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Palmdale, local water district settle long-standing disputes

September 6, 2012 |  4:01 pm

Palmdale and the local water district begin a new partnership on recycled water

The city of Palmdale and the Palmdale Water District have agreed to settle multiple lawsuits and claims and begin a new partnership on recycled water, officials in the High Desert city announced Thursday.

The move to establish the new Palmdale Recycled Water Authority comes after three years of legal wrangling between the city and the water district over right-of-way permits, potable water rates and control of recycled water, officials said in a statement. Settlement talks began last year, at first through a mediator and later through face-to-face negotiations, according to officials.

 In addition to settling lawsuits on issues such as water rates, the parties agreed to continue working to resolve litigation surrounding property owners’ rights to pump groundwater in the Antelope Valley, officials said. The Palmdale Recycled Water Authority would allow the city and the water district to jointly supply recycled water within the boundaries of the district, officials said. And among other resolutions, the water district would revise its rate structure to permit a 10% greater base water allowance and larger compensation for its turf buy-back program.

“The resulting partnership begins a new era of mutual respect and trust in meeting the current and future water needs of our community,” Water District Board President Gordon Dexter said in a statement.

“This is the beginning of what promises to be a very beneficial relationship, not just for the city and the Water District, but more importantly, for our residents,” Palmdale Mayor James Ledford said.

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-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita

Photo: Palmdale city and water district officials sign new partnership agreement. Front row, from left: Palmdale Water District Board President Gordon Dexter and Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. Back row, from left: Palmdale Water District board members Gloria Dizmang, Robert Alvarado and Kathy MacLaren, and Palmdale City Councilwoman Laura Bettencourt. Credit: City of Palmdale

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