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Water agency looking ahead

Posted: September 2, 2008 9:34 p.m.
Updated: November 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Perchlorate cleanup and new developer water fees are two issues topping the local water agency’s agenda for the remainder of the year, said the agency’s top official prior to an agenda-setting meeting Tuesday night.

The board will consider proposed hikes of between 5 and 18 percent in facility capacity fees and continue with ongoing pipeline construction along Valencia Boulevard over the next two months, said Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency.

Until November, motorists must cope with central — albeit partial — road closures, he said.

Between now and then, traffic along Valencia Boulevard between Bouquet Canyon Road and Magic Mountain will be re-routed at night as work undertaken by the Castaic Lake Water Agency continues, he added.

“Our priority is pretty much completing the construction of facilities and pipelines to remediate the perchlorate contamination,” Masnada explained Tuesday.

Work on pipelines situated near Valencia Boulevard will force the shutdown of some lanes in block segments along one of Santa Clarita’s main  roadways.

Partial lane closures will occur at shifting segments along Valencia as the work progresses including: A section between Bouquet Canyon Road and Cinema Drive; a segment between Cinema and Creekside Road, and between Creekside and Magic Mountain Parkway.

Members of the agency’s Agenda Planning Committee met Tuesday night.

Four of the five members of the agenda planning committee, including Chairman Bill Pecsi, are candidates in the upcoming November election for seats on the board.

Most of the candidates — which include Jerry Gladbach, R. J. Kelly and Bill Cooper — cited perchlorate cleanup as the number-one priority facing the agency.

The mission of the Castaic Lake Water Agency is to ensure that the residents have a steady supply of clean drinking water.

Tuesday night, the agenda committee scheduled various other agency committees to meet and discuss fees, perchlorate and other ongoing issues, including dates set for:
n Sept. 8 — Retail Operations Committee
n Sept. 10 — regular water agency meeting
n Sept. 11 — Water Resources Committee
n Sept. 16 — Finance & Administration Committee (tentative)
n Sept. 22 — Government Relations & Outreach Committee
n Sept. 24 — regular water agency meeting.

Over the next few months, the issue of Facility Capacity Fees, charged to developers who need water to service the new communities, will be discussed.

In recent weeks, the agency reviewed document titled: “Providing Economic Justification for Proposed Facility Capacity Fees.”

Masnada said the fees have not been increased in five years, and would not provide funding for water supply projects if no development occurs.

The board is expected to consider a resolution that formally kicks off the proposed fee hikes Sept. 24.

Members of the public will have a chance to weigh in on the fee schedule at a public meeting slated for Nov. 24.

The board is expected to make a decision on a 5 to 18 percent fee hike in rates now set at between $8,213 and $12,833 per acre-foot of water to $8,656 to $15,246 for the same unit of water.


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