As the Castaic Lake Water Agency steps boldly into the future with the anticipated formation of two emerging new agencies, the local water wholesaler still finds itself dealing with the odd rickety and rusting water tank more than a half a century old.
Set off by itself in sharp context to the gleam and glint of a vast field of highly efficient solar panels, the water tank from another era sits with its concrete crumbling and rickety metal supports rusting.
The Upper Mesa Water Tank – or Mesa Tank, as staffers call it – remains where it has for the last half century, in the backyard of the Castaic Lake Water Agency.
On Tuesday, members of the agency’s Planning and Engineering Committee were given the sad news by Brian J. Folsom, CLWA’s Engineering and Operations Manager – the Mesa Tank is in a state of “disrepair and needs to be demolished and removed.”
At a time in the 60’s when, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 30 percent of milk sold in America was home delivered and when a jar of peanut butter was 39 cents, the Mesa Tank was an impressive monument.
But, what was once an impressive structure has become the target of graffiti and vandalism.
Homeless people huddle inside it from time to time – but never permanently.
Errant strands of rusting rebar poke through concrete that’s crumbled away.
The water tank stands 25 feet tall with a diameter of about 90 feet. It has a wooden roof and was built by the previous owners none of whom were immediately known to agency staffers.
A check with the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office Thursday revealed the previous owner of the CLWA property on Bouquet Canyon Road, overlooking Central Park, was Los Angeles City.
The LA City property itself changed hands in 1973 and with it came the Mesa Tank.
In his recommendation Tuesday to the Planning and Engineering Committee Wednesday, Folsom noted: “The Mesa Tank was constructed and used by the previous owners of the property and has not been used for many years.
“The Mesa Tank has fallen into a state of dis-repair and the condition is getting worse each year.
Folsom called it: A nuisance.
As a result, the agency opened up a bidding process among contractors willing to tear it down.
The bids ranged from $108,000 to $138,000.
On Tuesday, the Planning and Engineering Committee recommended the CLWA Board of Directors approve giving the construction contract – or in this case a destruction contract – to the lowest bidder, Mesa Engineering, based in Santa Clarita.
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