VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, May 17, 2004
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, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell. Staff members present were: General Manager Arant, General Counsel de Sousa, District Engineer Jewell, Director of Finance Jeffrey, Director of Operations Dacus, IT Specialist Rivard, Sr. Backflow Specialist LoPresti and Board Secretary Stetson. Spectators present were: Ms. Keese, PBS&J, Mrs. Heredia, Principal of the Valley Center Elementary School and Mrs. Voight, Principal of the Lilac Elementary School, winners of the 4th Grade Water Awareness Poster Contest and Mr. Ross and Mr. Anderson of the Valley Roadrunner Newspaper.
1. Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held May 10, 2004
• Audit demand check numbers 98980 through 99063
• Board of Directors’ requests for reimbursement of expenses and per diem compensation
2. 4th Grade Water Awareness Poster Contest:
All fourth graders of the Valley Center elementary schools were invited to participate in the water awareness poster contest for 2004, with the theme Home 2 Ocean. Approximately 175 posters were received from 4th graders of the Valley Center Elementary Lower School and the Lilac Elementary School.
The posters drawn illustrated where our water comes from, conservation practices at home, the water cycle and how water ends up back in the ocean. The posters were judged for expression of theme, poster design, creativity and artistic skill in which 9 posters were selected for top honors (1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners) and 6 were selected for honorable mention. They are:
1st Place Garth Leopard
2nd Place Sidney Reilly
3rd Place Lindsay Splane
Honorable Mentions: Maggie McGlynn, Andie Wagner, Julio Salazar,
Meridian Romero, Angelica Real and
Award certificates, ribbons and conservation material were presented to the top winners in the poster contest as listed above and U.S. Savings Bonds presented to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. In addition, all other participants in the poster contest received a package containing water conservation material and a Certificate of Commendation.
The District’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd place posters were entered in the North County Water Agencies’ regional poster contest. These posters will be reproduced for the illustrations in the 2005 North County Water Agencies’ calendar. Participating 4th Grade students, Principals Voight and Heredia and the teachers were thanked for their support of the District’s water conservation programs.
3. Review of District’s Long-Term Financial Plan Model:
Karyn Keese of PBS&J addressed the Board and gave an overview of the long-term capital financing plan model developed for the District to assist in determining funding alternatives for projects identified in the District’s 2002 Water Master Plan. The process to create the District’s financial plan model was reviewed by Ms. Keese in which she explained that there was a collection of data, development of the program and then establishing funding sources for the capital projects. The goal of the Plan was to create a model which can be used by staff to provide for the lowest cost to the consumer of implementing the District’s capital improvement program and to identify a funding source. The financial plan model will be presented to the Board in July in which certain assumptions such as prioritization of capital projects and growth trends will be reviewed. With this data, the funding needs and options will be reviewed. The final implementation process will incorporate the recommendations received and is an iterative process that will reflect future modifications. Ms. Keese stated that Director of Finance Jeffrey and Manager of Accounting Pugh have become familiar with operation of the financial plan model and can incorporate variables as appropriate.
In response to Director Aleshire’s inquiry, Ms. Keese stated that the Board will be provided with input and output variables. A workshop may be scheduled in July to conduct a review of the long-term financial plan model.
4. Public Hearing to Consider Changes in the Meter Connection Charges and Backflow Prevention Inspection Charges:
Director of Operations Dacus reviewed that the District’s meter connection charges are collected to reimburse the District for labor, equipment and material costs associated with purchasing and installing meters and the meter connection. Meter connection fees are reviewed annually to determine that meter installation costs are appropriately being charged to recover costs. An analysis of meter material costs, equipment and labor hours incurred through March of Fiscal Year 2003-04 indicates an average 12% deficiency in the recovery of true costs. The increases are largely due to compliance with changes in the County Road Department’s requirements, road excavation and patching work. Proposed changes to the District’s meter connection charges were reviewed which are outlined below:
¾” 1” 1-1/2” 2” 3”
When Service Lateral is
Installed by District
Current Charges: $1,800 $1,885 $2,400 $2,560 $3,390
Proposed Charges: $2,070 $2,170 $2,760 $2,945 $3,730
When Service Lateral
Installed by Others at
Current Charges: $ 310 $ 340 $ 935 $1,010 $1,530
Proposed Charges: $ 340 $ 370 $1,020 $1,100 $1,670
An increase in the annual water meter backflow inspection charge from $35.00 to $45.00 was proposed with a decrease in the fire meter backflow inspection charge from $35.00 to $30.00 to recognize a cost reduction in an employee’s time and the equipment use.
