VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, September 17, 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, Director of Operations Hoyle, Director of Finance Jeffrey, Project Managers Kilwein and Carrillo, Pumps and Motors Supervisor Stetson, Board Secretary Stetson, and IT Manager Rivard. Spectators present were: Mr. John Christopher and Mr. Doug Wilsman.
1. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held September 4, 2007
• Audit demand check numbers 114983 through 115175
• Treasurer’s Report for the period ended July 31, 2007
• Notice of Completion filed for the McNally Reservoir repainting, exterior and interior, and installation of exterior stairway project
2. Presentation on the Reservoir Maintenance and Upgrade Activities:
An overview of reservoir maintenance and upgrade projects was given by Pumps and Motors Supervisor Stetson. The slide presentation depicted the District’s reservoir facilities including the in-ground reservoirs with floating covers; pumps which inflate the covers for access; repair process of the covers, and the cleaning, disinfection and testing procedures of these reservoirs.
Four reservoirs have been recoated in the last two years, which include Mizpah, McNally, Meadows No. 1 and Paradise No. 1. Currently, Reid Hill Reservoir is being recoated. The process to remove the lead based paint on McNally Reservoir was reviewed. The exterior of the McNally Reservoir was sealed to create a controlled environment to comply with the EPA regulations for removal of the lead-based paint. To facilitate SCADA facilities at the reservoir site, a stairway was constructed for access to the top of the reservoir and a railing along the top installed. Pictures of Paradise Mountain Reservoir No. 2 displayed the rafters and support beams which have corroded and torqued compromising their function. A tank contractor has recommended redesign of the reservoir to install an intermediate support structure with new rafters and replace the roof. Paradise Mountain No. 2 Reservoir is currently in service, and funding for the proposed improvements to correct its structural problems will be requested in the Fiscal Year 2007-08 budget.
3. Approval of Contract for Preparation of California Environmental Quality Act Documents for the South Village Water Reclamation Project:
Project Manager Kilwein reviewed that under the guidelines of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an Initial Study for the proposed South Village Water Reclamation Project had been completed in which the preparation of a focused EIR had been recommended.
A Request for Proposal was prepared by staff for the project’s environmental document and sent to six firms. Two firms, HDR Engineering, Inc. and Jones and Stokes submitted proposals. Contract bid amounts received were: $175,000 from Jones and Stokes with the work to be completed in 8 to 10 months, and $140,000 from HDR Engineering (plus $12,000 of additional work, if needed) with a schedule of 6 months in duration. After review and consideration of the proposals considering the firms’ qualifications, project approach, proposed schedule and costs, award of the contract to HDR Engineering was recommended. Ms. Kilwein stated that HDR Engineering, Inc.’s 6 month schedule to complete the work met the timeline desired by the District and HDR’s project manager conveyed a good understanding of the project and the firm’s experience and competency were demonstrated. Ms. Kilwein explained that the optional work which consists of a California Gnatcatcher Survey ($6,600) and Narrow Endemic Plant Survey ($5,500) will only be completed if required as determined from the site evaluations and authorized by the District.
A status report of the South Village Water Reclamation Project was provided. The project’s cost is $11.5 million to $12 million in which the major tasks are planning, design and construction to be funded by deposits from participants, lien agreements and bond funds, respectively. The planning stage is expected to proceed through May of 2008 that includes completion of the Master Plan, identifying the seasonal storage location, CEQA requirements and pursue a waste discharge permit. The design phase is anticipated to be complete by September 2008 in which land and easements needed will be acquired, and the water reclamation facility expansion, collection system and reclaimed water distribution system designed. Construction of the project is expected from September 2008 through September 2009.
