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Plan for Rebate Is All Wet, Monrovia Says


MONROVIA — In Hollywood, agents are famous for grabbing their 10%. But in the municipal water game, an attempt to take a 20% commission can raise some eyebrows.

Monrovia officials are bristling at what they consider a cavalier attempt by the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District to confiscate 20% of a recent $18,816 rebate honoring the city's water conservation efforts.

The municipal district, which acts as the city's intermediary to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California--which gave the award--maintains that it is entitled to a cut to compensate it for administrative costs.

The city last week lodged a formal protest. "It looks like they did nothing more in the way of administration than look at a (water) gauge, and for that they take 20% of our rebate," Mayor Bob Bartlett said. "We're going to fight."

Ed Thornhill, water conservation manager for the MWD, said his agency is leaving the decision on how to divide the money to the Upper San Gabriel district.

Tim Jochem, project manager for the Upper San Gabriel district, said the water board will reconsider its decision at its Jan. 19 meeting.

Monrovia Public Works Director Bob Sandwick said the city's water-saving efforts last summer, which included conservation kits, displays and Burma Shave-style road signs, cost about $20,000.

Monrovia was the only city water agency in the San Gabriel Valley to qualify for the rebate, which was offered to agencies that saved 5% or more in water usage this year over 1989. Monrovia residents saved an average of 10.8% in water consumption for June through September, compared to the same period in 1989.

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