By TINA MAY
Sun Staff Writer
SAN BERNARDINO – County supervisors didn’t know who to believe Monday – about 20 Pioneertown residents who came to a hearing to protest the proposed construction of a new water system there – or the 20 petition signers who asked for the system.
After hearing a number of opposing views, Supervisor Robert Hammock joked, “why don’t you just shoot it out?” Some protesting residents responded good-naturedly that Hammock’s idea wasn’t so bad.
In the end, however, the board voted, and the residents present agreed, that the county should send a letter to every property owner asking whether the supervisors should take the necessary steps to construct a public water system for Pioneertown, a community northwest of Yucca Valley.
Such a system would be financed by an assessment of each property served and it’s operation and maintenance would be paid by monthly charges to each user.
The 20 petition signers representative about two-thirds of the towns registered voters, officials said.
Some residents who spoke claimed that the same people who had signed a petition in favor of the system had signed another one opposing it. No one had brought that other petition, however.
Most at the hearing said they had come because they thought the board was going to make A definite decision on the proposed system. But the purpose was to do only what the board did – vote to send out a letter to get the communities sentiments on the project.
Special Districts Director Al Reid said the existing water system in the town is a shallow well that produces about 25 to 32 gallons a minute.
The well’s owner has never given the community permission to use it, he said, and the leaking pipeline is “undersized and worn out.”
“The total system is… Marginal in operation and should be replaced, he said, the existing system does not provide fire protection.”
Reid had said previously that a proposed one-time fee of $122 would need to be levied on the 300 properties in the area to finance the design of a water system.