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LARC Ranch eyes hookup with municipal water supplier

Posted: August 4, 2014 3:55 p.m.
Updated: August 4, 2014 3:55 p.m.
 

Historic LARC Ranch is moving forward with a $3 million plan to solve its water crisis, using the recent gift of a $500,000 Annenberg Foundation grant as seed money for a fundraising drive kicking off in October, its executive director said Monday.

The 65-acre home for developmentally disabled adults is in water-parched Bouquet Canyon, where wells have either run dry or are nearly so due to a jurisdictional impasse that has halted the flow of water.

“It’s a wonderful gift,” ranch Executive Director Kathleen Sturky said of the Annenberg grant announced last week. “This is going to be the beginning of our fundraising.”

Founded in 1959, LARC Ranch has had to truck in about 3 million gallons of water so far this year for its residents and staff, at a cost of about $76,000, since the wells ran nearly dry, she said.

Hooking into the municipal water supply is the home’s long-range solution, Sturky said. Once hooked up, that water can be used for residents and staff, while a new well and ongoing work at the ranch’s existing well will provide water for irrigation.

“And, of course, we have to keep enough water on our premises for the event of a fire. We’re digging our one well deeper right now,” Sturky said.

While water in a reservoir at the top of Bouquet Canyon remains off limits as bureaucrats from several agencies squabble over how to unclog a creek that traditionally feeds the canyon groundwater below, LARC Ranch officials aren’t waiting, Sturky said.

They met last month with Santa Clarita Valley water officials on how to connect the ranch to municipal pipelines.
The plan will cost about $3 million, but LARC officials are hoping “this will take care of all our water needs for the future,” Sturky said.

The Annenberg Foundation gift helped kick-start fundraising for that pipeline hookup, she said, adding the ranch will host its first public fundraiser 1-4 p.m. Oct. 26 — a Halloween carnival with games, food and other fun. For more information visit LARC.com.

“We hope this will take care of all our water needs for the future,” Sturky said.

 

 

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