Claremont deserves congratulations! The 71 percent vote to fund the acquisition of our water system, with a 41 percent voter turnout, is a strong mandate to move forward. Many opponents also said they favored local ownership, but were not convinced the city could manage the system, or could afford it without sharply increasing rates.
Fortunately, there are good answers to these concerns based on common-sense comparisons. The city of La Verne has managed a municipal water system very well for a century and we are negotiating with them to manage ours. Their water bills are also much lower than ours, about $770 per year ($64 per month) on the average. City-wide that amounts to over $8 million each year that could be applied to the purchase—enough to support all the $135 million in revenue bonds approved in Measure W.
An independent appraiser determined the value of the system to be $55 million. Golden State Water Company sold a larger system in 2011 for $34 million. $135 million should be more than enough.
Approving funding is just the first step if, even now, Golden State refuses to sell. Public input is still important as the city works to acquire the system and take control. On November 25, we can participate in the public hearing at city hall and urge the adoption of a Resolution of Necessity, the first step toward acquisition by eminent domain.