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Box Springs Mutual Water Company
Funding Update

The City of Moreno Valley is leading the charge to upgrade waterlines in the disadvantaged community of Edgemont, within the City’s boundaries. 
The City hosted a community meeting on September 23 with shareholders in the Box Springs Mutual Water Company (the Company) to provide an update on the City’s partnership with the Company.  Residents turned out in force, eager to hear about the City’s plan to help the Company improve their aged water distribution system, parts of which have been there since the 1920s. 

At the meeting, many residents expressed appreciation for the City’s willingness to take the lead in searching for grant monies to improve the water distribution of the small water company.  “We need to find a solution to the water distribution system now” said Victor Corona who is on the City’s Edgemont Water Quality Improvement Task Force.  “We can no longer wait” Corona said in an interview. Corona has been instrumental in making sure that the Spanish speaking residents of Edgemont attend the monthly community meetings. 
City Council Member Victoria Baca, who represents the area, welcomed the large number of residents who attended the meeting at the Edgemont Women's Club. “We need community buy-in for this grant application” she told the audience.  Council Member Baca has taken the lead in finding a solution to this long-standing problem.  “When I ran for office, it was apparent to me that the community of Edgemont was forgotten and desperately needed help.  I felt that this community’s lack of an adequate water delivery system was a priority issue which I want to address.”  Since winning her Council seat, Councilmember Baca has hosted small Edgemont community meetings in both English and Spanish to expand the outreach to all residents, especially those who initially complained of the lack of Spanish language communications. 

Because many of the residents are Spanish speaking, the City hired Maria Elena Kennedy of Kennedy Communications, a bilingual outreach consulting firm that specializes in working with disadvantaged communities.   “The residents of Edgemont are very eager to become involved in helping to find a solution to their long standing problems with the water delivery system.  They are very appreciative of the City’s efforts to engage them in a manner they can understand.  The language barrier some have is no longer a problem thanks to Councilmember Baca’s recognition that there needed to be a bilingual public outreach program,” Kennedy said.  Kennedy also praised the Box Springs Mutual Water Company Board of Directors for their willingness to partner with the City to seek grant funding. 

Kennedy and the Council Member have been out in the community during the summer talking to the residents.  “We learned a lot about the issues the community was concerned about” Baca said.  “I want to make sure the Edgemont area gets the resources it needs to thrive.”  Mayor Tom Owings echoed the sentiment.  “We are determined to find a solution to Edgemont’s infrastructure challenges.  Upgrading the water distribution system will pave the way for the City to begin prioritizing street improvements and plan new development in the area which will raise property values, increase City revenue and bring new jobs to our city.” 

The City has long postponed street improvements in the area served by Box Springs Water because the Company’s waterlines were too deteriorated and/or undersized to survive construction. 

The next meeting of the Company’s Board of Directors is scheduled for tonight, Monday, October 7, at 7 p.m. at the Company’s headquarters - 21740 Dracaea Ave. in Moreno Valley.

For more information, please contact the City of Moreno Valley at 951.413.3030.