Riverside County Board of Supervisors meet in Valley for first time

PALM DESERT, Calif. - For the first time, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors gathered outside of the Riverside chambers to host its public meeting at the Coachella Valley Water District in Palm Desert.

Supervisor John Benoit called it a historic meeting, where the board could see firsthand the progress and the challenges in the desert.

"There are 7,200 square miles in Riverside County, 4,960 are here in the Coachella Valley. It's important they see it, feel it and touch it," Benoit said.

Some hot issues discussed included design approval of the East County Detention Center in Indio and the nation's first drinking water standard for chormium-6, a naturally-occuring chemical found along earthquake fault lines in the Coachella Valley.

"It's very timely we have that discussion here in the Coachella Valley. It's going to cost every payer of water bills an additional $50 a month individually to take this very tiny amount of chemical out of the water. California set a standard that is beyond anyone else's," said Benoit.

The board made a unanimous decision to support supervisor Benoit's proposal to request more time from the state to evaluate the social and economic impacts of chromium-6.

"This is a tiny standard that's going to have huge economic impacts on every family in the Valley," said Benoit.

The supervisors approved the Sheriff Stan Sniff's request for the county to remain active in two federally-managed fugitive apprehension teams. Last year, the groups nabbed nearly 60 wanted men and women.

It was the first supervisors meeting in the desert and bringing it here cost more than just time and effort.

"There's a cost involved and we need to figure out how often we can afford to do this," said Benoit.

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