Officials Press for Plant Cost Data


Despite being told that a $13.4-million water-treatment plant under construction is at least $2.4 million under budget, representatives of the Channel Islands Beach Community Services District on Friday continued to press for financial details surrounding the project.

Some district members fear the plant, which is being built in conjunction with the city of Port Hueneme, will be more expensive than envisioned, resulting in higher-than-expected water bills.

The plant is being built to improve drinking water for 56,000 people in the area and is being constructed under the auspices of the Port Hueneme Water Agency. The agency includes representatives of the city, community services district and the Point Mugu and Port Hueneme military bases.


Money squabbles, mistrust and frustration were hallmarks of the tense special meeting of the water agency Friday.

The meeting was called to address concerns over the project’s construction and operational costs raised by agency member Anna Spanopoulos, who also sits on the community services board. Spanopoulos, however, did not attend because the meeting conflicted with her observance of a religious holiday.

Detailed financial figures were unavailable, partly because of the cost of compiling such numbers on a project that is well underway, said Port Hueneme City Manager John Velthoen, the agency’s executive director.

But updated figures will be made available by Aug. 30, shortly after the beginning of the fiscal year, members eventually agreed.

The cost of water estimated at the project’s outset remained unchanged, officials said.

Nevertheless, community services district board member Vickie Finan, who won election in November with a campaign that opposed the project, was not satisfied.

“We know they don’t want to talk about how much this project is going to cost until the end,” she said.