Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/01/2011 09:16:56 PM PST

Top officials from Rialto and Colton have made plans to soon meet and discuss mutual concerns such issues as traffic planning and perchlorate contamination as well as possibly settling ongoing litigation.

An official date hasn’t been set, but it could come sometime in February, according to city council members from both cities.

“(Colton has) a lawsuit against (Rialto) and we’d like to try to resolve that,” said Rialto Councilman Ed Scott. “We’ve spent a lot of money on lawyers and they’ve spent a lot of money on lawyers and we’ve gotten nowhere.”

Three to four years ago, Colton decided to sue Rialto because officials there objected to the traffic circulation findings of an environmental impact report for a Walmart store planned at the southwest corner of the Riverside Avenue and Valley Boulevard intersection in Rialto, Scott said.

Rialto City Administrator Henry Garcia declined to comment on the specifics of the litigation, but generally it’s related to how the data was collected that determines the fees for traffic mitigation.

Colton City Manager Rod Foster also declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said there are issues with the fees to install infrastructure both cities would use once the Walmart opens.

Garcia said the project has already been approved and is awaiting the outcome of the litigation. But council members from both cities say they’d like to halt litigation and try to reach an agreement amongst themselves.

“Generally speaking, I would like to settle any pending litigation we have as it pertains to any city or individual,” said Colton Mayor David Zamora. “It’s just good business to settle any lawsuits.”

An initial meeting is planned between committees comprised of council members from each city, with Rialto’s consisting of Mayor Grace Vargas and Scott, and Colton’s comprised of councilmen David Toro and Vincent Yzaguirre and Zamora.

Committees from both cities have met in the past to discuss perchlorate contamination in the Rialto-Colton Groundwater Basin. That subject, as well as several others, will also be discussed, officials from both cities said.

Both cities must clean perchlorate from its respective wells. Colton has long planned its mixed-use Superblock economic development project – bound by Valley Boulevard and San Bernardino Avenue south to north and Pepper and Riverside avenues east to west – which lies adjacent to the border the cities share.

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