Catalina Island News

City of Avalon Management Update - Oct 24, 2016

Southern California Edison

On Saturday October 22, 2016 Mayor Ann Marshall and the City Council hosted recognition for outgoing 4th District Supervisor Don Knabe. Approximately 100 people showed up to give their thanks and appreciation to Supervisor Knabe and his staff for their tireless work to  support Avalon and Santa Catalina Island over many years. It is rare in these times to find such a quality working relationship between a California County and its elected supervisor and a City.

We send our best wishes and regards to Supervisor Knabe and Julie for good health, good fortune and success in the future. We also greatly appreciate the constant help and support of Supervisor Knabe's staff for their outreach efforts and our direct liaison from his office to Avalon Connie Sziebl. In addition to Mayor Marshall, Mayor Pro Tempore Oley Olsen, Council Members Cinde Cassidy, Richard Hernandez and Joe Sampson attended the event.

Fresh Water Update
On October 18, 2016 the Avalon City Council had another active and engaged discussion of fresh water issues and actions that can be taken in the short and longer term to ensure an adequate and sustainable water supply for Avalon residents, businesses, and the community. Avalon officials believe that there is adequate fresh water capacity available to the two existing desalinization units to produce adequate water on most days to meet Avalon's fresh water needs.

City officials also believe that the existing rules for designating a drought in Avalon needs to be changed and that new fresh water storage tanks and new salt water wells need to be constructed using State grant funds.

The City Council instructed staff to immediately seek a commitment from SCE corporate officers to agree to issue water rationing waivers for hotels and businesses in Avalon in accordance with the flexibility SCE has in its existing tariff. If SCE is not able to issue these waivers the Council seeks the reasons for not doing so.

The City Council also instructed staff to examine how best to purchase and deliver fresh water on containers on trucks to residents during this man-made and regulatory controlled drought in Avalon.

City staff will again be updating the City Council at its meeting of November 1, 2016 about the status of the conversation with SCE.

Exploring Opportunities for Cooperation with Long Beach Unified School District
The City of Avalon and the Avalon community has long had an interest in and desire for a recreational facility that would include water and sport resources. The City's efforts to develop and improve Machado Field, People's Park, and Avalon Canyon Fit Trail Project are examples of where progress has and is being made.

Another  long-term  community  goal  is  to develop an aquatic facility to serve the community in a variety of ways. On October 18, 2016 the City Manager sent a letter to the Superintendent of Schools of the Long Beach Unified School District asking if they are interested in engaging in a conversation with community groups and the City on the development of these aquatic facilities. While fresh drinking water supply and storage solutions are still in the works for the City, some communities past and present have developed salt water pools for recreational use, and all options should be explored.

The City Council has also expressed interest in seeing the District provide needed capital resources to our fine Avalon School to make needed and desired improvements.

Developing adequate recreational facilities takes time, dollar resources, and a commitment by important governmental and community partners to make it so.

By David Jinkens, M.P.A.
City Manager, City of Avalon