Water district residents and businesses pay bond down

Story by Catherine Stachowiak

Local business owner, Steve Spradlin told the Kern Valley Sun, Tuesday April 30, that the Lake Isabella Community Service District had recently paid off a 25-year bond with the State Water Resources Department for the water project at Lake Isabella.

After making payments for 25 years, the bond was paid off, and according to Spradlin, the residents and businesses in the Community Service District of Lake Isabella are no longer obligated to the state for the $50,000 a year payments.  “They’ve been paying a sir charge on their water bill every month. For commercial it’s $25 a month.  And for residential it’s about $12.50 per month,” said Spradlin.

Spradlin explained the history behind the bond sought in the process. He said, “Back in the early 90s the whole business district of Lake Isabella was under a building moratorium by the Kern County Building Department or done by the Kern County Health Department because the water was not potable. So the whole area was restricted from new building permits or new health permits. And at that time I happened to be president of the Lake Isabella Mutual Water Company. And at that time supervisor Roy Ashburn asked me if I would spearhead an effort to get that area back into a clean water and off of the moratorium. 

“So we worked out an agreement with Erskine Creek Water to send water from Erskine Creek up to the northern end of the boulevard, where the service district was.  And we arranged for a bond issue with the State Water Resources for $1.2 million to do a pipeline up the boulevard, from Erskine Creek, to where the district was.  And if we would do that they would grant $400,000 of that, as a grant from the state, and we would only be liable for 800,000 on the loan.  And so we made that agreement with them, and did the water project, which constituted a 12-inch pipeline running up the boulevard to Turner Street where our water tank was situated.  And we started paying for it, with sir charges on water uses, in the district. And lo and behold, after 25- years plus, we have the $800,000 loan paid off.”  

Spradlin wanted the public to know because the project, back in the 1990s enabled the moratorium on building and health permits to be lifted allowing for business in Lake Isabella to grow.

“You always hear about sir charges, and you never see or hear of one paid off that they dropped the sir charges; and here’s one where the loan was actually paid off, and the sir charge would actually be dropped,” Spradlin said. 

“It’d be a little financial help for some of the residents there. That’s paid off and clear.”