A golden opportunity: Ojai users will have new provider after water companies agree to deal

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
An agreement to remove Golden State Water Company (GSWC) as water purveyor for its Ojai service area has been approved by the Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD). Meeting in regular session April 12, the CMWD Board of Directors gave a unanimous thumbs-up for a resolution accepting a settlement and release of claims for a three-way agreement between Ojai Friends of Locally Owned Water (F.L.O.W.), CMWD and GSWC.
“It’s been quite a journey, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” CMWD General Manager Steve Wickstrum said April 7.
June 15 is the target date for the transfer of ownership, according to the agreement, but that date is contingent on the sale of Mello-Roos bonds that will finance the acquisition. The agreement authorizes $30 million to GSWC for its interest in the service area, along with an additional $4.4 million for money owed GSWC for surcharges that would have been added to future billings. Technically, the GSWC holdings will be purchased by the Ojai Community Facilities District (CFD), which, in turn, would be administered by CMWD.

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