Monterey supervisors block desalination credit request

Monterey county supervisors on 11 January 2012 postponed approval of a request from the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) to draw as much as US$ 3 million from a California American Water (Cal Am) credit line for payments related to the stalled regional seawater desalination project.

A report in the Monterey County Herald says that the MCWRA request was shelved until 24 January 2012, and that the supervisors instructed the agency’s interim general manager, David Chardavoyne, to account for what the money would be used for.

The board of supervisors capped the agency’s access to the credit line at US$ 286,000 in March 2011, pending production of a financing plan, which is reportedly still awaited.

Representatives of the MCWRA said the credit cap needed to be lifted so that the agency could meet its project obligations and move forward if current mediation with project partners Cal Am and Marina Coast Water District ends with the county still involved in the project. Failing to lift it, they argued, could expose the county to project default claims and leave it unable to recover expenses.