Peninsula Mayors Push Supervisors On Desal
August 29, 2011
The Monterey Peninsula mayors, in another attempt to make their voice heard on the Regional Desalination Project, are asking the Monterey County Supervisors to deal with the conflict-of-interest allegations dogging the $400 million proposal.
"This issue has clearly taken the focus away from the planning and the financing of a feasible Regional Water Project," the mayors of Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Sand City and Seaside wrote in an Aug. 26 letter to Board of Supervisors Chair Jane Parker.
"We request that the Board of Supervisors initiate proceedings to formally resolve this issue as soon as possible, including taking it to the Courts, if necessary."
The Peninsula cities are party to a lawsuit challenging the State Water Resources Control Board's cease-and-desist order against California American Water, which directs Cal Am to cut its pumping from the Carmel River 70 percent by the end of 2016. The case is currently in mediation.
"A key component of the State Board's willingness to enter into settlement is the expectation that the current Regional Water Project will be operating by 2016," the letter states.
The three Regional Project partners—Cal Am, Monterey County Water Resources Agency, Marina Coast Water District—have agreed to begin mediation to tackle several points of contention, including financing for the $400 million project and conflict-of-interest allegations involving former MCWRA Director Steve Collins.
The Board of Supervisors held a closed session today at noon to discuss the issues.