The public hearing was opened at 2:39 p.m. The proposed changes in the meter connection charges and backflow inspection fees were posted and published in the Valley Roadrunner newspaper. Said changes would become effective August 1, 2004. The public hearing was closed at 2:44 p.m.
Adoption of Ordinance No. 2004-06 was recommended to incorporate the changes in the meter connection charges and backflow prevention inspection charges as outlined above and to amend the Administrative Code to reflect these changes.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2004-06
ORDINANCE OF THE
WATER DISTRICT AMENDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE
CODE TO PROVIDE FOR CHANGES IN METER
CONNECTION FEES AND BACKFLOW PREVENTION
was adopted by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell
5. Proposed Increases in the Sewer Service Rate and Pressure Sewer Maintenance Fees:
Adoption of Ordinance No. 2004-08 was requested to approve an increase in the Lower Moosa Canyon Wastewater Facility’s monthly sewer service fee from $34.00 to $37.00 per EDU to be effective July 1, 2004. Director of Finance Jeffrey explained that the increase in this charge would raise approximately $82,000 annually for facility replacement. The proposed budget for FY 2004-05 includes the preparation of a Master Plan to address the maintenance requirements for the Lower Moosa Canyon Wastewater Facility’s treatment and collection systems.
In addition, a $1.00 increase in the septic tank effluent pump (STEP) maintenance fee to $31.00 per EDU per month was recommended which would become effective with the July 1, 2004, billing. The STEP systems provide sewer service to properties within the Rimrock development.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2004-08
CODE TO PROVIDE FOR CHANGES IN SEWER RATES
6. Administrative Code Revisions to Implement Findings of Meter Application Process Evaluation and Addition of a Provision Pertaining to Conditions of Service:
Modifications to the Administrative Code were presented for the Board’s consideration to implement the findings of the new meter application process evaluation, which had been reviewed with the Board at the March 15th meeting. The changes are summarized below:
Sec. 160.2, Water Service Applications.
▪ Eliminates the need for the property owner to provide ownership documentation except when documents to be recorded by the District are required; i.e., when a document such as a Notice of Low Water Pressure is to be recorded against the property.
▪ Reduces the need for execution of a Notice of Low Water Pressure that is recorded against the property to conditions that the water pressure is expected to drop below 25 psi at the meter location during the high usage period of the District’s normal operation rather than at any part of the property.
▪ Establishes that if a property to be served with a meter does not front on the main providing water service, an offsite meter relocation agreement must be signed rather than a temporary service agreement. The offsite meter relocation agreement limits the customer’s responsibility to reconnecting the private water system to the new meter location in the future.
Sec. 160.4, Connection of Service.
▪ Modifies the requirement that the District Engineer review requests for meters 1-1/2” and larger and allows such approval by the engineering staff.
Secs. 160.7 and 160.8, Meter Service Exchange and Meter Relocation, Respectively.
▪ Wording in these sections modified to reflect the proposed changes addressed previously (ex. replaces reference to a temporary service agreement with offsite meter relocation agreement).
Sec. 160.25, Conditions of Service.
