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Borden: Like Walmart, Poseidon desalination plant good for city

Poseidon will bring water, jobs and tax revenue to the City of Huntington Beach.


 BILL BORDEN

CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST

Poseidon is Walmart all over again.

About 12 years ago Walmart and the City of Huntington Beach came up with a plan that brought the world’s largest retailer to the city, and millions in tax revenue along with it.

Walmart worked with the Ocean View School District and finally agreed that the Crestview School site at Warner and Beach would be a prime location for the new enterprise. The site was an unused, overgrown, trash strewn eyesore that was a financial drain on the district and a waste of valuable retail space for the city.

There was excitement in the air: Walmart would employ hundreds of residents, make improvements to the surrounding property and be a continuing source of revenue to the district.

It was too good to be true. Environmental groups, a new organization called Crestview United, and the same old 30 faces opposed to everything vigorously objected and it finally went to a vote. The residents of Huntington Beach saw through all of the baloney, went to the voting booths and said “Yes, we want Walmart.”

Now in 2010 we have a similar opportunity. One of the largest companies in the business of saltwater desalination is working with our city to use an old, unsightly oil tank farm in back of the AES plant to make critically needed fresh water for all of Southern California.

The applicant, Poseidon Resources, proposes to process 50 million gallons of drinkable water every day, put local people into very good jobs and contribute millions to our tax base.

Just as in the Walmart case, the same 30 faces against everything will be clamoring at City Council meetings and writing letters trying to make Poseidon out to be the personification of evil. Sound familiar?

Let’s not let them stifle this good idea. Let’s get more jobs for Huntington Beach residents, make our tax burden easier and clean up an unsightly mess.

It will take leadership to cut through the podium palaver and vote “Yes we want fresh water.” Let’s see who has the courage to do it.

Freelance opinion writer Bill Borden may be reached at wtborden@aol.com

CLICK HERE to read this article on the OC Register website

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