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Water issue stifles economic development in Murrieta west of the I-15


Last updated 5/16/2019 at 6:42pm

My name is Gene Wunderlich; I am a 30-year resident of Murrieta, a customer of Rancho Water and a member of the Murrieta Water Infrastructure Ad-Hoc Committee.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your continued leadership in addressing the water issue that has stifled economic development on that portion of the city on the west side of the I-15. As you may recall, I was here a couple of years ago encouraging the city to get involved when the water districts were proving themselves unwilling or unable to resolve the issue themselves. To your credit, you formed a task force of west side residents and representatives from the water districts and business interests to pursue solutions. That solution manifested itself in the decision to request a detailed review and recommendation from the Local Area Formation Commission.

With several people, I attended the LAFCO/West Yost presentation a couple of weeks ago. I found the presentation to be comprehensive and the timeframe and goals realistic. Unfortunately, I found the remarks by the public to be less than helpful and mostly devoid of any direct bearing on the study. Chamber CEO Patrick Ellis presented a list of concerns and questions on behalf of the business community. One other resident from the west side commented on the age and state of disrepair of the existing water lines to the residents down there and how they are wearing out and will soon necessitate replacement or repair at some cost to the residents. Something they should bear in mind.

The other 15 comments dredged up the same litany of misinformation and real or perceived historical grievances we’ve heard for years, mainly directed at Rancho water, the developers who supposedly run the city and the city itself – all of you. God forbid we are actually able to expand economic development, improve our tax base for the benefit of all our citizens and increase public safety through improved fire flow to the west side. If a fire were to occur right now in some areas of historic downtown Murrieta, with the inadequate fire flow that exists, who do you think those same residents would hold responsible for not doing anything about it? You’re all sitting right up there.

So I’m here to applaud the city for taking the position you have on this issue and for stepping up to help fund this critical review and to encourage you to support the outcome which, hopefully, will point the way to a more sustainable and cost-effective infrastructure solution for the businesses and residents on the west side. Our city’s economic future cannot be held hostage by a handful of folks unwilling to step into the future with us. Thank you for your time and support on this important process.

Gene Winderlich

Murrieta, Calif.


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