The latest Office of Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report on the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) is now available. In it, the OIG recommends that FEMA should disallow the more than $33 million in grant funds awarded to the Authority for Project 828 and coordinate with DHS for any applicable suspension and debarment actions.
Scott Nassif has been sitting on the VVWRA board since at least 2011, with Art Bishop as an alternate since 2013, and Barb Stanton as an alternate before that. Each of these three is still on the Council of the Town of Apple Valley.
One might ask why the OIG has not identified the contractors involved? Supervisor Bob Lovingood made a fortune on this disaster. This original sewer system — using a sole source aquifer riverbed — was an idiotic decision made decades ago. The engineer who suggested using the natural gradient of the riverbed was Wilson So. It might have seemed easier at the time, but the long-term consequences need to be carefully thought out.
The only way the agency survives having to return the millions it has already spent is by dramatically increasing rates, which would definitely cause major financial impacts and bad reputations at the local, state, and federal levels. VVWRA should have known not to try to pull the wool of the eyes of FEMA.
What happens if the Feds and State folks don’t treat this with kid gloves?
If the TOAV is faced with returning millions of dollars, where will it get the money, given that it is already broke and facing higher expenses in coming years?