Key city issues addressed at busy council meeting

Matthew Bramlett, Claremont Courier, October 16, 2015 (excerpt)

(Link to Operations and Maintenance Agreement on City website)

...The deal with La Verne is a crucial step toward the city’s ultimate goal of claiming eminent domain over the water system, which is currently owned and operated by the privately-held Golden State Water Company. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge will review the eminent domain case on March 7, 2016.

Under the deal, Claremont would own the system and cover billing and other expenses, while La Verne would provide staffing and general maintenance. Under the agreement, La Verne will be paid 10 percent of the $1.5 million allocated toward the water system, should Claremont win the eminent domain claim.

During public comment on the resolution, Claremont resident Douglas Lyons expressed skepticism over certain parts of the La Verne deal, including a passage that gives Claremont the job of maintaining service vehicles.

“Why will Claremont be responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, repair and replacement of vehicles and equipment used to operate and maintain the water system?” Mr. Lyons said. “As an experienced operator, would not La Verne be able to accomplish these functions in a more timely and efficient manner?”

The council passed the resolution with a unanimous 5-0 decision. La Verne passed its side of the agreement during its city council session on September 21.

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