Now that the election is over, we’re back to something more meaningful and the actual actions of government agencies. After months of futile negotiations, the OCTA has decided to sue the Yorba Linda Water District for $1 million because a pipeline that’s been in place for decades needs to be moved to accommodate the OCTA’s Lakeview Grade Separation. The cost to move the pipeline is about $1 million and the OCTA wants the Yorba Linda Water District to pick up the entire tab. Not Placentia. Not Anaheim. But YLWD customers might have to pay an extra $62.50 a customer when its really a cost OCTA should bear.
Because OCTA and YLWD couldn’t reach agreement, OCTA sued for a million dollars.
We spoke with sources close to the case and they tell us YLWD has no desire to delay the Lakeview project. For more than two years, the District sought to make this OCTA project a regionally focused one where neighboring communities bear some of the costs. Today, YLWD’s pipelines are located within Lakeview Avenue and have legal priority over OCTA’s project because the District has a prior right easement which was in place long before there was a Lakeview Avenue.
Both CalTrans and the OC BoS have authorized payment for the cost to relocate the District’s water pipelines to make it easy to improve the roads and other transportation issues, and there’s no existing agreement that forces the YLWD to move the pipelines. But for some odd reason, OCTA, which pays the cost to relocate other water pipelines on the east side of Lakeview Avenue is insisting the District pay to relocate the pipeline to the west side of the road.
So now instead of doing for the ratepayers of Yorba Linda what they do for ratepayers in Placentia and Anaheim, OCTA is engaged in a needless lawsuit that YLWD now has to defend. Taxpayers get screwed. Lawyers get rich.
Who heads up the OCTA? Termed out Tustin Councilman Jerry Amante, who knows something about needless lawsuits in his own city with Tustin Unified. We’re not sure how involved Amante is in this lawsuit, but it wouldn’t surprise us if his fingerprints are on this somehow.