Idyllwild Water District and Idyllwild Arts Foundation signed a memorandum of Understanding regarding water to the school and IWD issued three will-serve letters to the school at the April 17 meeting. Above, Idyllwild Arts representative Steve Fraider, executive director of Idyllwild Arts and director of the Summer Program, holding the check, Walter Parks, board member, IWD President Allan Morphett holding the signed agreement and General Manager Terry Lyons. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

The Idyllwild Water District board of directors approved three will-serve letters for Idyllwild Arts. At a meeting attended by school adherents, the board first approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Idyllwild Arts and then quickly, without fanfare, it approved the three letters. Both organizations signed the memorandum at the meeting.

Following these actions, Steve Fraider, Idyllwild Arts’ executive director, handed IWD’s President Allan Morphett a check for $150,000. As specified in the agreement, this sum is an advance on future connection fees and the money is to be used for construction of a water storage tank in the Tollgate Zone.

The will-serve letters are for two campus residences — for a dean and one faculty — and a new health center. The connection fees for these facilities are almost $20,000 and will be deducted from the school’s $150,000 advance.

The agreement also states how pipeline connections between the water district’s main pipeline at the end of Tollgate Road and the entrance to the school will be constructed. Idyllwild Arts has agreed to pay the cost for this work.

In the will-serve letters, Idyllwild Arts also reaffirmed its support for the district’s recycled water project. When this water is available, the school has agreed to use it for all of its future irrigation needs.

After the meeting, Fraider said, “After many months of intensive discussions and negotiations, Idyllwild Arts and IWD have reached an agreement for the responsible development of the Idyllwild Arts campus. The agreement is a true win-win-win situation for IWD, IAF and the community of Idyllwild at large.

“We will be advancing funds as a deposit against future water connection fees to assist IWD to build more water storage in the Tollgate area,” he added. “This has been a critical need for quite some time and we are honored to be a part of the solution for the community.”

Groundbreaking for planned residential construction will begin later this spring, according to Laura Sherman, Idyllwild Arts’ project manager. “I’m hoping to have the faculty occupants in their new homes well before the start of school,” she wrote in an email at the end of the week. She hopes health center construction can begin in early July.

Riverside County, the Parks and Open Space District, and IWD are still working on plans for approval of a site for the 300,000 gallon water tank, according to Morphett.