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The Clean Air of Facts
Recent conversation about the Grayson Repowering Project has resulted in the publication of misinformation by individuals and groups. Rumors regarding Health and Environmental risks have sprouted, causing the spread of inaccurate and incomplete information. The best policy is to rely on facts. It’s with this simple idea that we bring the residents of Glendale the following information about the Grayson Repowering Project.FICTION: The City is proposing the expansion of the Grayson Power Plant.
FACT: Glendale Water & Power (GWP) is not proposing to expand the Grayson Power Plant. The driving force for replacing the obsolete Units 1-5 and 81 at the Grayson Power Plant is to ensure a reliable electric supply for the citizens and residents of the City of Glendale. A majority of the facilities located at the Grayson Power Plant were completed between 1941 and 1977.
We are proposing to rebuild substantial portions of the plant by taking old generating units out of commission, dismantling them, and building new, modern units in their place. This process is called repowering. The new repowered units will be cleaner, more energy efficient, and increase reliability of Glendale's power grid.
1 Units 6 and 7 were retired several years ago and dismantled. Unit 9 is about 15 years old and will continue to operate.
FICTION: The cost of repowering the Grayson Power Plant is excessive.
FACT: GWP is proposing to finance the repowering project, which has an estimated cost of $500 million, through the issuance of revenue bonds. GWP sells bonds to finance capital projects, and the payments for the GWP bonds are covered by the revenue that GWP receives from its customers based on its rate schedule. The tax revenues that the City receives are not used to pay off GWP bonds.The final cost will not be determined until the detailed design is finalized.
The repowering will not have a significant impact on rates. For example, the cost of generation at the repowered plant will be less (more efficient units burn less natural gas to produce the same amount of energy), and for short-term energy needs, the new units can deliver energy more cheaply than spot market power purchases that must be imported with their associated transmission costs. Additionally, the new units will be able to provide spinning reserve (on-line generation that can respond to losses in supply) more cheaply than purchasing and importing spinning reserve capacity from other sources.)
GWP is currently undertaking a cost-of-service analysis that will consider all GWP activities necessary to reliably deliver electricity within Glendale that are funded by rates, including capital projects such as the Grayson Repower. The development of a rate case is currently underway and estimated to be completed in February 2018. This rate case is not a result of the proposed project, rather an analysis of electric rates and the cost of providing and delivering reliable power to customer's homes.
FICTION: The Grayson Power Plant does not need repowering.
FACT: The current units at the Grayson Power Plant are well beyond their useful life. Unit 3 is currently out of service. The remaining units (1, 2, 4, 5, and 8) are all 40 to 70 years old and are not expected to continue running much longer and maintenance on these units is temporary and very costly.
If GWP does not repower the Grayson Power Plant, after Units 1 - 8 are no longer available, GWP sources of supply will be limited to:
- Approximately 100 Megawatts (MW)2 of purchased power that comes from the northwest to southern California over the Pacific DC Intertie, and then through the LADWP system for delivery to the GWP system
- Approximately 100 MW (some owned, some purchased) that comes from the southwest (Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and elsewhere) to southern California over three different transmission lines, and then through the LADWP system for delivery to the GWP system.
- GWP's 39 MW from Burbank Water and Power's Magnolia Power Plant
- 48 MW from the remaining Unit 9 at Grayson
These four sources total 287 MW if everything is running (leaving no reserves to cover the loss of one of these sources). GWP's peak load is 350 MW and occurs during the summer or during a heat wave. This is when surrounding utilities also experience their peak loads. GWP would make every effort to purchase additional power to cover shortfalls. However, GWP's options are limited. GWP's ties to other electic systems for large power imports are limited to LADWP and what can only be brought through LADWP. If additional sources could not be contracted, then demand would exceed supply and the City would experience rolling blackouts.
In the past, LADWP has on an emergency basis provided spot supplies of power to tide GWP over. However, that was at a time when GWP has the Grayson Units operating and supplying some amount of power. With no Grayson Units except Unit 9 available to operate, the request that GWP would make of LADWP could be more than they could supply. Thus, GWP and the residents of Glendale would be left in a precarious position.
2 A Megawatt (MW) equals 1,000 kilowatts of power
FICTION: GWP is repowering Grayson to generate excess power in order to sell it for profit.
FACT: We are proposing to repower the plant to meet the City’s load demand and to ensure that there is a reliable source of power for Glendale. GWP is not repowering to sell energy for a profit. The capacity of the Grayson repower was driven solely by the reliability needs of Glendale and minimizing rate impacts to GWP customers. GWP is a publicly-owned utility and our mission is to provide clean and reliable power to the residents and businesses of Glendale.
FICTION: Glendale doesn’t need this much power and doesn’t need to build such a large plant.
FACT: The capacity of the Grayson Repowering Project is driven to reliably serve the needs of the residents and businesses of Glendale. Without the Grayson Repowering and after Units 1 - 8 are no longer capable of running, the available capacity through imports from outside sources and and the one newer unit at Grayson Power Plant - Unit 9 - is 287 MW.
