In response to Ms. Ivanoff’s letter in the Sept. 7 Star (“More questions about Contract Water Holders”), city staff plans to report further at our Sept. 26 City Council meeting.

Previously, city staff reported to the council that it monitors water contracts containing annual water usage limitations for contract compliance. The last water year has just ended (June 30), so it is a good time for city staff to review the proprietary usage data of our contract customers for compliance with their annual water limitations.

Ms. Ivanoff poses the question as to the rates that contract customers pay for water. They pay the city’s published rates. There are no special deals.

This brings us to the special case of the 1962 Carpenter contract. This contract came about because Dr. Carpenter (unlike other water customers) held a state permit from the Division of Water Resources granting him a state right to appropriate water (in specified quantities) from Bell Creek. The City contract with Dr. Carpenter was personal to him and, as Ms. Ivanoff states, terminated upon his death. However, the termination of the contract does not necessarily mean that Dr. Carpenter’s appropriative water right under his state permit also expired. This is a legal issue under examination by the city attorney.

Alan Galbraith

Mayor, City of Saint Helena