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City to explain water issues at town hall meeting

UPDATED: The city of Claremont has offered Golden State Water Company $55 million for the purchase of Claremont’s water system, confirmed city officials this week.

This is the second offer the city has made to the privately owned water company. Last November, Claremont officials presented Golden State Water with a $54 million offer, which was turned down.

On September 24, City Attorney Sonia Carvalho announced that the city had revised its offer after an updated appraisal of the city’s water system. However, the amount of that offer was not disclosed. Golden State Water officials released that information in a press release sent Friday, October 4.

Water company administrators have not confirmed whether or not they have refused the city’s offer. A statement given by Denise Kruger, Golden State’s vice president of regulated utilities, instead points to the burden a $55 million offer would have on Claremont residents.

“Based on this new offer, residents will have to pay more than $133 million in principal and interest to acquire the water system,” Ms. Kruger wrote. “The city cannot match Golden State's level of drinking water quality, infrastructure maintenance and customer service; and the water system is not for sale. If the city pursues its takeover effort, hundreds of millions in tax debt and higher water rates will put other public services at risk.”

In response, the city calls attention to the upcoming town hall on Wednesday, November 6—to be held at 6 p.m. in Taylor Hall—at which time officials say residents will receive more information on the city’s plan to pursue acquisition of the Claremont water system.

“Over the past several months, city staff has been carefully evaluating key issues related to the city’s potential acquisition of the water system,” said City Manager Tony Ramos. “In November, the city council will conduct a town hall meeting where residents will learn about issues relating to the potential acquisition of the water system.  In addition, our residents will have an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions with the city council regarding the future of Claremont’s water system,” said Tony Ramos.

—Beth Hartnett


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