City Manager's Weekly Update - October 12, 2017
CITY MANAGER’S MESSAGE
Council Approves Settlement with Golden State Water
On Tuesday, October 10, the Claremont City Council approved a tentative agreement with Golden State Water Company to settle legal fees owed to the company as a result of the court decision in the water system acquisition trial. Golden State Water has agreed to reduce the amount of legal fees the City owes in exchange for the City withdrawing its appeal of the court decision. The City will also withdraw its appeal of the amount the Court granted Golden State Water in legal fee reimbursement. The agreement signed by Council was finalized with Golden State Water Company on October 11, 2017.
In December 2016, Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin ruled against the City in its eminent domain case against Golden State Water Company. As a result of the decision, the City is responsible for reimbursing Golden State Water its legal fees of over $7.6 million. The City filed an appeal contesting the amount granted by the court. Interest began accruing on this amount on March 8, 2017.
On January 31, 2017, the City Council held a public meeting to gather public input on moving forward with an appeal and hired an appellate law firm to analyze the City’s case. The City hired attorney David Axelrad of Horvitz and Levy, one of California’s top appellate specialists. After reviewing the judge’s decision, Mr. Axelrad advised the City Council that the best possible outcome of an appeal was a partial retrial of the case.
With this agreement, the City will pay Golden State Water an initial payment of $2 million by December 31, 2017 followed by interest payments over the next twelve years. The interest payment is $234,040 per year, for a total of $2,808,480. The total amount the City will pay over the 12 year term of the settlement is $4,808,480. Golden State Water will forgive the remaining principal balance of $5,851,000 if the City does not file Resolutions of Necessity during the next 12 years. Should the City file a Resolution of Necessity during the next 12 years, the principal becomes payable immediately and the interest paid will be lost. For the more information, please visit our City website at www.ci.claremont.ca.us.
Last week, employees from the Inland Valley Humane Society (IVHS) began conducting neighborhood canvasses. The canvassers will be insuring compliance with the City's dog licensing requirements. Licensing your pet is mandatory for all dogs over 4 months. Read more in the Public Safety Section.
This week, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning for Los Angeles County. The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park will be closed on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14, and will reopen on Sunday, October 15. The National Weather Service may further extend the closure if critical fire weather conditions continue. Please plan accordingly. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or will occur. The Red Flag Warning is due to a combination of gusty winds with very low humidity. Updates will be posted on the City Website at www.ci.claremont.ca.us or you can check the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.
Next week, residents are invited to a community meeting to see the design of the proposed new police station and provide feedback on how it is funded. Join us Monday, October 16 at the Hughes Center or Thursday, October 19 at the Blaisdell Center. The presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., and will be repeated at 6:30 p.m. City staff will provide a review of the proposed new design, as well as the possible funding mechanisms. Read more in the Public Safety Section.