State Senator Scott Wilk is reviewing both arguments in regards to the possible water consolidation of Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District.
Some say that one agency will have too much power over rates. Others claim that one water district would give the company a larger voice in state policy.
Wilk confirmed on Saturday that he is working towards a consolidation that will work for everyone.
“Its legislation, these things are always fluid. I understand the advantages of having it valley-wide, if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right,” Wilk said.
The state senator met with about twenty constituents on Saturday at City Hall to discuss any concerns about the possible establishment of the new agency.
“Hopefully, we can develop, along with the community, an agency that everyone will be proud of and deliver on the promises that people expect,” Wilk said.
Wilk confirmed that he is not supportive of the current state of proposed legislation to consolidate the water companies.
“I’ve read through the legislation and I have some questions and concerns,” Wilk said.
“Based upon meeting with all these constituents, I have additional questions I will be submitting next week and we’ll see what those answers will be.”
Some are afraid that the merging of the water wholesaler and retailer would make for a company with too much control.
“What will be the options?” said Richard Humanic, a 29-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley. “There are none at that point. They are going to charge (ratepayers) what they believe is right.”
On the other hand, some proponents feel a unified company would create a larger water district with better governance of water issues, a larger voice in state policy and larger federal grants for projects.
“I think it is better to have one group take care of that than a bunch of opinions that are split,” Mark Hershey said, a long-time resident of the valley who wanted to express his support for the potential consolidation.
While there is debate over the benefits and disadvantages of a unified water company, Wilk believes that there needs to be changes in the plan.
“The legislation in its current state I would not be supportive of. There needs to be changes to it so that the district is more accountable and more transparent,” Wilk said.