GWP must have in place sufficient reserve sources of power to cover the "loss of the single largest contingency." This means that we must maintain enough generating capacity to power the City even if there is an unexpected failure or loss of our largest single source of power. For GWP, the single largest source of power is the DC Intertie line, which transmits 100 MW of power to the City. See image of GWP's sources of power here. In fact, partial and complete loss of the DC Intertie line has occurred in the past, and some of the outages have been for extended periods of time. In addition, reserves must also be in place to reestablish reserves within one hour. With the loss of GWP's single largest contingency, the City would have only 187 MW of supply available for meeting its obligations.
GWP's system load exceeds 187 MW more than 80 days a year/ With respect to a peak day, GWP's peak load is 350 MW (with no allowance for reserve margin) and there would be a shortfall of 163 MW that would have to be supplied by resources internal to the City.
The Grayson Power Plant, once repowered, would add a capacity of 262 MW at average annual conditions (64° F). On a hot day (95° F), that capacity would fall to 242 MW. On the peak load day (100°+ F), the available capacity would be slightly less.
With 242 MW available at Grayson Power Plant, the City would have approximately 80 MW as reserve capacity. Thus, the Grayson Repower allows GWP to reliably serve Glendale by providing sufficient capacity to cover the loss of the single largest contingency and still meet load, as well as the non-operating reserve that could be started to provide the required spinning reserve.
Additionally, as GWP imports increasing amounts of wind, solar and other variable sources of renewable energy into the City, and as more solar power is generated locally in Glendale, this creates increased fluctuations on the power grid. A steady, constant source of energy such as that from the Grayson Power Plant is needed to balance out ("firm and shape") the energy so that a smooth and steady supply of power can be delivered to GWP customers. The old Units at Grayson Power Plant do not have the ability to rapidly adjust up and down to account for variances in solar output, based upon weather patterns on a minute-per-minute basis. Modernizing Grayson will allow us to manage renewable energy flows dynamically, so that energy deliveries will continue to be reliable.
FICTION: GWP isn’t going to install any renewable energy sources at Grayson.
FACT: GWP will be placing solar panels onto the new buildings at the Grayson Power Plant, totaling approximately a ½ MW. GWP also plans to install 40 MW/80 Megawatt-hours (MWh)3 of short term battery energy storage for regulation purposes at Grayson to reduce short-term cycling of units. This will be done after the power plant is repowered. GWP is committed to renewable energy and will continue to expand our programs to use more solar and wind power. GWP is a leader within California in supplying carbon-free electricity. In 2016 GWP sourced 64% of the energy it supplied to Glendale from carbon-free sources (compared to 44% for all of California). Glendale is already close to meeting the requirement for 2030 that publicly-owned utilities procure 50% of their electricity from eligible renewable energy resources. Today, far ahead of the 2030 target date, Glendale procures 47% of its electricity from eligible renewable energy resources. This number will only continue to grow.
GWP also provides incentives to Glendale homeowners to install solar power and has in place contracts for electricity from renewable sources. Currently, there are approximately 1,344 solar systems installed in the City, totaling 12.2 MW. This capacity is "behind the meter," with only a portion being delivered into the GWP electric system. GWP encourages rooftop solar, and solar installations have helped to reduce the load growth within GWP. However, because the State does not allow it to be counted towards GWP's efforts to State meet renewable energy mandates, this solar generation does not appear in Glendale's power resource mix.
3 A megawatt hour (MWh) equals 1,000 kilowatts of electricity use for one hour.
FICTION: Repowered Grayson Power Plant will use potable water.
FACT: The Grayson Power Plant would use recycled water for all process and cooling water requirements. The main use for recycled water includes boiler water makeup, cooling tower makeup, turbine power enhancement and cleaning and NOx control for the simple cycle units. Recycled water would also be used for Unit 9 in place of potable water currently being used. The use of recycled water would eliminate the need for 20 acre-feet of ground water from wells in Glendale and 41 acre-feet of potable water currently being used, which is also water efficient and helps improve the City’s overall water conservation efforts.
FICTION: California’s cap and trade program requires all power producers to pay a cost per ton of CO2 emitted. The cost is being underestimated.
FACT: The cost of greenhouse gas credits would be incurred by Glendale whenever they use electricity from fossil fuel resources, whether GWP generates it or it is imported over the transmission system.Fossil fuel resources will be required until systems of energy storage have been proven on a utility scale for a utility such as GWP. The operating costs would therefore be incurred either way. Intermittent renewable purchase contracts also include a portion of fossil fuel generation.
*QUESTION: Does the Grayson Power Plant sit on a mapped Liquefaction Hazard Zone?
*ANSWER: Like much of the Glendale area, the Grayson Power Plant site is located within a liquefaction hazard zone. A site-specific geotechnical study for the repowering project was performed and included analysis of both seismic and liquefaction risks. The geotechnical study included recommendations for project design in conformance with applicable building codes, which include considerations for seismic and site-specific liquefaction hazards.
