SPECIAL DISTRICT BUDGET APPROVED, OVER LANDERS PROTEST

SPECIAL DISTRICT BUDGET APPROVED, OVER LANDERS PROTEST

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Landers-area residents and agency officials protested a County Special District spending plan for a County-run water district, whose details were revealed publicly this past Friday. Reporter Dan Stork chronicles the back-and-forth…
Third District Supervisor James Ramos questioned County staffer Jeff Rigney closely about the capital projects budget for the Goat Mountain district. Rigney explained that the budget targets infrastructure improvements for the county-administered water district, also known as CSA 70 W-1. Improvements listed by Rigney included smart water meters, replacement of pressure reduction valves and service lines, and more. In response to Ramos’ questions, Rigney said that if the annexation of the district by the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency succeeds, then the ratepayers of the district will still benefit from the money collected via the rate increases of recent years, and any funds not expended will carry over. Bighorn Board President Judy Corl-Lorono, speaking via the Joshua Tree teleconferencing link, characterized the spending plan as a deliberate, unjustified spending spree, which would drain the district’s reserves from over $1.2 million to under $60,000 in two years’ time. Big Horn General Manager Marina West weighed in: “The W-1 construction budget is unwarranted on many levels and overpriced.” She claimed that County Special Districts’ administration has a history of being unresponsive and of wasteful spending when a district leaves the County system. “This is exactly the behavior that’s been the common thread of annexations of water agencies and other CSDs…These other communities—Phelan and Helendale—went through hell to get out. Along the way, all their moneys were squandered.” Despite such impassioned pleas, the Supervisors passed the Special District budget as submitted by staff. In other business specific to a Morongo Basin community, the Supervisors approved formation of a new zone within Wonder Valley for road grading and maintenance, and authorized a tax election to fund operations of the zone.

1 comment to SPECIAL DISTRICT BUDGET APPROVED, OVER LANDERS PROTEST

  • Daniel

    The onus to stop the malicious wasteful spending is on each and every CSA70 W1 rate/tax payers to place a hold on this squandering of assets by what ever means that are required including a court order.

    Big Horn/Desert View ratepayers should not be burdened with what may turn into a massive white elephant, rather than a breakeven merger transaction.

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