Crestview year in review—the good, the bad, and the ugly (Part 2)

Part 1 is here.

July:  The Crestview board considered a draft resolution to reimburse septic system owners within 600 feet of Well #7 for any costs, including costs of advanced treatment, caused by the presence of Well #7.  Later, it was amended to limit coverage to 200 feet, but neither version was ever negotiated with the affected neighbors or adopted by the board.

August:  Well #4 was taken offline on August 14 due to falling water levels.  Well #6 was also taken offline then to avoid mixing well water with imported water. This will mean about 300 acre-feet of water Crestview is entitled to pump in 2021 will instead be imported at 11-12 times the pumping cost. The general manager reported that he would check with the County to see if Crestview must stop issuing will-serve letters for new homes.

September:  Crestview’s appeal of the Planning Commission denial of a critical permit for Well #7 was unanimously denied by the Board of Supervisors.  This will require a write-off of more than $800,000 of sunk costs. The general manager gave the board an updated report on future water supply options.  Twenty shareholders attended the September 29 meeting to hear the board discuss this, but president Sol Chooljian shut down the discussion and illegally took it into executive session.  Any discussion in executive session remains secret.

October:  The board discussed options for large rate increases due to the need to import an additional 337 acre-feet of water in 2022 while Well #4 is inoperable. The board also discussed options for modifying Well #4 to get it back online. No action was taken on either matter.  The general manager reported that imported water may become unavailable as soon as February or March 2022 because of the drought in northern California—just as Crestview’s need for imported water is more than doubling because of the unavailability of Well #4.

November:  The Crestview board approved a rate increase that takes the company from having the cheapest rates in the region to having the most expensive. President Sol Chooljian said, “We should decide amongst the board what to do about [a future water supply strategy] without having it on the agenda.”  The board approved an amendment to the Calleguas contract raising the limit on Calleguas’s financial responsibility to $3.3 million for Well #8, but Crestview is still exposed to multi-million dollar cost overruns. The board approved a project to lower the pump in Well #4.

December:  There was an emergency board meeting about the need to replace a deteriorating section of aging water main in Avocado Place.

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