Board announces willingness to negotiate

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Canyon Lake property owners received a letter in April from Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Board President Phil Williams discussing the ongoing litigation between the CLPOA and EVMWD.

The EVMWD letter stated in part, “The entire incident has been costly, all because the CLPOA was unhappy with the very lease they had negotiated. The most recent CLPOA letter closes by saying ‘We will continue to fight.’ EVMWD sincerely hopes that instead of more customer money being spent on frivolous litigation, the CLPOA chooses to do the right thing by honoring the terms of the existing lease and the fifth amendment drafted by the legal counsel representatives for both parties. Without resolution, customers throughout EVMWD’s service area may see legal fees in the millions with no end in sight, directly impacting rates and CLPOA dues.”

EVMWD’s letter continues: “As with any legal matter, there may be future filings and appeals, adding to the amount already spent by the CLPOA, and forcing EVMWD to spend more. We hope the CLPOA will forego more costly litigation in favor of negotiations and will adhere to the lease terms.”

This past Wednesday, May 4, the CLPOA Board of Directors released the following statement:

“The Canyon Lake Property Owners Association (CLPOA) Board of Directors welcomed news in a recent mailer from EVMWD Board President Phil Williams in which he expressed that EVMWD is willing to resume negotiations with the CLPOA over the extension of the lake lease. CLPOA accepts the offer, and is willing to pay for a professional mediator to help facilitate an agreement that is fair to both the property owners association and EVMWD, now and in the future.

“‘We appreciate and accept EVMWD’s offer to sit down and resolve these important issues, because it’s the right thing to do for everyone involved,’ said CLPOA Board President Bruce Yarbrough. ‘To demonstrate our commitment, our Board is willing to pay for one of the top independent mediators in Southern California to make sure that we can negotiate a new lake lease that benefits EVMWD and Canyon Lake property owners. CLPOA is also willing to dismiss the court case entirely upon reaching an agreement.’”

The CLPOA Board’s statement continues: “In a mailer issued last week to EVMWD ratepayers who are Canyon Lake property owners, EVMWD Board President Phil Williams discussed the legal costs being incurred by CLPOA and EVMWD in relation to the lake lease extension and explained that his board would prefer to see the litigation replaced with negotiations.

Until now, EVMWD officials indicated they would only negotiate if CLPOA permanently and irrevocably dismissed its litigation. CLPOA is demonstrating its commitment to resolution with EVMWD while protecting the rights of its members. This ensures that both EVMWD and CLPOA can be protected.

“‘This is a breakthrough and an important opportunity for EVMWD ratepayers and CLPOA property owners,’ Yarbrough said. ‘We believe that having the support of an impartial mediator will ensure we resolve this issue quickly and in a way that delivers a win-win solution for current and future EVMWD customers and Canyon Lake property owners.’”

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