VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
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 Cowett, Director of Finance Jeffrey, District Engineer Grabbe, Director of Operations Hoyle, Board Secretary Stetson, IT Specialist Rivard, and Project Manager Kilwein. Spectators present were: Mr. and Mrs. Olson, Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, Ms. O’Rourke, and Messrs. Farmer, Miller, Debs, Doran, Hilbig, Lewis, Flynn, and Ross.
1. Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held August 21, 2006
• Audit demand check numbers 109876 through 110181
• Notice of Completion filed for the Meadows Reservoir No. 2 Capital Improvement Project
Water Reclamation Project’s Status Report:
At the Board meeting of August 21, 2006, options for expansion of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation facility were considered to provide sewer service to the South Village area. Options discussed included securing financial commitments from property owners and pursuing the environmental process based on GP 2020 zoning and land uses, or defer completion until the GP 2020 EIR is finalized. Another option considered was to pursue expansion of the wastewater facility based on current land use zoning with the EIR amended once GP 2020 is completed. A consortium of 3 property owners also presented a proposal at the August 21st Board meeting to
independently pursue sewer service through an expansion of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation facility, which would be for an estimated 150 EDUs. The three property owners are: Alti Corporation, Bell Enterprises and Mr. and Mrs. Olson. Upon evaluation of the proposals to provide sewer service to the South Village area through an expansion of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation facility, staff presented the following two options:
1. Private wastewater expansion project with the participants being Alti Corporation, Bell Enterprises and the Olsons.
2. District wastewater expansion project using current land-use designations within the GP 2020 South Village service area.
Issues that will need to be addressed with respect to the proposed options were discussed, which include:
Option 1 – How to proceed with the 37 property owners that indicated an interest in sewer (i.e. refund of deposits, letter of explanation or inclusion in private project), securing a utility line crossing Valley Center Road and resolution of issues addressed in the Principles of Agreement.
Option 2 – Timing for notification, project’s definition, incorporate changes once the GP 2020 process is complete and the timing constraints for design.
District Engineer Grabbe stated that discussions have been held with Bell Enterprises in which a preliminary commitment has been received for access through the Bell property to the wastewater treatment plant. Access to the treatment plant for properties on the west side of Valley Center Road will be through sleeves proposed under Valley Center Road.
A comparison of treatment capacity for the South Village area properties under current land zoning and that proposed by the GP 2020 update was reviewed which indicates that the current zoning’s required capacity is .542 mgd (2,170 EDUs) and is .585 mgd (2,340 EDUs) under GP 2020’s land use designations. The estimated schedule for completion of the proposed 2 options is the 1st quarter of 2008 for Option 1, and the end of 2008 or 1st part of 2009 for Option 2.
Staff recommended that the Board consider selection of Option 1 or Option 2 as presented or delay a decision pending public input and follow-up discussions with the proponents of the private expansion project, Bell/Alti/Olson.
The estimated number of EDUs that will be requested by property owners in the South Village area ranges from a low of 300 to a high of 475 EDUs. This estimated number includes the 150 EDUs requested by Bell/Alti/Olson. It was noted that incremental expansions of the wastewater treatment plant will be expensive as there is no economy of scale. Estimated costs are from $35,000 to $45,000 per EDU. The number of EDUs to be purchased was to be determined with a letter to property owners within the South Village service area which is the next step to be undertaken under Option 2. It was estimated that a sewer expansion project could be defined (number of EDUs) by January 2007 following inquiries of property owners in the South Village to ascertain interest and an informational meeting with the property owners.
Property owners within the South Village area opined that it would be unfair to not be allowed to participate in the proposed expansion of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation facility at this time. This opinion was expressed by: Messrs. Dick Stephens, Gary Wynn, John Doran, Gary Farmer, and John Debbs. Written communication was received from Carolyn Pateman also expressing that other property owners in the South Village area should be given the opportunity to participate in the proposed expansion of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation project.
Mr. John Belanich, owner of the proposed Orchard Run project, stated that his development project is “alive and well, and going forward”. Mr. Belanich noted that the Orchard Run project conforms with the existing zoning and density and there is a final map approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Wayne Hilbig representing the Alti Corporation and the Bell/Alti/Olson expansion of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation facility addressed the audience stating that he empathizes with the property owners in the South Village area desiring sewer, but the consortium of 3 property owners will be paying for their expansion project and do not want further delays in pursuing the project. Mr. Bill Lewis, Architect, stated that the proposed Bell/Alti/Olson expansion project will utilize existing zoning and will be pursuing the CEQA documentation process with the District as the lead agency. Mr. Lewis proposed designing the expansion project to allow further expansions for interested property owners. General Manager Arant noted that the County Department of Planning and Land Use would raise issues with this proposal such as assignment of the additional capacity at the treatment plant and the properties’ zoning and capacity needs. Also, securing funding for the additional expenses incurred to design and build a larger treatment plant than required by Bell/Alti/Olson would need to be addressed as the District’s spending limitation ordinance does not allow the expenditure of funds in excess of $1.8 million for such a project.
