Hello Neighbors!I want to thank everyone for being here.
This situation that we are in as customers is not a usual one. It is highly unusual for a utility company that has a responsibility to deliver water (a sacred human right) to be a mom and pop shop.
Yet here we are.
I think it is important to remember there are a variety of experiences that have been had at the hands of BBW. Some folks only have had minor inconveniences, while others have been without water for sometimes as long as 20 days.
Let's not lean into mountain bravado here. Yes, we are mountain people with all the toughness and grit that comes with our reputation. And certainly there is truth to us having to endure during weather events and crisis. However, we also deserve clean, drinkable water and a properly working sewer system (Fallen Leaf only) just like people in the flatlands and the coast enjoy. We pay our bills. We pay our taxes. Our elected officials and BBW have not been living up to their end of the bargain. Hard stop.
My neighborhood had a meeting with the CPUC, the Water Board and the county. Mainly about our sewer which is owned by BBW but I do think details are relevant to the entire scope of things. Here are bullet points:1. Jim Moore has not had an operator license for over 10 years2. He has not done any upgrades as required by law in over 20 years3. Because he doesn’t have a license, he did not have insurance at the time of the fire4. In almost 3 years he has not even had our sewer system evaluated for the extent of damage5. The CPUC has zero teeth and won’t hold him accountable for whatever reason6. Their answer is to make us pay for all repairs and upgrades at a tune of tens of millions of dollars, even though we won’t have any ownership of the system7. Jim Moore never attends any meetings or responds to inquiries from the state or the county
I am fairly confident these concerns spill over into our water system. It isn’t certain that SLV water will take it over and there are many potential reasons for this.
I think we have reached a breaking point with this and there are many parties involved that are culpable. The CPUC, the waterboard for not regulating him. There is a LONG paper trail of citations and concerns but zero action. The county, for not representing our needs and pressing the state to take action. They only took aggressive action after the fire. And certainly Jim Moore. Please remember, no one forced him to buy a water company. He took that on himself and with it came a huge responsibility to provide this essential service. He has failed and it isn’t for a lack of trying of course. But the path to hell is paved with good intentions and his nice attitude and pleasantry doesn’t give me clean water to bathe my children in or cook our food with. And it certainly doesn’t process the sewage that he has been letting pool at the 236 and Fallen Leaf intersection. He just pumps it out a few times a week instead which is horrid for the health of our community and our water ways.
There are many paths our community could take here, including litigation. I really want to hear from you what you’ve done to address this and what responses you’ve gotten from elected officials, if any. What do you think should take place here? How do we move forward to get this resolved?