March 1, 2012
Marina Coast Water District owes California America Water Company more than $6.2 million for costs it racked up in planning for the now-scuttled Regional Desalination Project, and Monterey County Water Resources Agency owes more than $1.9 million, according to legal papers filed today with the California Public Utilities Commission.
Cal Am paid out the some of the funds under a 2011 reimbursement agreement between Cal Am, MCWRA and Marina Coast. The rest were loaned under a line of credit.
It's unclear at this point how or if Marina Coast and MCWRA will pay Cal Am back, or whether Cal Am ratepayers will ultimately eat the costs. One contractor, RMC Engineering, has filed a claim for almost $700,000 from the county.
One thing is clear: MCWRA doesn't want much to do with whatever water-supply plan takes the Regional Project's place, beyond mission-related duties like well testing.
“[MCWRA] will not be involved as a financial partner in anything going forward," says David Chardovayne, MCWRA's interim general manager. "The agency joining Cal Am in any sort of financial role is not gonna happen.”
Cal Am is due to present the PUC with a new water-supply plan by April 23. A public forum on March 14, 5-8pm at Seaside's Oldemeyer Center, will give ratepayers a chance to weigh in.