City of Santa Paula purchases Water Recycling Facility

The City of Santa Paula completed its purchase of the Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility (SPWRF) for $70.8 million from Santa Paula Water, LLC, an entity formed by PERC Water Corporation and Alinda Capitol to design, build, operate and finance the SPWRF.

The City’s purchase of the SPWRF was the centerpiece of a settlement between the City and Santa Paula Water that resolved litigation pending since 2013 regarding the treatment and removal of chlorides at the SPWRF. Through the settlement, which the City Council approved on February 2, 2015, Santa Paula Water agreed to sell the SPWRF to the City at a price $5 million below the contractual buyback amount in exchange for assuming the contractual obligation to remove chlorides to the City.

In order to fund the purchase of the SPWRF, the City issued revenue bonds in an aggregate amount of $69,230,000. Maturing in 2050, the bond issue is structured to produce a debt service that will remain level throughout the 35-year term. According to City Manager Jaime M. Fontes, “the City’s ratepayers will reap the benefit of near record low bond rates, which are much lower than the 7.5% return built-in to the contractual arrangement with Santa Paula Water.”

The City intends to utilize the savings to fund a chloride compliance program and provide relief from high sewer rates, which are among the highest in the State. Touting the benefits of the facility purchase, Mayor John T. Procter commented that it “locks in record low financing rates, which in turn secures the City’s ratepayers significant savings over the life of the facility. This is a great deal for the City’s residents.”

PERC Water Corporation will continue as the SPWRF’s operator for the foreseeable future.

About the SPRWF

The SPWRF is a membrane, bio-reactor wastewater treatment plant that commenced operation in 2010. The SPWRF provides tertiary treatment of wastewater and has a total treatment capacity of 3.4 MGD and a peak operating capacity of 7.0 MGD. On average, the SPWRF treats approximately 1.9 MGD. Treated wastewater is discharged into evaporation and percolation ponds located adjacent to the SPWRF.

About the City of Santa Paula

The City of Santa Paula, California is located 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 14 miles east of Ventura and the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Santa Paula is the geographical center of Ventura County, situated in the rich agricultural Santa Clara River Valley. Santa Paula covers an area of 4.6 square miles and has a population (as of the 2010 Census) of 29,321.

The City is surrounded by rolling hills and rugged mountain peaks in addition to orange, lemon and avocado groves. In fact, Santa Paula is referred to as the “Citrus Capital of the World.”

Please direct all questions relative to the above to: Jaime Fontes, City Manager, City of Santa Paula, 805.933.4200, jfontes@spcity.org

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Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility (SPWRF

 

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