George DeMott: Oppose the planned water merger


As a resident in the Newhall County Water District, I have to say that I was startled by Mr. Woods’ recent letter and analysis of money saved by this ridiculous planned water merger.

He must know that Castaic Lake Water Agency raised rates substantially on the last two water agencies it took over – Valencia and Santa Clarita. Why will it be different for Newhall Water customers? Unlikely.

As the former chairman of our local Chamber of Commerce, which is supporting the bill to merge Castaic Lake Water Agency with Newhall County Water District, he is, of course, going to support it too.

But in my opinion his financial analysis was way off and surprising for a local business man.

$14 million over 10 years is only just over 1 percent of the combined expenditures of CLWA and NCWD. Most of these massive expenditures are, of course, CLWA’s, and it is over $300 million in debt and uncontrollable expenses.

And half of this “projected” $1.4 million-a-year savings is already gone with the recently approved (March 22) salary increase of $750,000 at Castaic Lake Water Agency.

Now I learn from Jim Holt’s May 18 Signal article that CLWA is borrowing money from the property tax payments that are supposed to be used to keep existing infrastructure in good shape.

They said this was because of the housing downturn. But what were they doing paying for those developers in the first place? Developers should be paying their own way!

I oppose this merger and hope others will see what is going on here.


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