(Victor Valley)-– At the request of County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors agreed to provide $150,000 to the Yermo Community Services District to assist in the purchase of the community’s privately-held water system, which has been failing for years.
“One of the most basic human needs is a safe and reliable supply of water,” said Supervisor Mitzelfelt, who represents Yermo. “With help from the County and the Mojave Water Agency, Yermo CSD can purchase this inadequate water system and bring professional management along with much-needed upgrades and maintenance to provide the residents of Yermo with the service they deserve.”
The system operated by the Yermo Water Company has been plagued by problems for years. Since the system was obtained by the current owner in 1985, the California State Health Department has requested upgrades to the system but few service improvements or upgrades were completed. The community has endured low water pressure, water outages, chemical and bacteriological contamination, failure to comply with water testing by certified personnel, poor sanitation, lack of fire hydrants, leaks in the system, torn up streets, advisories to boil water, and lack of chlorinators.
The Yermo Water Company serves approximately 300 metered customers. The community of Yermo is a mixture of retired and working individuals, with many low income customers, some of whom have difficulty paying their existing water bills.
The $150,000 is being provided from Supervisor Mitzelfelt’s discretionary funds. The Mojave Water Agency also provided $150,000. The CSD will acquire the Water Company and its assets in their entirety, excluding all fines, penalties, liens, encumbrances, liabilities, and other debts, for a total cost of $259,000. The remaining funds will be used immediately for much-needed repairs. The purchase should be completed in the next few months, once liens and other obligations are cleared up.
“The community of Yermo and the Yermo CSD Board of Directors appreciate everything Supervisor Mitzelfelt has done,” said Bob Smith, Chairman of the Yermo CSD Board and also a community liaison for Supervisor Mitzelfelt’s office. “We couldn’t have gotten this accomplished without the cooperation of the Supervisor and the Mojave Water Agency.”