This spring, the Stonewood Homeowners Association approached Jerry Holldber, Pine Cove Water District general manager, about establishing a physical connection with the district.
The HOA wanted to explore possibilities from just an emergency tie-in between its system and PCWD to the possible annexation of the community and becoming part of the PCWD.
Last week, Holldber presented the costs of several alternatives at a PCWD workshop attended by members of the Stonewood HOA, including President Angela Colson. The Stonewood group met Saturday to discuss their future.
“We need to investigate more financial and figures for the long range,” Colson said Monday. “It’s very, very expensive and we need to keep studying in depth what to do.”
Holldber described an incorporation option that would provide more and cleaner water to the whole community for approximately $300,000 in system improvements, or about $12,400 per property with a meter and $5,200 for properties without meters.
Questions and comments have gone back and forth for several months culminating in a workshop last week. Holldber and PCWD directors met to discuss and explore the cost and practicality of the various options for association between the neighborhood and the water district.
Currently, there are 36 properties within the Stonewood neighborhood, of which 26 already have water service. The Stonewood system is supplied from a private well producing about 13 to 15 gallons per minute and one 67,000-gallon storage tank. According to the HOA’s water consultant Richard Zaragoza, the HOA annual water usage is about 3.4 million gallons, but lacks any fire flow.
The PCWD system would be extended about 1,000 feet north of its current terminus. Within Stonewood, fire hydrants would be installed as would water meters for the homes with current water service.
Joining PCWD would eliminate issues of water quality and dependability that have occurred over the past five years. State and county warnings have been issued for water quality as well as for the pipes used in Stonewood’s distribution system.
In May, Holldber received a private email from a resident pleading for help since they had been without water for days.
In addition, if annexation were pursued, Riverside County’s Local Agency Formation Commission would be involved to organize and oversee the process, which would cost about $28,000.
With a loan for capital costs and water service identical to current PCWD customers, a Stonewood homeowner would pay about $900 annually plus costs for water usage.
Stonewood residents would have access to greater water storage, improved water quality, and full-time staff to operate and maintain water production and delivery.
We know we want the tie-in,” Colson said. “And we want a pristine water supply potential for the community.”