At its meeting on November 25, 2014, Claremont City Council held a public hearing to consider Resolutions of Necessity for acquisition of the Claremont Water System by eminent domain.
During that hearing, Golden State Water and the community had an opportunity to address the City Council and learn important information on the acquisition. City Manager Tony Ramos gave a presentation giving historical background on the acquisition process and summarizing a list of findings determining that the acquisition was in the public's best interest. City Manager Ramos also gave a description of the property to be acquired which incorporates all of Claremont and small sections of Montclair, Pomona, Upland, and unincorporated Los Angeles County. All sections of the system were included to minimize any negative impacts of acquiring the system to the affected property owners.
Following a presentation and public comments, the City Council unanimously passed the resolution of necessity. By law, the City Council has six months to file an eminent domain lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Through the court proceedings, a judge would make a decision on the legality of the potential acquisition and a jury would determine the value of the system. The legal process is complex and may take 2-4 years to complete.
Concurrently, the City will be exploring options for operating and managing the water system and potential rate structures - all to be discussed and decided upon in open public meetings. For the past several months, the City has been working on the terms of an operational agreement with the City of La Verne and has been analyzing potential rate structures with a utility rate consultant.