VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, November 5, 2007
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, District Engineer Grabbe, Director of Operations Hoyle, Manager of Accounting Pugh, Board Secretary Stetson, Project Manager Kilwein and IT Manager Rivard. Spectators present were: Ms. Vickie Driver, San Diego County Water Authority; Mr. David Ross, Roadrunner Newspaper; Mr. Jim Ayala, Pardee Homes and Ms. Darryn Bennett, North County Times.
1. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held October 15, 2007
• Audit demand check numbers 115539 through 115718
2. Update of the Agricultural Water Management Plan:
The District is a signatory agency to the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Efficient Water Management Practices by Agricultural Water Suppliers in California (MOU). Other signatory agencies to the MOU within San Diego County are the San Diego County Water Authority and Mission Resource Conservation District. As signatories to the MOU, an Agricultural Water Management Plan (Plan) was developed and adopted in 2002 as a regional report to provide a more meaningful picture of agriculture and water use within the region. The Plan was developed by the San Diego County Water Authority with input from the District, Mission Resource Conservation District, the San Diego County Farm Bureau and the County of San Diego Department of Agriculture. In 2005, an Update of the Plan was completed and filed.
Vickie Driver, Principal Water Resources Specialist of the San Diego County Water Authority, stated that the Efficient Water Management Practices established in the Plan for the region are currently being fully implemented. A waiver of the 2007 Update of the San Diego region’s Agricultural Water Management Plan will be requested as the region is in full compliance with implementation of the Efficient Water Management Practices. Such a filing with the Department of Water Resources will demonstrate the efficient agricultural water practices in our region.
Ms. Driver requested the Board’s input pertaining to the continued existence of agriculture in the District’s area, impacts on agriculture from recent challenges such as pest invasion, quarantines, 2020 plan, freeze, drought and the fire, and if the Authority could provide assistance to improve water management for the agricultural community. The Board responded that with the escalating price of water, as well as other increasing operating costs such as labor, crops that are water intensive will be taken out of production and it will be an economic decision if crops needing less water will be planted. The continued economic viability of floral crops that are labor intensive is also in question. The reliability of the water supply to the region is paramount in order to sustain agriculture along with retaining the agricultural discount. Water reliability will be enhanced with the completion of the Carlsbad desalination project and other desal. projects that are currently being evaluated. There is the possibility that Metropolitan Water District will eliminate its agricultural program and thus the agricultural discount. The San Diego County Water Authority may, however, retain its agricultural discount which, at present, is $130 per acre foot. Assistance from the San Diego County Water Authority that the District’s agricultural customers have found helpful to maintain irrigation efficiency is the agricultural audit conducted by professional irrigators at the Mission Resource Conservation District. Continuation of the agricultural audits funded by the San Diego County Water Authority as well as efforts to secure a reliable water supply for the region will assist the agricultural community.
3. Amendment No. 1 to the Contract with Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Inc. Pursuant to the South Village Water Reclamation Project;
Amendment No. 1 to the Professional Services Agreement with Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Inc. to revise the Master Plan and prepare the Preliminary Design Report pursuant to the South Village Water Reclamation Project was presented for the Board’s consideration. Project Manager Kilwein explained that the draft Master Plan had been based on General Plan 2020 and will be revised to reflect the current zoning, as well as the Phase II expansion as now defined and that the Orchard Run development will be considered in a subsequent expansion phase. The Preliminary Design Report will be prepared for the Phase II expansion consisting of the Bell/Alti developments and properties that have reserved capacity for wastewater service with a deposit of funds. These tasks will be completed by Kennedy/Jenks Consultants at a not-to-exceed amount of $57,377 and will be funded from property owners’ deposits. The South Village Water Reclamation Project’s Phase II expansion is estimated to cost between $11.5 and $12 million.
The environmental scoping meeting for the South Village Water Reclamation Project has been rescheduled to November 14th at the District’s office. It is anticipated that the Draft EIR, Master Plan and Preliminary Design Report will be completed by January 2008 and the lien agreements finalized by early 2008. Additional time tables reviewed were: design phase completed by September of 2008 with the Assessment District formed in early 2009. The bid phase and bond sale will be from September 2008 through January 2009 with construction of the project estimated from February 2009 through the fall of 2009.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2007-42
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
THE VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
FOR AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE PROFESSIONAL
SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH KENNEDY/JENKS
CONSULTANTS, INC. FOR THE SOUTH VILLAGE
WATER RECLAMATION PROJECT
was adopted by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell
4. Adoption of the Commercial Wastewater Discharge Program and Amendment of the Administrative Code:
District Engineer Grabbe clarified that the Board in May of 2007 had approved the Plan and Schedule for development of the Sewer System Management Plan, a requirement for all publicly owned wastewater collection systems in California. Also required is a grease control program.
