VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, June 2, 2003
Time: 2:00 P.M.
Place: Board Room
29300 Valley Center Road
Valley Center, CA 92082
The Valley Center Municipal Water District Board of Directors’ meeting was called to order by President Broomell at 2:00 P.M.
Board members present were: Directors Broomell, Polito, Haskell and Stone. Director Aleshire was absent. Staff members present were: General Manager Arant, General Counsel Cowett, District Engineer Jewell, Director of Operations Dacus, Director of Finance Jeffrey, Project Manager Pumar, Engineering Services Supervisor Gootee, GIS/Mapping Technician Garcia, and Board Secretary Stetson. Spectators present were: Messrs. Schaffer, Goodwin, Wynn, Silarski, Ellis, Rozelle, VanQuackenbush, Chagala, John, Field, Hutchings, B., Hutchings, D., Beulos, Van Koughneth, McBeath, Watts, and Ross and Mrses. McIntyre and Foley.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Item No. 2 on the agenda, “Resolution No. 2003-20 setting the District’s 2003-2004 appropriation limit for proceeds from taxes per Article XIIIB of the State Constitution” was removed from consideration under the Consent Calendar for separate action to be taken by the Board.
1. Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held May 19, 2003 as corrected
• Audit demand check numbers 94143 through 94324
• Board of Directors’ requests for per diem and reimbursement of expenses
2. Resolution Establishing Appropriation Limit for Fiscal Year 2003-2004:
Resolution No. 2003-20 establishing the District’s appropriation limit for proceeds from taxes for Fiscal Year 2003-2004 per Article XIIIB of the State Constitution was presented for the Board’s adoption. The appropriation limit for 2003-2004 would be $3,495,341.
Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2003-20
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT TO
ESTABLISH THE APPROPRIATION LIMIT FOR THE
2003-2004 FISCAL YEAR
was adopted by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Stone and Haskell
ABSENT: Director Aleshire
3. Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of District-Wide Water Availability Charge for Fiscal Year 2003-2004:
The public hearing to receive comments regarding consideration of adoption of the District-wide water availability charge for Fiscal Year 2003-2004 was opened at 2:06 p.m. A $10.00 per acre/$10.00 per parcel minimum water availability charge was proposed with the proceeds ($589,000) to be allocated for revenue debt service and capital improvements. Said charge has been collected annually since Fiscal Year 1995-1996.
Director of Finance Jeffrey reported that notices of the public hearing on the proposed water availability charge had been published, posted and new property owners since the assessment of this charge for the prior fiscal year received notification by direct mail. No written communication on the proposed water availability charge was received and there were no comments from the audience on this matter. The public hearing was closed at 2:09 p.m.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2003-06
ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
ESTABLISHING WATER AVAILABILITY CHARGES FOR
2003-2004 ON ALL PROPERTY WITHIN THE DISTRICT
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Stone and Haskell
ABSENT: Director Aleshire
4. Review of the San Diego County Water Authority’s Survey of Member Agencies’ Water Rates:
An analysis prepared by the San Diego County Water Authority of its member agencies’ water rates, “Survey of Member Agency Water Rates”, reports that of the water agencies that do not have local water supplies, the District has the lowest domestic and agricultural water rates. A comparison of all 21 agencies’ rates, including the monthly meter service charge, shows that the District has the 2nd lowest agricultural water rate and 5th lowest domestic water rate. As such, the District’s rates compare favorably with the other agencies of the San Diego County Water Authority.
5. Request for District Ownership, Operation and Maintenance of a Subsurface Wastewater Treatment System:
General Manager Arant explained that the issue before the Board is whether the Valley Center Municipal Water District will approve owning, operating and maintaining a subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal system. Upon this determination, it will be known if the request by Weston Communities for the District to assume ownership, operation and regulatory compliance responsibility for the subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal system proposed for the Village Square Development should be pursued.