▪ A new section recommended by General Counsel to establish that the District does not guarantee or ensure any particular condition of flow or pressure in its system, and the District shall not be liable to any customer for any damage to the customer’s property for fluctuations in the pressure at which water is delivered. This disclaimer sets forth in writing that changes and adjustments in the system can occur and there is no guarantee of any particular level of service. Staff noted that this disclaimer would not reduce the District’s operational commitment to meet its organizational values and performance measurement standards, and allows the system to be operated and maintained to best serve the larger community of users.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Aleshire and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2004-07
ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
AMENDING ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
SECTIONS 160.2, 160.4, 160.7, 160.8 AND THE
ADDITION OF SECTION 160.25 IMPLEMENTING
CHANGES IN THE METER APPLICATION PROCESS
7. Resolution Adopting 2004 Revisions to the District’s Local Guidelines for Implementing the
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA):
Resolution No. 2004-16 to adopt the 2004 revisions to the District’s guidelines for implementing CEQA was presented for the Board’s adoption. A memorandum from General Counsel was provided summarizing the changes to the CEQA from 2003 to 2004 by listing legislative updates and new court decisions. District Engineer Jewell explained that the revisions will not significantly affect District operations. One change noted is that e-mail comments on a draft EIR, negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration are acceptable and shall be treated as written comments for all purposes. Director Aleshire stated that a copy of the revised guidelines should be included for review by the Board so that the changes are clearly presented. Staff noted that changes to the District’s local guidelines for CEQA will be provided Director Aleshire and will be included with any future guideline changes.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2004-16
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
AMENDING AND ADOPTING 2004 REVISIONS TO
LOCAL GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT
(PUB. RSOURCES CODE §§ 21000 ET SEQ.)
was adopted, contingent upon any changes in 2005 to the District’s local guidelines for implementing CEQA be provided the Board, by the following vote, to wit:
8. Resolution Approving Amendment No. 6 to the District’s “Standard Specifications for the Construction of Water Mains and Facilities”:
District Engineer Jewell presented a revision to the District’s “Standard Specifications for the Construction of Water Mains and Facilities” to correct a section on backfilling of pipe trenches. Upon discussion of the terminology to be used in describing the backfill material, District Engineer Jewell clarified that acceptable select backfill material for pipe trenches is clearly defined in another section of the District’s standard specifications. Therefore, the Board approved the following change to Section 3-15(B) “Backfilling Pipe Trenches” of the District’s Standard Specifications to read:
“All pipe trenches shall be backfilled to original or finished ground surfaces, as shown on the improvement plans. Backfill from 6” below the pipe to 12” above the pipe shall be comprised of select material and shall be of proper moisture content and be placed simultaneously on each side of the pipe in layers of 4 to 6 inches in depth and shall be thoroughly compacted to a minimum of 90% relative density by hand tamping or, if approved by the District Engineer, by water consolidation.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2004-17
ADOPTING AMENDMENT #6 TO THE “STANDARD
SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF
WATER MAINS AND FACILITIES” AND APPROVING
INCORPORATION OF THE SAME CHANGES INTO THE
DISTRICT’S CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT SPECIFICATIONS
9. Amendments to Agreements with Rincon
Diablo M.W.D. for Water Service Exchange:
Proposed amendments to the water service exchange agreements between the District and Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District had been discussed at the April 5, 2004 Board meeting. Water service exchange agreements had been executed in April 1961, October 1964, April 1965, January 1978 and December 1978 in which the District provides water service to 72 accounts in the Rincon del Diablo’s service area that is bounded by North Avenue on the south, North Broadway/Mode Drive on the west, and Kaywood Drive extension on the east. At this time, Rincon does not have facilities in the vicinity to serve the area which totals 21 acres. A letter had been received from Rincon requesting an additional exchange agreement for 6 meters to two parcels with a total of 3.22 acres.
An additional exchange agreement to serve the 3.22 acres as requested is not necessary as the April 21, 1961 agreement encompasses the entire 21 acre “triangle” area. However, amendments to the agreements to address payment of capacity charges, transportation charges and termination were proposed as follows:
• All new accounts provided for by the new agreement would pay the District’s meter capacity charges to the District, as well as the San Diego County Water Authority’s capacity charge to the Authority.
• For water served through the exchange agreements, the amount billed by the District to Rincon del Diablo would be increased to reflect the District’s current retail rate to cover its local costs (currently $74.57 per acre foot).
• A minimum five-year termination notice will be required to provide Rincon del Diablo with adequate time to design, finance and construct the necessary facilities to provide direct service.
Discussion followed concerning finding a permanent solution to serving the 21 acres within Rincon del Diablo M.W.D.’s service area that is served water by the District through the exchange agreements. Possible solutions include Rincon del Diablo M.W.D. extending services to the area, Rincon entering into an agreement with the City of Escondido to provide service to the area or the property being annexed into the District’s service area. It was noted that deannexation of the property from Rincon and annexation to the District’s service area would require compliance with LAFCO’s reorganization procedures that includes a provision for a protest vote. Staff was directed to correspond with Rincon del Diablo M.W.D. and request that Rincon advise the District by the end of 2004 what their plans and time frames are to provide permanent service to the area in question.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2004-19
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT APPROVING
THE FIRST AMENDMENTS TO THE WATER SERVICE AGREEMENTS
WITH THE RINCON
DIABLO MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
10. Approval to Donate Ten Surplus Computers to the North County Lifeline, Inc.:
Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the Board approved donating 10 surplus computers to North County Lifeline, Inc.
