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NAWC Executive Director Michael Deane Pens LTE to The Monterey County Herald

In a letter to the editor in The Monterey County Herald in Monterey, CA, NAWC Executive Director Michael Deane called out an anti-private water activist group that continues to use the condemnation in Montana, Missoula, as a way to mislead the public on the true costs of taking over a water system.

This week, a group held a press conference to talk about a government takeover of Monterey’s well-run, sustainable regulated water utility. Numerous faulty claims were made despite the many lessons learned from other communities where promises of an easy condemnation takeover have resulted in a long, complicated, and expensive legal process, and, unfortunately, higher costs for residents. Activists try to use Missoula, Montana as a poster child for a government takeover, yet anyone who looks at the facts from Missoula wouldn’t tout it as a success story. In Missoula, takeover proponents estimated that legal costs for the acquisition would total just $400,000, yet the final legal bill has skyrocketed to more than $6 million. The total cost of the acquisition to Missoula taxpayers will exceed $100 million, more than twice the amount the city previously offered for the water system. The Monterey community should look at the facts of what has happened in Missoula and other communities and not be taken in by the fairy tale version told by takeover proponents. California American Water has served Monterey for more than 50 years and is committed to working with the community to solve urgent water issues through innovation and investment.

Our infographic, “The True Cost of Condemnation,” highlights reports that show there is a vast difference between how much takeover proponents claim condemnation will cost and the real price tag to these communities.

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