City Manager's Update, December 4, 2015
On November 3, 2014 Claremont voters approved revenue bond financing for the acquisition of the Claremont Water System from Golden State Water Company. Following the vote, the Claremont City Council approved Resolutions of Necessity outlining the reasons municipal ownership of the water system is in the public’s best interest. In December of2014, the City filed an eminent domain complaint with the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Judge Fruin of Los Angeles County Superior Court has set a trial date of March 7, 2016 to hear Golden State Water Company’s right to take objections. Golden State is seeking to prevent the condemnation of the Claremont Water System and a takeover by the City of Claremont. At the trial, both sides will present documentation and witnesses to support their arguments for or against City ownership. The judge anticipates the trial will take 30 days.
In anticipation of the trial, both the City of Claremont and Golden State Water Company are preparing their cases and engaged in extensive discovery. In this process, over 200,000 pages of documents have been produced by Golden State, the City, and third parties. Golden State has also served document subpoenas on the City of La Verne, which entered into an agreement with the City of Claremont regarding operation of the Claremont Water System. Both the City and Golden State have taken depositions and filed motions against each other seeking more documents. Golden State has refused to produce documents consisting of the engineering drawings of the Claremont Water System. The City has filed a motion to compel production of these documents. To date there have been multiple court appearances which will continue up to and through the date of trial.
Following a ruling in the City’s favor on the right to take the system by eminent domain, the judge would set a trial to determine the cost the City must pay Golden State Water for purchase the system.