Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre edition

Sierra Madre Edition

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Sierra Madre State of the City:
Sierra Madre State of the City
Video:  Saturday, March 24 at Hart Park House

Download:  Presentation Visual Aids

Inside this Week:

Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side

Shop Local:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter
Monrovia Police Blotter

Best Friends and More:
Looking Up
Happy Tails
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

Food / The World:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor

Education & Youth:
Senior Happenings

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Arts and More:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters

Opinion … Left/Right:
Blair Bess
Carl Golden
Tom Purcell
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Marc Garlett
Susan Henderson
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder

Recent Issues:
Issue 20
Issue 19
Issue 18
Issue 17
Issue 16
Issue 15
Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1


 SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2018 

VOLUME 12 NO. 20




What began as a proposal that was “revenue neutral” has 
evolved into what will probably amount to a water rate 

The Sierra Madre City Council tabled 
the adoption of a draft of the Sierra 
Madre Comprehensive Water Cost 
of Service Study (Proposition 218), 
as concerns arose about water rate 
increases and the state of the city’s 

 As a result of changes in the delivery 
of water and sewer services to the 
community, City Council received 
an analysis presentation by Habib 
Isaac, manager with Raftelis Financial 
Consultants, during their regular 
meeting on Tuesday May 22, 2018.

 In a nutshell, the City is now 
importing more than 50% of 
its water to meet consumption 
demands. Residents have made 
their voices heard with complaints 
about the complexity of the current 
billing structure. In addition, focus 
is needed for both short- and long-
term infrastructure repairs as pipes 
are aging and leaks are becoming 
more prominent. Improvements and 
changes in operation reflected in the 
study would take place over a five-
year period. 

 Rate increases as stated in the 
current version of the study include 
a $10 increase in water rates and an 
increase in sewer rates totaling less 
than one dollar. The adjusted rate in 
water is expected to: 

 Maintain the base revenue at $5.2 
million in fiscal year ending 2019

 Cover increases in imported water 
through pass-through charges

 Ensure future years in the planning 
period are indexed to cost of living 
as opposed to annual percentage 
increases, and

 Fund capital projects and a 
portion of deferred maintenance.

The current, confusing structure 
consists of four tiers, which would be 
collapsed into a two-tier system. Tier 
1 will consist of water Sierra Madre 
can produce from its ground source. 
Tier 2 will consist of water imported 
the consumption demand.

Single-family, multi-family residents 
and non-residential customers will 
pay a fixed bi-monthly charge that 
will include customer service, meter 
capacity, and infrastructure charges. 

 The snag in adopting the 
current draft was the result over 
infrastructure concerns, which City 
Manager Gabriel Engeland referred 
to as in “crisis mode” despite $2.2 
million put aside in the budget to 
combat the problem. Water loss in 
Sierra Madre is currently at 24%. It’s 
a multi-generational fix that won’t be 
resolved quickly by throwing a lot of 
money at it, according to Engeland. 
Mayor Pro Tem John Harabedian, 
who chimed in remotely, supported 
the City Manager’s sentiments and 
suggested that we need a “bolder plan” 
to repair infrastructure concerns. 
Council Member John Capoccia 
also voiced concerns on how much 
of an increase in water rates would 
be acceptable to the community in 
order to repair water mains and how 
much repairing would be tolerable at 
one time. The end result for now is to 
come back to the table with a revised 
version for adoption at a later date. 

 The election process for 
Proposition 218 requires a 45-day 
notice and a public hearing. As of 
this meeting, the recommendation 
was to set July 24, 2018 at 9 a.m. for 
public tabulation of protests, and 
6:30 p.m. for a public hearing on the 
matter at City Hall. With this delay, 
this date may change as well. A copy 
of the full study of Proposition 218 is 
available at the City’s website at www. 


The city of Sierra Madre recently 
contracted with the National 
Research Center, Inc. to conduct 
a survey to determine resident’s 
preferences for financing, location 
and services for Sierra Madre 
Library. The results are in.

 Of the 4,910 surveys mailed 
out to the community, 1,770 
were completed for a response 
rate of 37%. The initial expected 
return rate was only 20%, which 
truly shows that library users are 
generally concerned about the fate 
of the library, which is in need 
of updates, including meeting 
seismic building codes, Federal 
American Disabilities Act (ADA) 
standards, newer inventory, and 
other up-to-date services. 

 Here are some of the highlights 
of the results. 
Thirty-two percent strongly 
supported keeping the library at 
its current location, while moving 
some of its services to other 
locations in the city in order to 
maintain current service levels, 
and fund repair by selling the back 
lot for development. Twenty-seven 
percent somewhat supported this 
option and 22% strongly opposed 
this option. 

 Forty-two percent strongly 
opposed moving the library from 
its current location to the Sierra 
Madre Rec. Center location at 611 
E. Sierra Madre Blvd. 

 Only 12% supported keeping 
the library at its current location 
while significantly reducing library 
services and limiting public access 
to areas of the library building 
until alternative funding for ADA 
compliance can be secured.

 About 30% selected repairing the 
library, moving some programming 
and not increasing taxes as their 
“most preferred” option.

 Eight in 10 surveyed felt 
having a comprehensive, up-to-
date collection of materials was 
essential or most important.

 Seven in 10 agreed that 
having social and educational 
programming for all ages and local 
history archives were essential or 
very important.

 A majority of residents did not 
support the idea of a parcel tax to 
pay for a new library or enhance 

One of the most “astonishing” 
figures noted is that 75% of those 
surveyed say they come to the 
library at least once to twice a 
month. The general consensus 
among council members, library 
staff and the community is 
that putting temporary Band-
Aids on repairs is no longer an 
option and safety should be the 
priority moving forward. The 
City Manager, Gabriel Engeland 
directed the Council to review 
the results and meet at a later 
date to discuss options in further 

 The complete survey can be 
accessed at City Hall public 
counter, at the Library, and 
on the City’s website at www. 


When celebrating Memorial Day...

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website:

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Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548