California Native Garden Plans Under ...

California Native Garden Plans Under Way in Cerritos, Montebello

There are 5 comments on the story from Nov 15, 2011, titled California Native Garden Plans Under Way in Cerritos, Montebello. In it, reports that:

The design process is currently underway for a demonstration garden comprised of California native and drought-tolerant plants in the city of Cerritos, according to a spokesperson for the Central Basin Municipal Water District.

Last week the first two gardens were installed in South Gate and Montebello, and similar constructions are slated to take place in Cerritos, Cudahy and Whittier as well. Each garden has a base amount of $10,000, according to water district officials.

No details about the Montebello garden were in the story.

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“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#1 Nov 15, 2011
The Montebello $10,000 Garden will have a dedication ceremony TODAY, Tuesday at 3:00 pm at the Sanchez Adobe in Montebello, near the intersection of Los Amigos Ave. and Adobe Ave.

Reportedly, the use of native plants will be stressed as a way to reduce water use and still have a natural setting in our yards. The Central basin Water District is to be commended for this effort, which apparently is also entirely in harmony with wishes and needs of the California residents that make up the Sierra Club in California.
reality check

United States

#2 Nov 15, 2011
truth squad

United States

#3 Dec 8, 2011

Sanchez Adobe trades lawn for garden

MONTEBELLO — City officials here joined with the Central Basin Municipal Water District last week to break ground on a new garden at the historic Sanchez Adobe.

The project entails eliminating 5,000 square feet of grass and replacing it with California native, drought-resistant plants that will use significantly less water, a water district spokesman said.

“Central Basin is proud to be partnering with the city of Montebello on this project,” said Ed Vasquez, president of the Central Basin Board of Directors and a former Montebello city councilman.“This makeover will provide an opportunity for families to enjoy the beauty of California-friendly plants and provide significant water savings to the Sanchez Adobe.”

The garden is funded by a $50,000 grant the water district received from the state Department of Water Resources to build five demonstration gardens.
Another garden is being planted at South Gate Park and three others are planned in Whittier, Cerritos and Cudahy.

In addition to the $10,000 from the Central Basin, the city of Montebello will also receive a $5,000 grant from the San Gabriel Valley Water Company, which serves the city.
The Metropolitan Water District, which reimburses the removal of turf at $1 a square foot, also might contribute $5,000, the Central Basin spokesman said.

The Sanchez Adobe is the oldest standing structure in the city of Montebello.
It was built in 1844 by Juan Matias Sanchez and is now operated as an historic landmark and museum by the city of Montebello and the Montebello Historical Society.

The Central Basin Municipal Water District was created by the state in 1952 and wholesales imported water to cities, mutual water companies, investor-owned utilities and private water companies.
It also provides the region with recycled water for municipal, commercial and industrial uses.
truth squad

United States

#4 Dec 8, 2011

Santa Fe Springs asks for audit of Central Basin Municipal Water District
By Mike Sprague, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2011 02:52:22 PM PST

The Santa Fe Springs City Council voted this week to ask that the Central Basin Municipal Water District be identified as a "high-risk" agency and be audited.

Tuesday's vote seeks to take advantage of a new law authorizing the state auditor to establish a high-risk governmental agency audit program.

"City staff believes the Central Basin Municipal Water District meets the criteria of a high-risk agency,"
stated Santa Fe Springs City Manager Thaddeus McCormick in a written staff report.

The district, a wholesale water agency that buys water from Metropolitan Water District and sells to water utilities, serves 24 cities in the Southeast area of Los Angeles County.

McCormick stated that in the last four years the district has attempted to expand its authority to gain control of the Central groundwater basin.

"The district appears
"unconcerned about the need for accountability and transparency relating to:
questionable expenditures
including potential conflicts of interest,
annual budgets unsupported by true costs of providing service,
process of awarding contracts and
district staffing and
consultant contracts," he stated.

Valerie Howard, spokeswoman for the district, said the audit is unnecessary.

"Our position is this politically motivated," Howard said.

Santa Fe Springs Councilman Bill Rounds said the big
concern with the district is their continuing rate increases that in the end his residents must pay.

"We don't want to keep passing it on to our residents," Rounds said.

The Central Basin surcharge on the Metropolitan Water District rate has increased from $5 per acre foot in 1991 to its existing $90 rate, McCormick stated.

An acre foot, 326,000 gallons, can be visualized as a football field one-foot deep in water or the amount of water used in a year by an average family of five.
truth squad

United States

#5 Dec 8, 2011
New law widens state audit powers
Steve Scauzillo Staff Writer
Posted: 10/04/2011 05:44:45 PM PDT

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Tuesday a bill that will expand the powers of the state auditor to examine the books of counties, cities and special districts "at high risk" for fraud, waste or mismanagement.

he bill, authored by Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, is one of several pieces of legislation inspired by the corruption scandal in the city of Bell.

The law gives State Auditor Elaine M. Howle the authority to propose financial and performance audits of cities, water districts and other districts that might fly under the radar or don't attract the attention of the local district attorney. The audits must first be approved by the Assembly's Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which Lara chairs.

The new law gives public watchdogs a powerful ally if they suspect fraud or wasteful taxpayer or ratepayer spending, Lara said.

"Through this measure we are creating accountability and ensuring that taxpayers are not left holding the bag," he said in a statement Tuesday.

Lara cited State Controller John Chiang's findings of questionable spending and potential fraud inside Montebello City Hall as a reason why more oversight and transparency is needed in local government.

And some local retail water agencies and cities pushed for the legislation as a tool to perform management audits of the Central Basin Municipal Water District,
which they say has not been prudent with spending and has wasted ratepayer funds.

"I think that is really great," said James Glancy, director of water resources for the city of Lakewood and vice president of the Central Basin Water Association,
after hearing the news of Brown's signature.

He said the association will step up its efforts to ask the state for a full management audit of Central Basin.
It has been trying to get the Legislature to perform an audit of the Central Basin Water District since 2009.

They say Central Basin is spending way too much money on public relations, lawyers' fees and unnecessary capital projects, and passing the costs on to them and their customers.

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