The site has been the home to the City’s local generation for over 75 years and has been subjected to several major earthquakes, including the Sylmar and Northridge earthquakes. Notably, GWP has been able to restore electricity to its customers faster than any other nearby city or Southern California Edison, in part due to having local units at Grayson that were either already operating or were started up, due to seismically-induced loss of transmission imports.
FICTION: GWP didn’t consider solar panels and batteries to power Glendale.
FACT: Utilizing solar power alone, whether generated locally or imported, would require a significant storage system to be built to "time shift" enough energy to cover approximately 65% of the hours that the sun is shining (the 65% value considers the variability of solar energy while the sun is shining). Such a system would be larger than any projects currently being contemplated or constructed to date, and is estimated to cost significantly more than the proposed project. As with all energy projects, battery storage projects also have ongoing costs, in this case the periodic replacement of the batteries and the efficient recycling of batteries.
If solar power imported over transmission lines (along with other carbon-free imports over those same transmission lines) was relied upon as the source of power, most of it would be consumed during the daytime, leaving little, if any, for charging the batteries. During the evening, when the transmission capacity exceeds the GWP load, solar power is not available. Thus, the batteries would be charged using non-solar carbon-free resources, and if they were not sufficient, then other fossil fuel resources.
For a utility scale solar power plant located within Glendale, a large site would be needed to generate sufficient energy to serve the daytime load and charge the batteries. For each megawatt of solar generation installed, approximately 4 to 6 acres are required. To provide the 262 MW that would be required to replace the units that would be lost at the Grayson Power Plant would require approximately 1,310 acres, or approximately 2 square miles. Such a large space is not available within Glendale.
Rooftop solar is another potential source of solar energy, and GWP provides incentives to Glendale homeowners to install solar power on their roofs. Currently, there are approximately 1,344 solar systems installed in the City, totaling 12.2 MW. Those systems are estimated to generate approximately 16.5 MWh of energy. However, the City cannot count on solar generation on private residential and commercial properties as it does not have control over these systems.
Solar energy sources do not necessarily need to be located within the City's limits. By freeing up transmission which would occur as the result of the Grayson Repowering Project, it would allow the City to either purchase or own solar outside the City's limits and transmit the energy into the City's electrical grid via the existing transmission lines.
GWP is pursuing the Grayson project because the need exists for another source of power to supplement the solar energy that could be utilized, GWP’s transmission import limitations, the necessity to be capable of dealing with the loss of a transmission line, and the need to add capacity as needed due to the intermittency of renewable energy (to balance out and manage the fluctuating power flows), all while still ensuring a reliable supply of electricity.
FICTION: Scholl Canyon can be used as a solar site.
FACT: GWP partnered with a private developer two years ago to study the possibility of developing a solar project at Scholl Canyon. The developer determined that the site constraints at Scholl Canyon made it unsuitable for solar development. For example, the existing environmental control systems for the landfill are required even for a closed landfill (these systems gather methane gas that would otherwise escape to the environment, a gas that has a global warming potential 21 times greater than CO2). Those systems require continued access, which consequently limits the land available for solar panels. In addition, the landfill is subject to significant settlement, which would take the solar panels out of alignment, as well as complicating the electrical gathering system design, necessitating regular rebuilding and realignment.
FICTION: The repowered plant will increase air pollution in the area.
FACT: The permitted emissions from the Grayson Repower project will be less than the permitted emissions from the existing Grayson Power Plant.
GWP developed emissions estimates for the Grayson Repower to use as a basis for permitting. The permitting process is based in part on the worse case daily emission and peak season monthly emissions coupled with the need to provide sufficient starts and operating hours for possible contingencies. Even with these conservative estimates, the permitted emissions from the repowered plant would be less than the permitted emissions from the existing plant.
The permitted emissions from the repowered plant would be greater than recent historic actual emissions from the existing plant due to the reduced operations resulting from the declining availability of the existing units. However, the increase in emissions is below the mass emission levels that South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) considers to be significant. In addition, mitigating this concern are two considerations:
- Actual operations are expected to be less than what is being permitted and assumed for analysis in the Draft Environmental Impact Report, reducing the actual change in anticipated emissions.
- Mass emission levels (lb/day) serve only as a coarse indication of the true impacts of a project. For the Grayson Repowering project, we conducted extensive air quality impact analyses and health risk assessments in accordance with methodologies that are recommended and approved by both South Coast AQMD and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based upon both maximum peak season and annual emissions. Those refined analyses demonstrate that the impacts on ambient air quality and public health are below levels of significance. All increases in pollutants such as NOx, VOC, PM10, SOx are further mitigated by offsetting 100 percent of the emission increase, plus another 20 percent, pursuant to South Coast AQMD regulations.
Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) are assessed on a global basis. Greenhouse gas emissions from the project will be offset through the purchase and surrender of greenhouse gas credits to ensure that the total level of greenhouse gasses continues to decline in accordance with California policy and regulations.
FICTION: Demolition of the existing facility and soil remediation will take 9 months; GWP hasn’t ensured contaminants won’t be emitted.
