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HDWD Rewriting PAC Minutes Will Jeopardize Sewer Progress

By   /   June 7, 2013  /   Comments Off

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just-the-facts_edited-1Yucca Valley, Ca.,- The Hi-Desert Water District is required to represent the ratepayers in all decisions without  regard for special interests and deliver clean water and the sewer project at the lowest costs.  This is especially true with any Wastewater decisions on the table after reviewing revised costs of the collection system, which was the last piece of the missing puzzle.

Having secured a $112 million loan from the State of California Revolving Fund at 1.5% interest, the HDWD Board of Directors are seeking other grants to reduce the cost of the sewer system. The recently updated costs are confirmed to exceed the $125 million dollar original estimate.  Director Sarann Graham, was quoted she would not be surprised if the cost estimates came in at only $90 million dollars for the sewer system during her recent campaign for reelection. Graham was reelected in November 2012, extending her political career for another four years. Background story>LINK

The latest cost estimates for the sewer project are around $150 million dollars. These numbers were expected to be rolled out mid-March but are now being revealed to the public without little fanfare.  Readers, there are two previous posts I would like you to read before going any further:

HDWD $melly $ewer Bu$iness >LINK    and   HDWD Director Graham Reckless with Sewer Costs>LINK

The point of this story? There is a concentrated effort to re-write history stating the PAC, Public Advisory Committee approved to eliminate a section of Phase One sewer installation in order to provide complete re-pavement of  roads at an added cost of $5 million dollars.  The section to be eliminated from Phase One is called the Country Club Estates where Graham has two parcels that will be impacted as a short term savings with less assessment to her parcels.

However,the members of the citizen committee were NOT told all the facts and based on the skewed information they received, reached a conclusion that Graham was trying to achieve: (1) add paving costs to the sewer project at only 10% difference and (2)delete her personal residential area from the first phase of sewer construction. The members were not told the additional costs for paving the roads was going to add $5 million dollars extra to the project. They were only informed about the inconvenience and dust factor to the neighborhood when installing the sewer lines. Here is a video of the ONE DAY process installing the mainline currently at Los Osos>http://youtu.be/84vn2AiQpqc

On June 10, 2013, this committee will meet Monday at 5pm at HDWD office to approve minutes and revisit changing of Phase One boundaries. The dates of the meetings and agendas are posted on the HDWD calendar website. The HDWD Board voted to exclude this appointed committee from following the Brown Act.  The reason cited was to eliminate the need for a quorum, for example, on May 13th, there were eight members in attendance and nine were absent. Those minutes state “The majority of the Public Advisory Committee members agreed to defer alternate areas from Phase I to Phase 2 in order to  completely repave roads.” Not only is that untrue, it does not point out more than half of the members were not at that meeting.

Once the committee approve these minutes at this Monday’s meeting, they become etched in stone and will be used to promote the agenda of Yucca Valley Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi.  See minutes of May 13, 2013 >LINK

As I see it, there is an attempt to rewrite history adding costs for paving the streets by manipulating this fine group of volunteers in order to promote Director Graham’s agenda. Not only is this immoral, it is unethical and will jeopardize the forward progress of our much needed sewer system to protect our drinking water supply.

Please review the information on the link provided below and speak with the PAC members listed in the documents.  It is important that everyone attends this committee meeting which is open to the public, although not announced by the media.


I am dedicated to helping protect our drinking water supply to sustain Yucca Valley.  I will not sit idle to see the project manipulated to exempt the high income ratepayers and load the costs on the backs of the residents and businesses on the main corridor in Phase One.

It was once said, the HDWD is in the business to protect the ground water and not in the business to pave roads….I agree.


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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

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