Hayden Hill Salvation

My mother and my stepdad both were geniuses. No kidding. When somebody tries to tell me I’m smart, I just shake my head. I sat across the dinner table from those folks for years, and I can assure you, I ain’t one of them!

I’d also be the first to admit I don’t know that much about the electric business, either. I mean, you can’t make me understand why LMUD has to pay wheeling charges to far distant power plants when we actually use electricity generated at Honey Lake Power just a few miles down the road, but they tell me that’s just how they do it.

So yesterday, as I confessed to a friend my confusion regarding the Lassen Municipal Utility District’s we’re-only-buying-a-$300,000-EIR-to-save-the-ratepayers’-money presentation at Tuesday’s Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting, my friend made a brilliant suggestion that just needs a little tweak.

How about if the other electric company wants it so bad, if the ranchers need it so bad, if it’s so worthless to LMUD ratepayers, why not just give it to them and let them pay for the EIR?

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I’m not a lawyer, and while I really like the second part of that why not, the first part could be considered a gift of public funds. We’re talking about a “valuable asset” that’s kinda old, that’s been abandoned for almost 20 years, burned by wildfire and gosh darn it, before there’s even a chance you might be able to use it, you gotta ante up that $300,000 for an EIR that wasn’t done when the line went in all those years ago because it was to be removed when the gold mine closed.

If LMUD really wants to save the ratepayers’ money, stop spending our money trying to permit a power line the district’s ratepayers can never use to benefit someone else. Negotiate a reasonable offer with the North County folks who want the line and then accept that offer. If they don’t want to buy it and permit it themselves — hasta la vista, baby!