HI-DESERT WATER BOARD SEES LIGHT AT THE END OF THE SEWER

HI-DESERT WATER BOARD SEES LIGHT AT THE END OF THE SEWER

The Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors has been anxiously awaiting to hear when their waste water project’s assessment report will be heard by the State Water Quality Control Board for its approval, and to hear what interest rate the water district will receive for the $146 million project. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the board got some surprising news at its special meeting last night…
The Hi-Desert Water District’s Board of Directors heard at its meeting last night that the earliest the State Water Quality Control Board can approve the water district’s application for the assessment district and low-interest loan is months away. “At this point, we anticipate that we won’t be able to take the financing agreement before our board for approval before December.” Meghan Tosney of the State Water Quality Control Board (SWQCB) explained that the assessment report had to go through a legal review, which would take six to eight weeks. In a best-case scenario, the earliest the assessment ballots could be mailed out to residents would be October 30, with the ballots not being counted until December 15. Tosney gave the Board of Directors some good news about the interest rate. “The other issue is interest rate, which again ultimately is subject to our board’s approval; … at this point are looking at an anticipated staff recommendation of 1 percent.” This rate is nearly half of the state board’s (SWQCB) general obligation rate of 1.9 percent, which would save the water district about $20 million. Jose Angel of the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board also had good news for the water district. “I feel pretty upbeat where you are today… I see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The Board voted 4-0, with Director Dan Munsey absent, to begin the assessment vote process as soon as the legal review is completed, and not wait until the State Water Quality Control Board has approved the assessment report and interest rate in December.

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