One should first ask, “Why does IWD want to consolidate? Is it out of the goodness of their hearts or would it bring some advantage to the customers in Pine Cove or Fern Valley?”
The answer to all of the above is a resounding no. Consolidation is an advantage to only one small group of individuals, IWD and its board. Everybody else would foot the bills for years of poor management. Its ex-manager couldn’t even come up with the state-required license to operate a water plant.
More importantly are the million-dollar-plus improvements it now must make to clarify its water so it can get its own customers to even drink the stuff.
It’s the latter point that I believe is the compulsive motivation behind its desire to consolidate.
First, by consolidating, it gains a larger income base to which it can spread the cost of these upgrades across. This reduces the cost to its own customers, but those who live in areas presently covered by the other two water districts will be saddled with helping to pay for the mistakes made by others in a district to which they had no relationship.
Second, and of greater importance, by consolidating, it gains access to more sources of water it can use to dilute its water source, reducing the clarity problem, thus either eliminating or reducing upgrades it is presently being forced to plan for.
For others on the Hill in the other water districts not involved, be forewarned that if it happens to us, it can happen to you as well. The Pine Cove Water District has done an excellent job for many years keeping both the water quantity and quality high.
It installed fire hydrants across the community and, more importantly, it understands Pine Cove. It knows we’re not a tourist area like Idyllwild is. We’re a bedroom community with families and retirees. We have a gas station and a sundry store.
IWD, as an organization, cannot understand our needs on the same level as our local people do. It deals with restaurants and other businesses that use more water in one day than most of us use in a year.
In closing, I quote what is often tossed around more as a joke with little consideration given to it, but I ask that you indulge me and really think about it. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Pine Cove/Orange County