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Tuesday: Workshop ahead on water district's future

There is uncertainty ahead for residents within the Los Trancos County Water District. The district's seven-year habit of spending property tax revenues to prevent wildfires, channel storm-water runoff, and preserve 5.7 acres of open space is threatened by the possible dissolution of the district.

The district gave itself a new mission in 2006 after selling its water distribution system to the California Water Service Company (Cal Water). A public workshop on the district's future is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the Portola Valley Community Hall at 765 Portola Road.

The workshop's host, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), is one regional authority that has expressed a preference for aligning the district's mission to its activities or, failing that, dissolving it and redistributing its tax revenues -- $290,000 in 2013-14 -- to agencies such as San Mateo County and the local fire protection district.

A newly elected majority on the water district board has given indications that they would like to gracefully transfer the district's specific activities to other agencies agreeing to take them over. But if those agencies are not willing to commit to that, it would "force (the water district) to stay in business. That's not something I really want to do," newly elected board member Charlie Krenz said in the run-up to the election. "I'm in this (race) to wind it down and secure some of these services."

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