Senior Canyon Directors Eye Merger

By Daryl Kelley

A small East End water company founded in 1928 by five pioneer families is struggling to survive, the victim of higher wholesale water prices and a dispute among shareholders about whether the company should change the way it does business. Climaxing a raucous meeting of Senior Canyon Mutual Water Company shareholders on Saturday, directors agreed to study whether a merger with the Ojai Valley’s largest water district could stabilize water cost and supply for the company’s nearly 250 shareholders. The board appointed a committee to study a possible merger with the Casitas Municipal Water District as a peacekeeping move after angry Senior Canyon owners — especially large shareholders with agricultural interests — objected to a board proposal to levy a new assessment on every share to pay off the district’s $110,000 debt to Casitas. Holders of Senior Canyon shares range from Twin Peaks Ranch, with 232, and The Thacher School, with 161, to residential

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