Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman Marion Ashley is asking the governor to help boost the prospects of a family-owned company in Banning that’s facing challenges in the current economic climate.
Ashley penned a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger encouraging him to show “personal support” for Performance Water Meters Inc., which manufactures a wide line of commercial and residential products.
The firm, which has been operating in the Inland Empire for the last six decades, employs around 30 people who produce backflow meters for fire hydrants, hot water meters for homes and businesses, and displacement meters for residential and industrial use.
“I would ask that you encourage any and all state agencies considering the purchase of commercial or residential water meters to give serious consideration to purchasing the only water meter made in our state,” Ashley wrote.
“These water meters are of the highest quality and can compete with water meters produced by other companies in other states in head-to-head performance,” he said.
According to Riverside County Foreign Trade Commissioner Tom Freeman, Performance Water Meters has succeeded in tapping markets in Canada, Mexico and a half-dozen other countries, but California sales have been less impressive.
“Most of the meters being purchased across the state come from companies in other states,” he said. “This would be an opportunity for all water districts in California to use a California product, and at the same time create new jobs here in Riverside County.”
With the real estate downturn, demand for new residential and commercial water meters has dropped off, impacting Performance Water Meters’ business, according to Freeman.
“With increased orders, they’ll need to add more employees,” he said. “We’re reaching out to the governor and, ultimately, other water districts across the state to create local jobs and have Californians using products made right here to help put our economy back on sturdy soil.”