A draft commercial wastewater discharge program had been presented to the Board in July. This proposed program has been amended to refer to existing penalty provisions for wastewater services. District Engineer Grabbe explained that the commercial wastewater discharge program will standardize and enforce commercial wastewater requirements and assist in maintaining the District’s wastewater collection and treatment systems to the highest standards. The commercial wastewater discharge program sets forth the criteria for the installation of fats, oils and grease removal equipment for both new installations and existing establishments. Existing installations would have a six month compliance period. The Program addresses regulations for food establishments connected to the District’s wastewater system including application and approval process for the installation and use of a grease removal system, the equipment’s maintenance and cleaning, and periodic inspection provisions. If a violation is found, penalties may be imposed in accordance with the District’s rules and regulations. No fees were proposed for the application review and inspection process as savings should be realized by the District due to fewer blockages in the wastewater system that are anticipated with implementation of the commercial wastewater discharge program’s regulations.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2007-43
THE VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER
DISTRICT APPROVING THE COMMERCIAL
WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PROGRAM
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2007-14
ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
AMENDING ADMINISTRATIVE CODE ARTICLES
170.8(E) AND 171.5(E) TO REFERENCE THE
COMMERCIAL WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PROGRAM
5. Status Report on the Lake Turner Solar Power Project and Request to Modify the Budget to Establish a Capital Account and Transfer Funds:
General Manager Arant reported the District’s Lake Turner Reservoir property has been cleared for the location of the solar electrical panels. WorldWater and Solar Technologies have completed preliminary biological and habitat surveys which were negative for sensitive habitat. The archeological survey will be conducted next. The environmental review should be completed by December and presented to the Board shortly thereafter. General Manager Arant noted that aesthetic and visual impacts associated with solar projects are exempt under CEQA. Preparation of a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration for the project is expected. Also, the project is exempt from the County’s Land Use purview. The solar electrical project is expected to be on-line and producing photo-voltaic electricity by May or June of 2008.
Adoption of Resolution No. 2007-41 to amend the 2007-08 budget to establish the Lake Turner Solar Power Project Capital Account was requested. It was proposed to transfer $48,300 from the Pumping Rate Stabilization Fund for incurred and anticipated expenses associated with the solar project. Expenses previously incurred include legal expenses for contract development and negotiation and the site preparation work. Anticipated expenses are environmental document review, grading plan check and inspection and general administrative costs.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2007-41
AMENDING THE 2007-08 BUDGET TO ESTABLISH
THE LAKE TURNER SOLAR POWER PROJECT
CAPITAL ACCOUNT AND TRANSFER $48,300 FROM
THE PUMPING RATE STABILIZATION RESERVE TO
THE LAKE TURNER SOLAR POWER PROJECT ACCOUNT
6. Review of the San Luis Rey Municipal Water District’s Proposal and Options for Future Action:
The San Luis Rey M.W.D. Board of Directors certified its Environmental Impact Report for its Water and Wastewater Master Plan on August 15, 2007. General Manager Arant reviewed occurrences since certification of the EIR related to the District potentially providing water and wastewater services to the San Luis Rey M.W.D. service area, as summarized below:
• The San Luis Rey M.W.D. requested that the District provide some level of assurance that the District could provide water service to the properties. The District’s response had clarified that the ability to serve the properties was dependent on Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority certifying their ability to meet the water demands of the property.
• On August 31, 2007, the federal court’s ruling on the biological opinion controlling the operation of the pumps for the State Water Project has severely restricted pumping on the Delta and has reduced water deliveries to our region. Reduced water supplies may cause annexation of new properties to be infeasible.
• The San Luis Rey M.W.D. Board of Directors in September of 2007 acknowledged receipt of the Draft Municipal Service Review (MSR), but tabled requesting LAFCO to proceed with processing the MSR or action related to annexations, reorganization or the amendment of the District’s Sphere of Influence. Action to forward the MSR to LAFCO will be considered at the November 21st Board meeting.
• The Rainbow M.W.D. filed a petition to set aside the San Luis Rey M.W.D.’s certification of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for its Master Plan for Water and Wastewater Service. The EIR has also been challenged by the Pala Tribe and the Endangered Habitats League.
• Metropolitan Water District has verified that it will continue to accept applications for annexation, however, the San Diego County Water Authority is not in favor of annexing new land with the current supply reductions.
• The parties financing the San Luis Rey M.W.D. litigation defense effort will be evaluating continuation of these efforts at their meeting on November 21st. Estimated costs are $400,000 to $700,000 and the legal process could take between two and four years.
• LAFCO has indicated that any action pertaining to water, wastewater and water recycling services in the San Luis Rey M.W.D. would be based on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the Master Plan that is being litigated and that it is unlikely the LAFCO commission will take any action on the Municipal Service Review until the litigation is resolved.
The District has been receptive and formally involved in the prospect of providing service to all or a portion of the properties within the San Luis Rey M.W.D. However, the District’s continued position is that an annexation of property would result in a financial benefit to existing ratepayers and not erode community support for the District.