FACT: During demolition of the existing facility, waste removal plans will be developed and implemented to ensure that no lead or asbestos or other known contaminants are emitted into the atmosphere. Demolition will be done in accordance with applicable federal, state and local requirements. These requirements address containment and handling of materials, as well as a monitoring plan to ensure compliance. These requirements are not specific to the demolition of a power plant; they apply to all demolition work. The contractors we will use are licensed to do this type of demolition and meet these requirements.
For more information on the Grayson Repowering Project, visit www.Graysonrepowering.com
*Following shared concerns, the statement below has been edited above.
The Seven Trees Trail, located in the historic Brand Park, was destoryed by Los Angeles County Fire Department tractors during the La Tuna Canyon Fire.
Yes, there was damage to the trail. However, it was at the expense of making our hillsides defensible with expanded fire breaks. The fire tractors did damage portions of the Seven Trees Trail, including a bench. The fire break was a preventative measure that helped firefighters keep the fire from getting to residential neighborhoods. We appreciate the service of our firefighters and allied agencies for protecting lives and property.
Measures like fire breaks may appear to be destructive, but are necessary in fighting fires that are scorching thousands of acres and racing toward homes.
As is their practice after making fire breaks, the Los Angeles County Fire Department will repair the popular hiking trails.
The City of Glendale Community Services and Parks Department staff have posted this sign at the trail's entrance:
Some repairs are not expected to be completed until after the rainy season.
For additional facts about the repair of Seven Trees Trail, read the following article in the Glendale News-Press: http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/news/tn-gnp-me-minor-trail-damage-20170912-story.html
Glendale residents will be receiving a refund / credit on their water bill.
In January of 2017, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued rulings in three cases pertaining to Glendale Water & Power rates:
- On January 24th, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a ruling in the Coalition for Better Government’s challenge of the City’s water rates in the matter of Coalition for Better Government v. City of Glendale. The plaintiffs contend that the City’s water rates violate Proposition 218 (an initiative measure passed by the state’s voters in 1996) which requires water rates charged to customers be calculated in a manner to be proportionate to the cost actually incurred by the utility to deliver the water. Although the trial court ruled that the rates do not comply with these requirements, the City believes its water rate plan complies with these mandates and also encourages water conservation. The water rates were designed through a rigorous and detailed cost of services analysis vetted through expert consultants and legal counsel. The City intends to appeal the trial court’s ruling and pending the final outcome, the water rates will remain in effect.
The same court is also hearing elements of the General Fund Transfer case. The General fund pays for most of the traditional local government services that Glendale residents and businesses rely on – police, fire, libraries, parks, and administrative functions. Like most other independent cities, public safety – police and fire/paramedics – make up 2/3 of the General Fund.
Glendale residents will be receiving a refund / credit to their electric bill.
On January 27th, the Los Angeles Superior Court entered a judgment in two lawsuits challenging the City’s transfer of funds from the utility to the City’s general fund (the “GFT”): Coalition for Better Government v. City of Glendale and Saavedra et al. v. City of Glendale. In both lawsuits, the petitioners contend that the transfer from the electric utility to the general fund (GFT) violates Proposition 26 (an initiative measure passed by the state’s voters in 2010). The petitioners also challenge the City’s fund and accounting procedures, contending they violate the City Charter. The Glendale Coalition also alleges that the water GFT violates Proposition 218.
- With respect to the 2013 electric rates, the trial court concluded that although Proposition 26 expressly states it is not retroactive, the City’s imposition of new rates in August of 2013 was a tax because the rate plan included the Charter-required GFT and the court concluded the GFT is not a cost of service. The writ of mandate holds that GWP must credit ratepayers the amount of the GFT since the electric rates increase went into effect in September of 2013. The total credit is $56,950,000 plus interest for FY 2013-14, FY 2014-15, and FY 2015-16. Credits for FY 2017-2018 and subsequent years, if applicable, will accrue at $1,633,916.67 per month until GWP re-designs its rates to exclude GFT or obtains voter approval to include the GFT in the electric rates.
- With respect to the City’s accounting practices, the trial court concluded that specified accounting practices, while compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, violate the City charter. The court enjoined the City from merging some charter mandated funds and splitting up others.
- With respect to the water GFT, the court ruled that transfers made from February to June of 2011 (when the water GFT was discontinued) violated Proposition 218. Therefore, the general fund must return $1,733,333.35 to the water revenue fund.
Recently, the City’s motions for new trial of the two GFT lawsuits were denied by the trial court. A motion for a new trial filed by the Glendale Coalition in its GFT case was also denied. The City intends to appeal all three cases. The City maintains that the GFT, adopted by the voters and which pre-dates adoption of Proposition 26, is not thereby vitiated by Proposition 26. It is anticipated that an appeal will take 18-24 months.
The trial court’s rulings in all three cases are stayed pending appeal. This means that while the appeal is pending, the electric rates and water rates may lawfully continue to be collected based upon the current rate plans, and no credits or refunds are to be issued.