The proposed Village Square Development located northwest of the intersection of Valley Center and Cole Grade Roads is comprised of 190,000 sq. ft. of commercial development on 20 acres and 63± residential units on approximately
10 acres. It is proposed that the commercial (23,500 gpd) and residential (23,000 gpd) developments be served by two separate sewer systems utilizing pre-treatment methods and disposal on 15 acres of a 43 acre parcel dedicated for this purpose. Twenty-eight acres of this parcel have been approved for a leach field.
Due to the volume and characteristics of the discharge from the commercial system and the fact that the system serving the residential segment of the project would be considered a community wastewater treatment and disposal system, the proponents of the project will be required to obtain a Report of Waste Discharge and a Waste Discharge Permit from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Further, the RWQCB will require that the waste discharge permit be held by a public agency. The County of San Diego has indicated it is not amenable to assuming the role of regulatory responsibility. Therefore, the Valley Center Municipal Water District has been asked to become the responsible public agency to own, operate, maintain and assume the regulatory responsibility for the proposed system.
If Board action is taken to approve assuming responsibility for subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal systems, adoption of a policy framework with the following provisions was recommended:
1. Projects would be privately held and be required by the Regional Water Quality Control Board to submit a Report of Waste Discharge and that a Discharge Permit be held by a public agency.
2. Projects would have all County of San Diego Department of Health Services’ reviews and approvals.
3. Projects would be located within the boundary of the Valley Center Country Town.
4. Proponents would pay for an independent review of the hydrogeologic analysis of disposal areas and reserve areas.
5. A sewer fee assessment district shall be formed over the service area of projects proposed to be served by subsurface wastewater treatment systems to guarantee payment to the District for system operation and maintenance and for the funding of a capital replacement fund.
6. Proponents would provide a licensed and bonded system operator for a minimum of 5 years.
7. Project proponents will comply with all existing District administrative, engineering and financial requirements.
If Board approval is given for District operation, maintenance and responsibility for a subsurface disposal system, a policy will be developed establishing guidelines for the Board’s review and the proposed treatment and disposal system for the Village Square Development will be evaluated.
Proponents for the proposed subsurface wastewater treatment system for the Village Square Development addressed the Board providing the following observations:
~ Herb Shaffer, Managing Partner of Weston Communities, stated that the proposed Village Square Development will be a community center and provide moderate priced housing as well as much needed commercial space.
~ Extensive percolation and hydrogeologic tests have been conducted on the property proposed to be developed by Weston Communities which has verified that the property has the capacity to be developed with a subsurface wastewater treatment system.
~ Craig Goodwin, General Manager of NCS, a firm with many years of experience in the technology of subsurface wastewater treatment systems, stated that NCS designs, builds and manages its systems and would provide operational training, if desired. A comparison of conventional septic systems and the design by NCS of a subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal system was provided in which it was stated that the NCS design is permanent while the life of a septic system is between 30 to 50 years. The wastewater would be treated to a secondary treatment standard level, and, in compliance with the basin standards, the waste will be treated that will be to a higher level than the existing groundwater. There is then subsurface disposal of the effluent on the property.
~ Mr. Goodwin stated that the proposed subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal system proposed to serve the Village Square Development would enhance the ability for the future creation of a community sewer for Central Valley Center as the development’s capital replacement funds could be used for equipment upgrades/replacement or participation in a community sewer. Mr. Schaffer stated that to his knowledge there are no other properties in Central Valley Center that have the characteristics to meet the requirements of the Health Department for development with a subsurface wastewater treatment system such as that proposed for the Village Square Development. Mr. Schaffer reiterated that he would contribute toward a fund (capital replacement) and provide the funds for purchase of capacity in another treatment plant, if proposed for the area in the future.
~ Mr. Beulos, proprietor of the Country Junction, expressed that the proposed Village Square Development will provide benefits to Valley Center residents such as a viable shopping center and employment opportunities.
