DRAFT LAFCO REPORT ON CONSOLIDATING WATER DISTRICT UNDER CITY OF 29 RELEASED TO PUBLIC [UPDATED]
Report appears to favor collaboration – public comment due June 3
UPDATED, MAY 14, 2022: Updated for the release date, link to the report and clarity.
The much anticipated LAFCO draft report analyzing the potential takeover of the Twentynine Palms Water District (TPWD) by the City of Twentynine Palms was published on the LAFCO website on Saturday, May 14, one day later than expected. A report draft was originally due on March 9, but was delayed due to a request from City Manger Frank Luckino.
In addition to looking at the City, LAFCO reports on the TPWD and the Cemetery District. The report was requested by the City Council at the suggestion of Luckino. The draft examines several data points in order to initiate a discussion on whether consolidation or collaboration would benefit the public. If the two districts were to be consolidated under the City, 29 Palms would also need to incorporate Desert Heights.
I don't expect the LAFCO draft to come back strongly in favor of what the City wants. I would like to see the path forward being TPWD working with the City on a sewer project. - Mike Arthur, TPWD Board Member
Now that the draft is published, affected agencies and the general public can comment on its contents. A final draft incorporating all comments is released on June 9, and presented at a live hearing on June 15. The report becomes final at the conclusion of that hearing.
• May 14: First draft is published on LAFCO website.
• June 3: Deadline for agency and public comment.
• June 9: Final draft with agency comments and public comment is published
on LAFCO website.
•June 15: The final draft is presented at a hearing in San Bernardino at which the
public is invited to comment. The draft becomes final at the conclusion of
Public comment is accepted by email to email@example.com and by phoning LAFCO at 909/388-0480. The public can also comment at the June 15 hearing, although the draft will already be close to final at that time.
TPWD board member Mike Arthur commented, “I don't expect the LAFCO draft to come back strongly in favor of what the City wants. I would like to see the path forward being TPWD working with the City on a sewer project."
And indeed, a quick scan indicates that the 69 page report favors collaboration over consolidation. Reading between the lines, a summary might be “Can’t you all just get along?”
The Desert Trumpet will be publishing a more detailed summary in a few days.
Thanks to Michael Tuerpe, Senior Analyst, LAFCO for providing the timeline.