For an earlier report on this, go to http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/news/tn-gnp-me-transfer-ruling-20160617-story.html
South Korean Sister City, Gimpo
Recently, the City of Glendale has received numerous inquiries from concerned residents around the world regarding the South Korean dog meat industry. The Glendale City Council directed that Glendale representatives reach out directly to representatives of our South Korean Sister City, Gimpo. In conjunction with our local Korean Sister City Association, the City of Glendale is working with Gimpo representatives to better understand South Korean standards, practices and laws, relevant cultural differences, as well as express the Glendale City Council's unqualified protest and disapproval of any inhumane treatment of dogs, cats and other living creatures. Gimpo representatives have assured the City of Glendale that the City of Gimpo has no interest in advocating for or defending any inhumane treatment of animals, and that they will see that all South Korean food service and processing standards, as well as animal treatment laws, are adhered to.
The City of Glendale thanks those individuals who shared their concerns. The City of Glendale will continue to work with our Sister City of Gimpo to ensure the best possible and most practical outcome. Further questions or concerns may be directed to Glendale’s Community Relations Coordinator Dan Bell. He can be reached via email at DBell@GlendaleCA.gov.
The City of Glendale contacted the City of Gimpo in April of 2015 and continues to follow-up with Gimpo's representatives. The City of Gimpo sent a letter in response to our inquiry pending their investigation into the matter. Read the letter here.
The City of Glendale is planning to build a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Verdugo Wash
FALSE. The idea of introducing a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Verdugo Wash is identified in the City’s Bicycle Transportation Plan (adopted in 2012), has been promoted recently by interested citizens. However, the City currently is not engaged in planning or engineering work to build such a path.
IF at some point in the future the City Council directs staff to proceed with the Verdugo Wash Path, the following steps would have to take place in order to determine if the idea is possible:
1. City staff identifies funding for a Feasibility Study.
2. City Council approves proceeding with a Feasibility Study.
3. An RFP (Request for Proposals) would be issued to identify a qualified consultant to conduct the study.
4. A consultant is hired (subject to City Council approval) after successfully completing the entire RFP Process.
5. Public input would be sought during the study period.
IF, the study determines that there is a feasible bicycle and pedestrian bike path alternative that the community agrees with, City Council would have to approve additional funding for future phases including developing a design and conducting the engineering work needed to build the actual path.
None of the above mentioned steps have been taken and there are no immediate plans to proceed with this plan or a feasibility study at this time.
Inquiries into crime statistics and strategies that have been put into place regarding public safety:
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Please click here for the City of Glendale crime statistics and booking reports.
“The Glendale City Council was scheduled to vote on the Scholl Canyon Landfill Environmental Impact Report as early as January 26, 2016, but has postponed the date without reason.”
In early January, the City became aware of a local homeowner’s group newsletter published “…perhaps as early as Tuesday January 26, 2016, the Glendale City Council will be voting to approve the Environmental Impact Report…” It has now been mentioned that the City of Glendale has willfully postponed that date without reason. This is inaccurate information.
The City has not completed the review of the responses to public and agency comments on the EIR, thus it has not been agendized for City Council review. Last year, the City had hoped to bring the EIR forward sometime in early 2016, but has not set a hearing date pending review of the comments and responses to comments. The earliest that we may see the Draft EIR comments come forward is in the Spring or Summer of 2016. That would be the release of comments and, then again, only after the City completes its review. The earliest we could see the discussion of the Draft EIR would be the Fall of 2016.
Get accurate information, timelines, rumor control and future dates regarding the Scholl Canyon Landfill here.
The draft EIR is an informational document that analyzes the environmental impact(s) that may stem from an expansion project – should an expansion be considered. The expansion project analyzed in the draft EIR is designed with the flexibility to transition the landfill into a conversion facility with a landfill component. The draft EIR discusses options such as an expansion, however, the City Council has no plans in place for an expansion. In its current state of operation, if no action were taken, the landfill has a life expectancy of 20+ years. Of all of the conversion technologies that folks want to move toward, only anaerobic digestion is proven and permitted in California – and Glendale is moving there now. The City of Glendale may get to more advanced alternative technologies in the next twenty years, but real-world and practical solutions that bridge today to the future are needed, and so in preparation for the future, the City has set about to analyze the potential environmental impacts of an expansion option in an EIR.
Again, there is no expansion of the landfill being considered by the City Council. The specific objectives are:
-Continue to provide a waste disposal option that has been proven to be environmentally sound and cost effective at the currently permitted rate of 3,400 tons per day.
-Continue waste diversion programs that are critically important for landfill users to achieve state-mandated diversion requirements
-Allow the City to maximize the use of a local resource for waste disposal, thus minimizing hauling distances and related environmental impacts.
-Allow for further development of disposal and diversion options, such as alternative technologies, for landfill users.
For additional information, please go to www.SchollCanyonLandfill.ORG
“Every major American city has hazardous amounts of lead-contaminated water.”
Glendale Water & Power’s water meets all federal, state and local drinking water standards. Our dedicated water quality team constantly tests and monitors the water quality in Glendale’s water system. The situation in Flint, Michigan relates to their local water supply and the materials used in their distribution system. Glendale’s water system does not have any lead service lines and the water supplied by GWP is continuously tested for lead and copper levels.
