Agencies Outline Responsibilities for Regional Recreational Growth

PERRIS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Five regional government bodies announced today the framework of an
agreement that lays the groundwork for the long-term potential
development of community recreational facilities surrounding Diamond
Valley Lake.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Eastern
Municipal Water District, city of Hemet, Valley-Wide Recreation and Park
District and County of Riverside have presented the non-binding
Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to their elected bodies. The MOI is a tool
for planning and coordination purposes that does not financially or
contractually obligate any of the parties.

Owned and operated by Metropolitan, Diamond Valley Lake—located near
Hemet in southwest Riverside County—is Southern California’s largest
drinking water reservoir. Body contact activities are prohibited at the
reservoir to ensure the safety of the region’s drinking water.

“This agreement is pivotal toward ensuring that the respective agencies
are coordinated so we may better accommodate future development
opportunities of the area surrounding Diamond Valley Lake,” said Randy
Record, chairman of Metropolitan’s Board of Directors and EMWD’s
representative on the 38-member MWD board. “By having clearly defined
responsibilities, we can ensure we act efficiently at the appropriate
time that funding sources dictate the advancement of various projects.”

For more than a year, the agencies have worked to develop a document
that would outline the responsibilities of each agency as it relates to
the recreational and facility improvements that may one day be developed
in the area surrounding the lake. Much of that development will depend
on outside funding sources, including private investors or grant funding.

The MOI calls for an implementation committee to be formed within 90
days, with a representative of the five parties, along with at least one
invited member from the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, California’s 28th
Senate District, the local business community, the general public and
the Western Science Center. All meetings will be conducted in accordance
with the Brown Act to guarantee transparency and public trust.

The five parties to the MOI will have varying degrees of responsibility
and coordination with the expansion of the facilities and recreational
opportunities surrounding the lake. Those responsibilities may include
maintenance, security, operations, water supply, facility improvement or
marketing.

“Our agencies are committed to aggressively pursuing available funding
opportunities and working with private developers to help expedite this
process so that our region may continue to enhance what is already one
of Southern California’s premier recreation destinations,” Hemet Mayor
Linda Krupa said.

Among the potential improvements to the area are trail extensions and
interconnections between Salt Creek, Diamond Valley Lake and Lake
Skinner; improving access roads to Diamond Valley Lake that may extend
the facility’s operating hours; a recreational lagoon; camping and RV
accommodations; expanded leisure spaces; and an expanded sports complex.

“By proactively working to enhance recreational opportunities in this
region, we are helping to further meet the needs of our residents and
help promote the region as a world-class recreation destination,” said
Riverside County Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington. “Doing so
helps promote active, healthy lifestyles and economic development for
the San Jacinto Valley and surrounding areas.”

EMWD’s Board of Directors approved the MOI in March and the other
entities are anticipated to bring the item before their respective
governing bodies in April. Because it is a non-binding agreement with no
financial commitments, some entities presented the item for
informational purposes and it did not require a formal vote.

“Along with our partner agencies, we have been able to develop a plan
that will provide a unified vision for the future of recreation in this
community,” Valley-Wide President Matt Duarte said. “Valley-Wide looks
forward to continuing these collaborative efforts and doing its part to
further enhance cost-effective recreational opportunities in the region.”

Contacts

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Bob Muir, (213)
217-6930; (213) 324-5213, mobile