Before the council met in closed session Tuesday night to discuss price and terms of a potential offer to Golden State Water Company to purchase its Claremont assets, they listened to residents opinions. "Thank goodness you're all doing this," said Jack Blair who was in favor of the takeover.
But resident John Davies said he wanted to know where the $54 million to purchase the water company would come from, if the city would operate it after a takeover and how many people would be needed to run it.
Before the council went into closed session, city manager Tony Ramos was overheard talking to Davies saying someone from the city would contact him later about his questions.
When the regular meeting started, Claremont mayor Larry Schroeder said there was "nothing to report" from the closed session meeting.
Claremont has been at odds with the San Dimas-based company since it asked the state Public Utilities Commission to approve a rate increase for customers in the city of more than 24 percent for 2013 and additional increases in 2014 and 2015.
Claremont officials late last year made an offer of more than $54 million to purchase Golden State's assets in the city, but the offer was turned down.
Golden State officials on Dec. 20 sent a letter to Claremont 's attorney stating the company was unwilling to sell the assets, but " ... Golden State is happy to meet with Claremont officials to discuss ways in which it can forge a partnership with the city to better serve residents."
Just a few days earlier, Golden State had released a feasibility study that said the water company's Claremont assets are worth as much as $204 million.
A proposed settlement resulted in the city's 11,000 customers and ratepayers receiving a 15.1 percent rate hike this year, 2 percent more in 2014 and 1.8 percent in 2015. The commission's board still has to finally approve the increase. A date for that vote has not been set.
The council also approved a letter to support Claremont Graduate University's effort to find and educate eligible local individuals and families about the Affordable Health Care Act's options.
Officials said the state of California has set aside grant funds for qualified organizations to conduct public awareness campaigns to inform typically uninsured segments of the population of the newly available options and CGU intends to submit a proposal for the grant funding.
CGU, through its School of Community and Global Health, in collaboration with the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona and other cities and school districts in the region will apply for the California Health Benefit Exchange Outreach and Education Grant.
"We are fortunate CGU stepped up," said Ramos, who added if the university gets the grant local residents could get help in Claremont instead of going to Pasadena or Los Angeles.
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