Water merger “workshop” about finances set for Wednesday


The long awaited public meeting to learn about the financial implications of a proposed water merger is now set to happen Wednesday.

After months of number crunching and verifying data, officials representing both water wholesaler – the Castaic Lake Water Agency – and one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s three main water retailers – the Newhall County Water District – are ready to share their financial information with the public.

The public meeting is scheduled to take place 6:30 p.m. at the CLWA’S Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant on Bouquet Canyon Road, overlooking Central Park.

“This will be the latest in the workshop series,” NCWD General Manager Steve Cole told The Signal Monday.

“It is designed to present a comprehensive study which was prepared to analyze the challenges and opportunities of creating a new public water district for the SCV,” he said.

“Specifically, it will cover finances as well as an analysis on organizational efficiencies that could be realized.”

Officials from both CLWA and the NCWD announced in January they were exploring the possibility of combining their two entities into a single water agency.

Since then, regular public meetings have been held to inform and engage the public about various aspects of the merger, with meetings held every other month in February, April and June.

The meeting to address a merger’s financial implications, however, was pushed back to September, then pushed back a second time to November.

Each of the prior “public workshop” sessions were well-attended.

On Wednesday evening, water officials plan to unveil a lot of financial numbers for what has – typically – involved a lot of people concerned about the implications of a “monopoly.”

“It is rather comprehensive,” NCWD spokesman Steve Greyshock said Monday.

“It will review a comprehensive report that will be provided to the boards of directors and public from the ad hoc committee that has been studying this,” he said, noting copies of the report will be available for the attendees Monday.

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