~ Mary Jane Foley of Psomas Consulting and former member of the State Water Resources Control Board explained that Psomas completed the hydrogeologic and mounding studies for the proposed development. Ms. Foley stated that the subsurface disposal system is a great technology and will be an asset as it will improve the groundwater basin standards. Approval to proceed with the project was recommended.
~ Adjacent or nearby properties will not be able to be served by the proposed subsurface wastewater treatment system proposed for the Village Square Development as the State and County Codes require that leach lines be located on the properties which they serve.
President Broomell disclosed that because he has family members that manage a grove where the leach lines are proposed for the Village Square Development, he may have a conflict of interest and, if so, will not participate in future discussions or vote on matters to be considered by the Board pertaining to this development. However, at this time, the Board is considering approval of owning, operating and maintaining a subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal system.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the Board approved the District assuming the operational and regulatory compliance responsibilities for subsurface wastewater treatment and disposal systems and directed staff to draft policy guidelines and commence the technical analysis of the proposed subsurface wastewater and treatment system for the Village Square Development.
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
6. Review of Miscellaneous Informational Items:
Refund from the
Authority. General Manager Arant stated that, unless directed otherwise, the refund received from the San Diego County Water Authority in the amount of $635,111 will be allocated to the District’s rate stabilization fund. This is considered prudent in light of the District’s wholesale water suppliers’ revised rate structures with higher fixed costs.
Noise Complaint – Betsworth Pumping Station. In response to the complaint of the noise from the gas engines at the District’s Betsworth Pumping Station from Ms. Hatley, the County Office of Noise Control has been contacted to register the noise levels. The District’s readings indicate that the noise emitted from the gas engines is in compliance with the County’s noise standards. The District will continue to endeavor to arrange for a noise reading by the County Office of Noise Control.
Support of Senate Bills 117 and 317. The District’s position of support of Senate Bill 117 (Machado) and Senate Bill 317 (Kuehl), which had been approved at the meeting of May 19th, will be conveyed to members of the State Legislature from San Diego County, as shown on the attached letter labeled Exhibit “A”. The letter sets forth the District’s support for adoption of the Quantification Settlement Agreement but conveys the District’s concerns regarding the San Diego/IID Water Transfer and the Authority’s governance issues.
ACWA – Release of Records. An editorial in the Sacramento Bee regarding ACWA’s release of information concerning pay for its top five employees and payment to independent contractors stems from the controversy with the Sacramento Suburban Water District pertaining to its alleged misappropriation of funds. ACWA has now formed a task force that is working on developing guidelines for an Ethics Policy for its member agencies.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
7. ACWA Directors’ Workshop:
Director Stone reported he had attended the Directors’ workshop at the ACWA Spring Conference which was highly informative addressing topics including: recruitment/retention of the high level executive, District finances and the director’s role, practical politics for Board members, defining integrity and dealing with the media when an agency is in crisis. Director Stone noted that the District is in compliance with the programs as presented.
8. A Closed Session was called by President Broomell at 4:02 p.m. pursuant to:
$ Government Code '54956.9(b), Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation
Number of potential cases: 3
$ Government Code '54956.9(a), Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation.
Name of Case: Sweetwater Authority, et al. v. Dynegy, Inc., et al.
San Diego Superior Court Case GIC 760743
Name of Case: Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, et al. v. San Diego County Water Authority, et al.
San Diego County Superior Court Case No. GIC798230
Name of Case: Cougar Pass Coalition v. John Braman, et al.
San Diego County Superior Court Case No. GIN028464
$ Government Code '54957.6(a), Conference with Labor Negotiators
Agency Representatives: Gary T. Arant, General Manager
William J. Jeffrey, Director of Finance
Employee Organization: Valley Center M.W.D. Employees= Association
9. The Regular Board meeting was reconvened at 5:10 p.m., and the following action was reported:
• Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the claim for damages from David West in an amount over $25,000 was denied.
• Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the claim for damages from Mr. Collins, et al, in the amount of $25,000, was denied.
• Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the claim for damages from Mr. Duenas which exceeds $10 million was denied.
10. Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.