applied for an order to decrease water service rates by 0.50 percent in 2016, only to increase rates by 3.21 percent in 2017; and increase rates again by 3.12 percent in 2018. Mayor Corey Calaycay, Councilman Joe Lyons and City Manager Tony Ramos will travel to San Francisco next month to testify in the Golden State Water CPUC rate case on June 4.

The COURIER will continue to update residents on the details as they become available.

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