To view GWP’s water quality reports, please click here.
Rockhaven: Misinformation Corrected
RUMOR: On October 6, Glendale City Council held a closed session with real estate developers Brooks Street and Lab Holdings, LLC, as well as a group of psychiatric professionals from Venice and San Marino to discuss the Rockhaven property.
FACT: On Tuesday, October 6, the Rockhaven property was included as a topic of discussion on the City Council’s closed session agenda. Those present in the closed session – as noted on the posted agenda – were the five members of the City Council and the listed city staff members (as “Agency negotiators attending the closed session”). Contrary to a recent KCET report, however, no other parties, or persons, were present in the closed session.
The Ralph M. Brown Act (California’s local government open meetings law) prohibits city councils from meeting and/or directly negotiating with private parties in closed session. The “negotiating parties” – i.e. the parties the City is in discussions with - must be listed on the closed session agenda, so that the public has an understanding as to with whom the city is negotiating. In closed session related to real property negotiations, the city’s negotiators (in this case, the city staff) provide information to the council and ask for direction on whether and how to proceed with discussions.
The KCET report indicates that the closed session was attended by the negotiating parties representing private interests: 1) Brooks Street and Lab Holdings, LLC; and 2) Drs. Timothy Pylko, Annett Ermshar, Jeff Ball and Terry Krikorian. THIS IS INCORRECT. THESE PARTIES WERE NOT PRESENT, AND WOULD NOT BE PERMTTED IN THE CLOSED SESSION, UNDER STATE LAW. Again, however, the Brown Act requires that they be listed on the agenda, so that the public is aware of to whom the City is speaking.
At the conclusion of the October 6 closed session meeting, no reportable action was taken.
Recently, much controversy has arisen regarding a proposed mixed-use development at 1100 N. Brand Boulevard, with some folks questioning why the City Council would entertain such a project. To be clear, the council has not reviewed or considered the project, and perhaps never will. The process currently underway started when a private property owner applied for approval of a project on their property. After review by staff, a planning hearing officer will hear the proposal and testimony from all interested parties, then deliberate and render a decision in a few weeks.
This decision — whichever way it goes — is appealable to the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council. While the staff report’s recommendation makes the specific findings to allow the requested standards variances, it is obvious that many folks will reasonably disagree. Yet the objective decision-making process, which invites public input and participation, must play itself out — beginning with the planning hearing officer. While the City Council is encouraged by the degree of community engagement on this matter, it cannot and has not intervened at this time. The city’s job in executing its ministerial duties is to balance and respect the rights of all interests under the law.
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? What is Glendale doing during the drought?
The State of California is in the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts ever recorded. During just the last few months, records have been set for the highest temperatures and driest conditions for this time of year. This has prompted Governor Brown to issue several Executive Orders including mandatory conservation provisions. All Californians need to take immediate action to change water usage patterns as we are faced with another record setting drought year.
The Metropolitan Water District is also poised to implement an allocation plan for its members (including the City of Glendale) this summer. As cities and water suppliers throughout the State scramble to respond to these mandates, the City of Glendale has continued to steadily take the appropriate action through programs and policies aimed to specifically reduce the amount of water we use. While there is no question that we must do more in the way of water conservation, Glendale is well ahead of many cities due to the foresight of our City Council and the dedication of our customers to conserve.
In addition to our conservation programs, Glendale Water & Power developed a tiered water rate structure that was approved by the City Council and which took effect on September 1, 2014. This tiered rate structure was designed to ensure fair and equitable rates necessary to maintain the critical infrastructure and administer the ongoing operations of the Water division. GWP consultants studied our rates in their entirety to ensure the continued provision of quality water and quality services to all Glendale Water customers. The tiered rate structure was developed in accordance with the requirements of Proposition 218 ensuring that all charges are based on actual service provision and that no one category of user subsidizes another. The structure covers fixed and variable costs associated with water delivery during normal climatic conditions.
Directly tied to the implementation of the mandatory water conservation measures is a separate drought fee. The drought fee is temporary and only used in these emergency drought situations to keep the utility financially solvent. The drought fee as mentioned goes into effect upon adoption of the mandatory conservation provisions (Phase’s II through V) of the Ordinance. The Glendale City Council declared mandatory water conservation on July 29, 2014 however, in an effort to assist customers, had suspended the drought fee for 6 months.
The purpose of the drought fee is two-fold. First, to recover revenue shortfalls resulting from lower water sales directly related to conservation, and second to promote targeted reductions in water consumption during periods of mandatory conservation. Customers that meet the usage reductions set during each phase of mandatory conservation will generally not see an increase in their water bill. The drought fee is applied equally to all water consumed and is not related to the tier levels.
During this period of prolonged drought, we all need to do our part to ensure that we have the water necessary to sustain our community. We thank all of our residents for their part in helping the State, the Southern California region, and the City of Glendale get through this drought. We look forward to working with our residential and business community to assist with water conservation. In that regard we have many tools and programs to assist our customers to meet our water conservation goals. Please visit www.GlendaleWaterAndPower.com for more information. Every drop counts.
