COMMERCE – Assemblyman Anthony Rendon and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee this week directed the State Auditor to investigate the Central Basin Municipal Water District’s operations and use of public funds. “Government must work for all residents,” Rendon said. “This audit ensures Central Basin is operating and spending public funds in a manner that fulfills its mission of serving Southeast L.A. County residents with quality drinking water.”
Over the past decade, numerous media reports and public inquiries have called the credibility of Central Basin into question. A 90-day review of the agency by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2014 revealed a number of “troubling” discoveries about Central Basin’s continued viability, including:
- Sales of imported water continue to decline (sales declined nine percent in FY 2013-14) while fees rise (administrative fee paid by users quadrupled in 19 years, from $15 in 1992-93 to $70 in 2011-12)
- Legal conflicts with other water agencies have resulted in substantial legal expenses, exceeding $200,000 in some months
- Debt ratio coverage for bond commitments have been as low as 0.20
- The Joint Legislative Audit Committee unanimously approved Rendon’s audit request, which is co-authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, Sen. Ed Hernández, and Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). The audit will be completed in October or November 2015.
Published: March 5, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 47