Alternatives presented for the Board’s consideration regarding the potential of providing water, wastewater and water recycling services within the San Luis Rey M.W.D’s service area were: take action to withdraw interest, suspend activity until conditions are resolved such as the legal action against the San Luis Rey M.W.D.’s EIR and that District customers are no longer facing water supply cutbacks, or support the findings of the MSR if approved by LAFCO as well as amending the District’s Sphere of Influence to include lands within the San Luis Rey M.W.D. which would be conditional upon the District no longer facing the potential of water supply cutbacks.
It was the consensus of the Board that the District is supportive of the findings of the Municipal Service Review which designates the District as the preferred provider of water and wastewater service to the San Luis Rey M.W.D. properties. This support is contingent upon the District not being a party to litigation regarding this matter and that sufficient water is available to serve all of the lands within the District’s existing boundaries.
7. Ballot for Members of the California Caucus to the National Water Resources Association:
The Association of California Water Agencies, as a member of the National Water Resources Association (NWRA), sends a delegation to represent California’s water interests as members of the California caucus to the National Water Resources Association. Each member agency of ACWA can cast one ballot for the upcoming NWRA California Caucus election. The three individuals receiving the highest number of votes will serve on the Board of Directors and the two receiving the fourth and fifth highest votes will serve as alternates.
The Board unanimously agreed to cast its ballot for the California Caucus to the National Water Resources Association for David A. Breninger, Placer County Water Agency, Wayne A. Clark, MWD of Orange County, Lawrence Libeu, San Bernardino Valley WCD, Joseph L. Kuebler, Eastern MWD and Charles W. Muse, Helix Water District.
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
8. Board Ratification of Emergency Authorization of Expenditures Relating to the Fire Storm and Authorization to Develop Policy to Address Paid Emergency Leave in an Emergency:
As per Administrative Code Article 225, Board ratification of the emergency expenditures pursuant to the fire storm of October 22 through October 26, 2007, was requested by the General Manager.
During the fire emergency, employees were classified as those who were needed at work for emergency responses and those considered non-essential for the emergency and instructed not to come into work. The General Manager stated he determined that all employees would be paid emergency administrative leave in that that were prevented from reporting to work by extraordinary emergency conditions and, if on site in an evacuated area and not essential for the emergency response, an evacuation of the facility would have been more difficult. The employees who were allowed to report to work performed their work as “first responders” in an evacuation zone under stressful and adverse conditions. Tasks performed by these personnel, such as laying out fire hoses at reservoirs and the corporate facility, transporting and installing portable power generation equipment, resetting motor controls necessitated by power fluctuations, visual monitoring of reservoir levels in power outage areas, repairing and turning off damaged appurtenances and meters, coordinating with the local incident command fire teams, patrolling fire impacted areas and providing a presence in the community, were critical to maintaining water service for fire fighting and residents who did not evacuate. Recognizing the working conditions and the payment of administrative leave to employees not working, it was determined that employees who worked October 23, 24 or 25 would receive in addition to their normal straight time and over time pay, payment equivalent to an hour of straight time for up to eight hours for each of the three days. The estimated value of the premium pay is in the range of $18,000 to $21,000. Beginning Monday, October 22nd through Friday, October 26, approximately 15 to 20 emergency response employees were provided District vehicles to ensure re-entry into Valley Center as access into the community was being controlled following the evacuation.
Board approval of the payment of administrative leave during the fires of October 22-26, 2007, was requested, and staff requested authorization to develop a formal policy pertaining to paid emergency leave and the assignment of District vehicles to key personnel to more readily access District facilities in the event of an emergency, which will be presented for the Board’s consideration at a subsequent meeting.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the Board ratified the General Manager’s decision to pay administrative leave to employees and the expanded District vehicle assignment during the fire storm of October 22 through 26, 2007, and authorized staff to develop a policy for the Board’s consideration to address employees’ pay during an emergency situation and a policy for the assignment of District vehicles.
9. San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors’ Meeting:
General Manager Arant reported that at the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board meeting of October 25, 2007, a settlement agreement was approved for the Coachella Canal lining contract. Consideration of a contribution from the Authority to fund the Association of California Water Agencies’ public education program, “California’s Water: A Crisis We Can’t Ignore”, was deferred to the December Board meeting.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
10. California State Lands Commission Hearing:
Director Stone reported that he had attended the public hearing on the proposed Carlsbad Desalination Plant by the California State Lands Commission on October 30th which was held in San Diego. Chairman Garamendi of the State Lands Commission opened the hearing noting changes in the approval process and that the proposed desalination plant would not be approved unless it is carbon neutral. Representatives from the environmental community spoke in opposition of the project citing violations of the Clean Water Act. It was noted that the project’s EIR was not challenged by the environmental community within the EIR’s review period. The California Coastal Commission’s hearing on the desalination project will be held November 15th.
11. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 4:01 p.m.