A Century of Roses
The City of Glendale has a long and proud history with the Tournament of Roses. Much of the history is shared in a GTV6 documentary produced by the City staff, A Century of Roses.
In 2010, the Glendale Rose Float Association was in jeopardy of not raising enough funds, which would put the future of the City’s participation at risk. In 2011, the non-profit association that raised funds to design and construct the City’s Rose Float dissolved and the City took over the responsibilities in order to continue the tradition. The City was only a few years from making its 100th appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Even though other cities and organizations were reeling from the recession, at the direction of City Council, Glendale continued efforts to fundraise. The City wanted to preserve the Rose Float as other cities were withdrawing.
Costs associated with the float can range from $100,000 to $150,000 depending on the mechanics, animation, and size. Fundraising by Community Services & Parks staff was to be supplemented with City resources. In the first year, the 2011 goal of raising funds for the 98th Glendale Rose float construction were not only met, but exceeded what was needed. In 2012, $65,000 was raised.
The 2014 float, Glendale’s 100th year, needed to be something on a grander scale. This float utilized hydraulic movement/animation. The 100th float entry for the City of Glendale received an award that featured Meatball the Bear and his wildlife friends.
Interestingly, donations and sponsorships dried up considerably in 2013 for the 2014 Rose float. The 100th float was primarily paid for with City funds. Only $15,000 in donations was collected. The City paid the balance of the $135,000 for the float. The larger corporate donors who participated in 2012 focused their giving on local events and programs like Cruise Night (which has become entirely sponsor funded), and the City received almost nothing from individual giving. Ultimately, when it came time to budget for the 2015 entry, the City opted to not appropriate the resources. It is worth noting that members of City Council, at the time of consideration, requested staff to return with a report this fiscal year to reestablish a community-based non-profit to again undertake Glendale’s Rose Float efforts. 
Timeline of events relating to Rose Float and Council direction:
- In 2011, the City was able to raise $97,000 which covered the full cost of the 2012 float. The cost of the float was discounted that year to $89,000 because the City asked all vendors to provide a discount on all contracts. Thus, funds raised exceeded the cost of the float. (Community donations varied from $25 -$25,000)
- In 2012, $65,000 was raised for the 2013 float – “Living the Good Life!” – 3 Sponsors (Americana $25,000, Adventist $25,000 & Pacific BMW $15,000)
- In 2013, approximately $15,000 was raised for the 2014 float – “Let’s Be Neighbors” - ($10,000 Holland Partners Sponsor, $3700 Donations for Raffle, $1100 Fundraiser Event)
FY 2011-2012 Budget Process – Council appropriated $50,000 for 2012 float with the condition that the City received another $50,000 in donations from community by July 31, 2011. The City surpassed expectations and collected $97,000 for 2012 float.
11/8/2011 – Staff presented various fundraising options for future floats to Council and received direction to return to work with Glendale Rose Float Association (GRFA) to incorporate as non-profit, further study the possibility of self-built floats, and form a committee comprised of community members that would be responsible for selecting the Rose Float design, name, and ridership. (Report attached)
3/6/2012 – Staff presented a report notifying Council that GRFA notified staff in 12/2011 that they decided to disband, provided information regarding self-built floats, and recommended forming a Rose Float Concept/Design Committee, consisting of corporate sponsors and Community Services & Parks staff, to raise funds and select a float design to represent Glendale (since Glendale Adventist Medical Center had come forth as a sponsor). Council directed staff to proceed with corporate sponsorship for 2013 float. $65,000 was raised for the 2013 float.
3/5/2013 – Staff presented a report to Council asking for direction on 2014 float (100th year). Staff recommended and Council approved a two-tier fundraising strategy for the 2014 float since corporate sponsorship came short for the 2013 float. Staff’s goal was to fundraise at least $75,000 (50% of cost of the float). Council approved corporate sponsorship and community donations where a minimum of $25 donation would enter individuals into a drawing for opportunity to ride the Rose Float. Staff also held a fundraising event in partnership with CV Weekly and Lions, Tigers & Bears at Deukmejian Wilderness Park to raise additional funds. Only $15,000 was raised for the 2014 float.
3/17/2014 – A memo was drafted for the 2015 float. Staff sent out corporate sponsor letters to several businesses in the community. Staff did not receive any interest in corporate sponsorships even after follow up phone calls.
06/17/14 – City Council directed the City Manager and staff to bring back a staff report reestablishing a community-based non-profit to again undertake Glendale’s Rose Float efforts, similar to those in other communities this fiscal year.
http://glendale.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=4739 (30:22 minute mark)
At an August 20th press conference, Los Angeles Councilmember Huizar states Glendale is acting unfairly by not allowing Los Angeles to use the City of Glendale’s landfill.
The City of Glendale held a community meeting Thursday, July 31 in Eagle Rock in coordination with LA City Councilmember Huizar’s office to go over the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed expansion of Scholl Canyon Landfill. Glendale has no immediate plans to proceed with any expansion and possibly may not for quite some time, if ever, depending on the success of the City’s aggressive waste management alternatives.
