|Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District|
31315 Chaney St
Lake Elsinore, CA 92531
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||PRESS RELEASE #092811|
|Subject :||EVMWD AND EWD RECEIVE GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP AWARD FROM LAFCO FOR PUTTING RATEPAYERS FIRST|
EVMWD and the Elsinore Water District were honored by the California Local Agency Formation Commission for consolidating water
|Contact :||Greg Morrison (951) 674-3146 x8229|
|RIVERSIDE, CA: The Riverside County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) today honored the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) and the Elsinore Water District (EWD) with the California Local Agency Formation Commissionís Government Leadership Award for their efforts to further good government practices in California. |
Presented at the commissionís regular meeting today, the Government Leadership Award recognized the two agencies for their joint decision to consolidate EWD into EVMWD to better serve ratepayers. The consolidation came after a study by EWD concluded that the costs to make needed improvements to its infrastructure and water service were too expensive for the small district to afford on its own without raising customer water rates more than 40 percent.
By merging with EVMWD, additional funding resources, such as redevelopment funding, became available for improvements to the existing EWD system, allowing EVMWD to take on the improvements without increasing its current customer rates.
"These two agencies are to be commended for wisely recognizing that they could greatly improve services for area customers by working together," said Riverside County LAFCO Chairman Steve Tomanelli, "EVMWD and EWD demonstrated incredible leadership and voluntarily reduced government in the interest of protecting customer rates and improving the regionís water supply system."
The merger was approved unanimously by Riverside County LAFCO in June and EVMWD and EWD worked collectively this past summer to combine their services, assimilating EWDís 1,500 ratepayers into EVMWDís service area. Doing so brought improved service and steadied water rates for all former EWD customers.
"Weíre honored to receive this award from LAFCO," EVMWD General Manager Ron Young said. "EVMWDís mission has always been to provide reliable, cost-effective, and high quality service to our ratepayers and this award is a testament to our ongoing commitment to that mission."
The consolidation will allow EWMWD to begin upgrading pipeline and water conveyance facilities within EWDís water system to improve reliability and quality of service. By consolidating, the two agencies will be able to begin repairs to the EWD water system without massive rate increases that would have been incurred had EWD initiated repairs on its own.
For the next two years, the current EWD board will become an advisory committee to the EVMWD board, led by former EWD board president Jeff George. The advisory board will help oversee planned improvements to the existing EWD water system. Additionally, former general manager Tammy Ramirez and all former EWD employees are now employed at EVMWD by the Water Employee Services Authority.
George Spiliotis, Riverside County LAFCOís executive director who submitted the award nomination, noted "The district boards of EVMWD and EWD chose to put ratepayers first and consolidate rather than allowing the status quo to continue."
LAFCO honors local and countywide governing boards across California each year in a number of categories for their service to their communities. Young and EVMWD Board Chairman Phil Williams were present at the meeting to accept the award.
EVMWD provides service to more than 140,000 water, wastewater and agricultural customers in a 96-square mile service area in Western Riverside County. The District is a sub-agency of the Western Municipal Water District and a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Visit the EVMWD website at www.evmwd.com for additional information.