Water Rate Increases to Come after Election Promises of No Increase?
Sheriff & Fire Dept Summoned to Meeting by Board President

February 14, 2012 Water Board Meeting

The La Habra Heights County Water District Board met on Tuesday February 14th adopting an updated Master Plan highlighting system deficiencies and awarding a $39,0000 Rate Study to look at raising rates.

Prior to the start of the meeting, Board President Brad Cooke objected to the placement of a news camera saying that it blocked ability to exit in case of fire.

Mr. Cooke directed the General Manager to summon the Sheriff Dept and Fire Dept.

While waiting, discussion ensued whether the camera was in the same place it had been previously, and if the room could be evacuated in case of fire. Mr. Cooke would not begin the 4:00 p.m. meeting until the camera issue was resolved. A news camera had been present at each meeting since September 2011 to bring the meeting to ratepayers on YouTube.

News Camera placement on February 14, 2012

At previous meetings, such as the September 27, 2011 one below with an overflow audience, no mention was made of ability to exit in case of fire.

September 27, 2011 Meeting

Fire Marshall Arrives

The Fire Marshall arrived at about 4:30 p.m., noted there was no room occupancy number posted, and said that one soon would be installed.

After the camera was switch onto a monopod from the tripod, the meeting started at 4:38 p.m.

Master Plan

First on the agenda was the 2011 update to the Water District Master Plan (see draft here: 17 MB file size).

A presentation was made by contracted engineering firm Civiltec, who prepared the Plan.

Questions were raised by the audience about the lack of inclusion of system impacts by water demands by Orchardale Water District which uses the Districts infrastructure, lack of inclusion of known low pressure areas on a low pressure map such as Planning Chair Larry Black's residence which the Board approved a $2,000 payment to in January, and lack of addressing ways to lower energy costs.

Another resident questioned whether there could be a conflict of interest in having Civiltec do the Plan, when Civiltec is also the firm working for Rowland Water District on the proposed Water Wheeling/Trafficking agreement between Rowland Water District and La Habra Heights County Water District.

The Plan states, "It is recommended that district take advantage of storage surpluses by price shaving and providing surplus water to area agencies.", but questions were not answered about what "price shaving" is, or what surplus water there is.

Some Board discussion focused on wells and water quality. Of 4 wells, Well 9 is out of service and Well 8 is declining and in need of refurbishing before needing to be replaced in about 10 years.

The Board adopted the Plan with no changes made during the meeting, but with undisclosed spelling corrections and other changes made by Board Vice President Pam McVicar.

Sheriff Arrives

Photo courtesy of theAvocadoExpress.com

The Deputy Sheriff arrived a little over an hour after being summoned by Board President Brad Cooke. He looked into the room, saw no problems and departed.

Wheeling Agreement

The proposed Wheeling Agreement was said to still be in the hands of the Districts' attorneys.

Rate Study

Members of the audience questioned why there is a rate increase study when they said there would be no rate increases in the election campaign a few months earlier.

Click to see Larger Campaign Flyer
2011 Incumbent Candidate Flyers Touting No Rate Increases and Low Water Rates

The Board awarded a $39,000 Rate Study contract.


See YouTube Video of Board Meeting done by Camera objected to by Board President.


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