Learn more here.
False. The intent of the City of Glendale's agreement with Crown Castle is to market pre-designated City owned properties in an effort to drive cell tower development away from sensitive areas. This agreement will prevent cell tower providers from choosing locations without regard for the impacts to the community. By identifying non-sensitive locations and making it easier for service providers to develop facilities, the City hopes to eliminate the practice of "just plant it anywhere."
"Glendale is ticketing residents for browning lawns during a drought."
False. The Sacramento Bee incorrectly named the City of Glendale as involved with a Code Enforcement case regarding a browning lawn. The newspaper has since updated the article with the correct name of the city in question. Glendale is not currently issuing citations to residents who have browning lawns but will instead use this time to educate residents and business on how to further conserve water. In the coming week, the Glendale City Council will consider mandating residents reduce their outdoor water usage to 3 days a week, among other changes to reduce water use. Read more about Glendale's conservation efforts on the Glendale Water & Power website. Residents can update landscaping to be more water efficient with the Glendale Water Wise Gardening website.
? "Where can I find more information on the proposed Glendale water rate increase?"
Glendale Water & Power held a series of interactive public meetings and provided more detailed information regarding the proposed water rate adjustments. If you missed any of the meeting, the June 5 meeting may be viewed here. To ask a water rate related question please email GWPratequestion@glendaleca.gov
To learn more about the proposed rate increase, please click here.
"Glendale's PERS obligation is 84% unfunded."
Glendale's pension obligation is actually 84% funded thanks to the City Council’s progressive stance on pension reform and the collaboration of our employees. The City’s participation in CALPERS has long been embedded in the City Charter. Additionally, it is worth noting that Glendale has historically maintained a fiscally conservative view of pensions and retirement obligations, and never offered exotic combinations of pension or retiree medical benefits.
Read more here.
Consistently, reports show that Glendale water meets and, in many instances, surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. GWP has long been known to be industry leaders for removing contaminants and blending water. “Drinking Water” delivered to our customers are below state mandates and can be reviewed in annual reports. Previous reports have accurately reported the quality of the drinking water delivered by GWP.
Utility Users Tax (UUT) ballot measure submitted for signature verification is for the upcoming June 2014 special election.
The Utility Users Tax ballot submitted for signature verification has yet to be validated by Los Angeles County Registrar. Should they obtain the requisite number of signatures, this measure would not appear until the April 2015 municipal election.
? Why is the City supporting SB 1129 (Steinberg)?
In 2012, the State dismantled nearly 400 redevelopment agencies (RDA), revoking one of the best tools for local cities and counties to create vibrant communities, build affordable housing, and spur economic growth. The State once again ripped funding away from local governments to their own use, a pattern that began with the ERAF transfer of the 1990s. Glendale, however, has an obligation to its residents and businesses to move forward with what is left. In an effort to minimize the unintended consequences of the dissolution of redevelopment, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced SB 1129. This bill, if passed, would allow Glendale’s Successor Agency to use the $50 million in taxable redevelopment bonds it issued in 2011. These bonds have been kept out of reach of Glendale and do not serve their original purpose of funding public improvements, affordable housing, and economic development. They are currently only paying dividends to bond holders. Again, as we struggle to emerge from the great recession, $50 million remains on the sidelines as an untapped resource to create jobs and move the economy forward. The purpose of these bonds, as adopted in Glendale’s implementation plan of 2009, was to build infrastructure, affordable housing, and improve the quality of life for Glendale’s residents, businesses, and community.
Click here to read more.
Utility Users Tax (Glendale UUT) does not pay for essential City services. It should be repealed.
Glendale prides itself on being a full service city. Glendale maintains a class-1 fire department, a police department that keeps its citizens safe in one of America's safest cities, and provides programming for children, adults, and life-long learners through its parks and library departments. These amenities, that the community has come to appreciate and expect, and funded in part through the Glendale Utility Users Tax.
Read full Op-Ed by City Manager Scott Ochoa here.
The City violates its own Charter regarding transfers.
There has been discussion on the longstanding Glendale electric transfer of operating revenues from GWP to the General Fund, since 1941. Simply, the city as do others, own and operate a utility to generate revenue. Our stockholders, unlike other utilities, are the businesses and residents of Glendale. Your shares come in the form of services. For more than sixty years those funds have helped the City pay for public services delivered by librarians, paramedics, police officers, engineers, and the like.The City does not violate its Charter in transferring operating revenues; the City does not violate Prop 218; the City does not violate Prop 26.
Read full Op-Ed by City Manager Scott Ochoa here.
Each Sister City Association will be required to provide maintenance and upkeep to only their individual memorials / monuments. The City of Glendale is a culturally diverse and vibrant community and respects each of our Sister Cities. The goals of the Sister City program are to exchange cultural, educational and professional programs in each city and to share common problems and solutions to daily activities. Learn more about Sister City program here.
Contact Management Services for more information.