11. Review of Soil Moisture Monitoring Technology Research Proposal:
General Manager Arant reported that Dr. Gary Bender of the U.C. Farm Extension will give a presentation at the June 7th Board meeting regarding a research proposal on a new soil moisture-monitoring technology for use in pulse irrigation of avocados. The technology to be evaluated uses a soil moisture monitor sending a signal to a satellite that allows monitoring of soil moisture through the data downloaded on a computer. Such technology could result in water savings and better enable peak agricultural demands experienced on Monday to continue to be met. General Manager Arant noted that a Best Management Practice in the Agricultural Water Management Plan is support of research and $5,000 was budgeted for agricultural research. Director Haskell, who serves on the Southern California Avocado Commission (CAC), stated that CAC cannot fund research on a particular manufactured product, but can provide funding to evaluate a theory or new technology.
Dr. Bender will be seeking financial support for the evaluation of the soil moisture monitoring technology from water agencies as well as the San Diego County Water Authority. Approval of such support for this research proposal could be considered after Dr. Bender’s presentation to the Board during the June 7th Board meeting.
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
12. Proposed Shift of Property Tax Revenue:
General Manager Arant reviewed the proposal to shift enterprise special districts’ property tax revenue stating that the District would lose 40% of its property tax revenue for the next 2 years. This will result in a loss of $.5 million per year for the two year period. At the end of the 2-year period, the tax increment will be reinstated. To recover the lost revenue through the water rate would require an increase of $.0291/unit. The loss of this revenue will be included in the budget and factored into the long-term financial plan model. The Governor will be working with the Legislature to place a ballot measure on the November ballot to amend the state constitution that would prohibit the state from taking special districts’ tax monies in the future.
Rate increases from the District’s wholesale water suppliers, the Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority, are expected to be effective as of January 1, 2005. The Authority is considering up to a $28.00/ac. ft. increase in January which reflects the more costly water transferred from IID. Metropolitan’s rates may increase by $18.00/ac. ft.
Ken Weinberg of the San Diego County Water Authority will be present at the June 7th Board meeting and give a presentation on the rate review process at the Authority. In addition, the Authority’s Master Plan alternatives will be discussed.
GENERAL COUNSEL’S AGENDA
14. Update on Proposed SB 1272 (Ortiz), Special District Reform Legislation:
General Counsel de Sousa reported that at a committee meeting on this proposed bill last week, the bill was moved to the suspense file. ACWA has changed its position from support, if amended, to oppose as the requested amendments to the bill were not added. It has been put on the suspense file awaiting determination of funding as a provision of SB 1272 is a $600,000 allocation for the auditing requirement. General Manager Arant stated that he has heard that Senator Ortiz is proposing removal of the state funding provision from SB 1272 and will assess special districts the cost of the State Controller’s auditing costs. Also, the whistle blower provision is being removed due to its redundancy. A provision that remains is the $100.00 maximum per diem compensation and that reimbursement of expenses would be limited to the State’s travel rates.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
15. ACWA/JPIA Executive Committee:
Director Aleshire stated that the ACWA-JPIA voted at the spring conference to extend for one year Rainbow Municipal Water District’s liability insurance coverage subject to developing a plan to address improving their aging water system. The Rainbow M.W.D. is considered a high-risk liability due to the numerous property claims caused by leaking and bursting pipes. He reported that as an Executive Committee member of ACWA-JPIA he attended a Board meeting of the Rainbow Municipal Water District in which there were notices of intent to seek a recall election served on two Board members. Stabilization of Rainbow M.W.D.’s operations is in the region’s best interest.
16. A Closed Session was called by President Broomell at 4:32 p.m. pursuant to:
• 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’ Assoc.
17. The regular Board meeting was reconvened at 4:45 p.m. No action was reported.
18. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at