By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Nick Gilliams, public works director, said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the increase in fees would be compounded in increments. The largest fee increase in 2013 would be a 10.2 percent increase. In 2014 there would be a 2.5 percent increase and in 2015 a 3.2 percent increase.
The city council, minus mayor Brian Donahue, decided to have the city attorney look into alternatives to Golden State Water, such as other companies or potentially running their own water company.
According to mayor pro tem David Shawver, Stanton was asked by Golden State Water to conserve water during a drought.
“When we did, they didn’t make a profit. So now they want to make a bigger profit,” said Shawver.
According to council member Carol Warren, the region which Stanton and all of Orange County belongs to also includes Barstow and Ojai, both of which are far north of Los Angeles and are considered desert regions.
“We are all in the same region as Barstow, Apple Valley and Ojai . . .we’re paying for infrastructure in these desert cities that have to import water, when we already have our infrastructure in place,” said Warren.
Warren said, “The problem with Golden State Water is they’re a monopoly. And like with a monopoly they’re taking advantage of us. They’ve really gotten greedy in Barstow and in Ojai. If we don’t fight this they’re just going to keep taking advantage of us, who’s to stop them? They have no competition. We need to find a viable solution for us.”
Council member Ed Royce was dubious about an idea to potentially start a city based water program, citing that the local water table would not be able to support continued population growth and a project undertaking would be extremely costly to the city.
Stanton has been part of a collection of cities refusing to give in to Golden State Water’s request for fee hikes.