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Castaic Lake Water Agency approves camera installation

• Expected cost is $330,000

Posted: May 21, 2008 2:27 a.m.
Updated: July 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.
If anyone should actually ever attend a water meeting they can expect to be videotaped.

The Finance and Administrative Committee of the Castaic Lake Water Agency is going to recommend the agency's board of directors hire a video company to install cameras at four agency locations at a total cost of $330,000.

The video installation company, West Beach Systems, was chosen from five competing firms by the consulting firm hired by the agency, Client First Consulting Group.

Three, including West Beach, became serious contenders.

The most expensive bid was offered by the international security firm ADT quoting a cost of $570,884.

West Beach Systems was the lowest bidder, submitting a projected cost of $305.170.

Tightening security around each of its two water treatment plants and its two pumping stations remains one of the agency's goals for the 2008/2009 fiscal year.

In the first phase of its enhanced security plan, video cameras and an inter-connected monitoring system will be installed at four locations inside the agency's main building overlooking Central Park on Bouquet Canyon Road.

The four areas to be watched inside the Rio Vista Treatment Plant include: the agency's administrative building where public meetings are held, its communications building, the water intake pumping station and the agency's Guard Station, near the Central Park entrance where guards already stop all visitors.

Video cameras will also be installed at the Earl Schmidt Filtration Plant and the Earl Schmidt Intake Pump Station.

In making its pitch to the committee, West Beach cited some environmentally sensitive alternatives to typical surveillance setups including the use of wireless television technology and solar power.

The breakdown in costs, in terms of equipment and labor was also detailed for committee members:

• Rio Vista - Administration Building: $96.977 (Equipment) and $9,425 (labor)

• Rio Vista - Communications Building: $8,842 and $2,565, respectively.

• Rio Vista - Guard Station: $4,832 and $675.

• Rio Vista - Intake Pump Station: $6,334 and $2,160.

• Earl Schmidt - Filtration Plant: $123,677 and $8,400.

• Earl Schmidt - Intake Pump Station: $8,842 and $2,565

Total cost of the alternatives promised by West Beach Systems are listed as $14,876 in a report presented at Tuesday's finance committee meeting.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, special attention was given to key infrastructure sites across America such as nuclear power plants, shipyards and water treatment facilities.

A security guard put in place after 9/11 still mans the kiosk at Central Park, stopping all motorists driving up the hill to the Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant, asking to see identification and noting license plate numbers.

Now visitors will be videotaped as well.

Few new faces, however, are expected to be captured on the new monitors.

Although the agency holds monthly meetings for its board of directors and invites the public to take part in those and at weekly meetings of agency committees, the meetings are only really attended by Ed and Joan Dunn, husband and wife, and each of them former directors on the Newhall County Water District board.


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