A dual track project was proposed whereby the Bell/Alti/Olson consortium proceed with their expansion project including design of the treatment plant. Concurrent efforts by the District would be obtaining determinations on the level of interest of other property owners in the South Village area to participate in a sewer expansion project. Additional areas to evaluate will be the collection system, seasonal storage and disposal sites. Whether the sewer expansion project would continue as a dual track or combined project would be determined in the future.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the Board approved:
● Pursuing efforts to determine the interest in sewer capacity among property owners in the South Village sewer service area in which the added capacity for expansion of the Woods Valley Water Reclamation Plant would be known by the end of 2006, and
● Determine if the sewer expansion project will continue as a dual track project of Bell/Alti/Olson properties and other interested property owners in the South Village or if it will be a combined project, which will be determined by the end of 2006, and
● Ascertain if the Orchard Run Project is continuing with its development plans and will be included in the
Ranch Water Reclamation expansion project.
3. Indirect Private Funding of
Improvement Projects and Its Impact on the District:
General Manager Arant reviewed that a letter had been sent in May to Supervisor Horn addressing the District’s concerns pertaining to the financial impact upon the District as it is incurring the total expense for the relocation and replacement of water facilities that are necessitated due to county road projects, but are being undertaken in response to private development activity indirectly funded by the county’s traffic impact fees and Indian tribe contributions to the County’s Transnet Fund.
The need for expansion of Valley Center Road and signalizing the Valley Center Road and North Lake Wohlford Road intersection is directly linked to traffic impacts associated with the expanding Harrah’s and Valley View Casinos. The tribes contributed toward these projects through the County Transnet. However, the full expense of the water facility relocations and replacement projects created by these private development activities are being borne by the District’s ratepayers. The projects are considered to be county-sponsored though necessitated by private development and funded through the county’s traffic impact fees and tribal contributions through Transnet. It was clarified that if District facilities are being relocated or replaced because of private development activity, the private development interests pay for the relocation of facilities.
A letter was received from County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Wallar in response to the District’s letter, but did not address the issues and concerns of the private funding of county road improvement projects and its impact on the District but rather provided information on the County’s Transportation Impact Fees.
General Manager Arant stated he will pursue arranging a meeting with Supervisor Horn to personally address the District’s concerns on this issue. Also, he will address this issue with other water districts that may be experiencing costs to relocate facilities for county road projects funded by private developments through the traffic impact fees, as well as to work with the ACWA Legislative staff to evaluate legislation to provide relief to utility agencies such as apportioning them a portion of the traffic impact fees.
4. Receipt of Certification of Excellence Recognizing the District’s Written Investment Policy:
Director of Finance Jeffrey reported that the District’s written investment policy received a Certification of Excellence from the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada.
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
5. Review of Miscellaneous Informational Items:
• San Diego County Water Authority Board Meeting – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction enjoining the lining of the All American Canal project in response to litigation filed by environmental interests in Mexico to stop the lining project. A resolution of this matter is expected to be a lengthy process. There is a deadline for completion of the lining project in the transfer agreement between the Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District.
• Poseidon Resources Desalination Project – General Manager Arant said he has approached Water Authority member agencies and staff concerning the Authority’s purchase of desal. water produced at the proposed Carlsbad Plant in excess of commitments with water agencies. He has inquired why the Water Authority would not purchase the available desal. water from Poseidon if its quality and quantity are guaranteed. This issue will be addressed with the Authority’s full Board once the Coastal Commission issues a permit for the project.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
6. Reports on Meetings Attended:
• ACWA Salary Survey Work Group – Director Aleshire reported that he participated in a work group meeting to evaluate the ACWA salary survey which has been utilized by a small percentage of ACWA’s members. Changes that will be incorporated in the Salary Survey process are that it will be available in an electronic format to better facilitate members’ extraction of the desired data for their comparative use, and the number of positions included will be reduced to survey critical or benchmark job classifications. Also, the benefit section of the survey will provide more detailed information to improve comparative data. The revised salary survey format will be promoted at the ACWA 2007 Spring Conference and ACWA members’ General Managers will be encouraged to participate in the survey at no cost the initial year.
• Retirees’ Health Benefit Plan – Director Stone reported that he attended a recent Retirement Plan Advisory Committee meeting for the Retirees Health Benefit Plan. The Committee voted to have the Plan reviewed by legal counsel to determine its compliance with current retirement laws. At the meeting it was stated that the current budget is being evaluated for cost savings, such as deferral of programs and hiring of approved new positions with the potential of reallocating the savings to fund the Retirees’ Health Benefit Plan. Also, employees’ benefits will be fully evaluated during the next contract negotiations.
7. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at