General Manager Arant stated that requests for inclusion in the South Village Water Reclamation Project had been received for two parcels outside but adjacent to the South Village Planning Area boundary. They are the Light of the Valley Church and property owned by Mr. and Mrs. Spear. The capacity reservation fees had been refunded as the properties are outside of the Planning Area and they were informed that to be included in the project the property would need to be included in the South Village boundary or obtain authorization from the County Department of Planning and Land Use for wastewater service. The Valley Center Community Planning Group denied their requests for inclusion in the South Village Planning Area boundary. Light of the Valley Church requested a determination from the County Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU). The DPLU determined that though the Light of the Valley Church property is outside of the South Village Planning area’s boundary, there is an exception for wastewater service for public facilities or special use facilities in the GP 2020 draft General Plan document. Therefore, District staff determined that an exception for wastewater service would be granted the Light of the Valley Church as it is a “specialized facility” as defined in the draft GP 2020 General Plan. However, no exception was granted to Mr. and Mrs. Spear for an existing single family residence as there is no provision for such in the draft GP 2020 general plan. Mr. and Mrs. Spear were advised that the decision could be appealed to the District’s Board of Directors.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2007-39
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT FOR ENTER-
ING INTO A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR
THE SOUTH VILLAGE WATER RECLAMATION PROJECT
was approved by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell
4. Approval to Purchase Two Submersible Aeration Units for the Lower Moosa Canyon Water Reclamation Digester Improvement Project:
R. W. Beck was contracted to design the digester aeration system improvements at the Lower Moosa Canyon Water Reclamation Plant. Replacement of the existing submersible aerator with a larger 60 HP ABS submersible aerator was recommended due to its lower initial cost, installation cost, ease of maintenance and fewer components located within the digester. Two other types of aeration systems had been evaluated, the Jet Tech aeration system and the Sanitaire fine bubble diffuser system. Due to past performance of the existing 40 HP Framco unit originally installed in the digester, the manufacturer of the 60 HP ABS submersible aerator will provide a performance guarantee and a testing procedure on site will be conducted to evaluate the aerator. Based on the manufacturer’s performance information, the 60 HP ABS submersible aerator is sufficient for flows up to 0.6 mgd. Board authorization to purchase two ABS ChannelAire submersible aerators from Flo-Systems, Inc. for a total of $95,544 plus tax was requested.
Project Manager Carrillo explained that the digester aeration system upgrade is one of several upgrades and capacity enhancements planned for the Lower Moosa Canyon Water Reclamation facility. Other improvements include solids handling facility improvements and aeration basin improvements.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the purchase of two ABS Channel/Aire submersible aerators from Flo-Systems, Inc. was approved for a total cost of $95,544 plus tax.
5. Approval of Pass-Through of Wholesale Water Rate Increases:
Manager of Accounting Pugh reviewed that at the September 4th Board meeting, the Board had elected to pass through the wholesale water rate increases to be effective January 1, 2008, and defer an increase in rates to offset local water and wastewater cost increases for further consideration during deliberations of the Fiscal Year 2007-08 budget.
The proposed rate increases were reviewed, as outlined below:
▪ Domestic water rates will increase by $74.84/ac. ft. and $38.03/ac. ft. for agricultural customers. The increase is less for participants in the Interim Agricultural Water Program as funding for programs such as the IID transfer, All American/Coachella canal lining and the Emergency Storage Project is not included in the agricultural water rate. The pass through of this increase in the wholesale water rates results in a total cost per acre foot of $908.23 for domestic and $664.12 for agriculture. An anticipated reduction in water sales has been factored into the rate calculations (35% reduction of IAWP deliveries and 15% for domestic deliveries).
▪ A 9% increase in the Infrastructure Access Charge (IAC), which is a pass-through of the fixed charge from the San Diego County Water Authority and is based on the number and size of active meters. The monthly IAC for a ¾” meter will increase to $1.70 from $1.56.
▪ An increase in the construction water permit fees results in a $10.00 increase (to $145) for a permit with a truck capacity of 2,500 gallons or less, and a $20.00 increase in the fee (to $285) for a permit for a water truck capacity of 5,000 gallons or more.
It was clarified that an ordinance previously adopted by the District has the provision for a pass-through of wholesale water rate increases, up to 30% over 3 years. As such, that ordinance included the hearing and customer notification required per Proposition 218 to pass through the wholesale water rate increases as proposed.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2007-13
ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
ADOPTING INCREASES IN WATER RATES AND
CHARGES TO PASS THROUGH WHOLESALE
WATER RATE INCREASES
was adopted by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Aleshire, Stone and Haskell
6. Adoption of Interim Agricultural Water Program Supply Reduction Implementation Plan:
The District’s Interim Agricultural Water Program (IAWP) Supply Reduction Implementation Plan to be effective January 2008, was reviewed as outlined below. At this time, a 30% reduction in supplies is expected. The adopted Plan will be submitted to the San Diego County Water Authority who will compile a regional plan for submission to the Metropolitan Water District. An informational booklet will be developed from pertinent data in the Plan document for distribution to the District’s IAWP participants. The Implementation Plan sets forth that:
• The IAWP supply reduction applies to IAWP participants who had been in the program prior to and then after December 31, 2006.
• An account which was initiated into the IAWP program after December 31, 2006, will have the option to exit the program and purchase water at the firm M&I rate, but be subject to the same reduction level as an IAWP participant and its penalty structure.
• Those IAWP participants that exited the program prior to December 31, 2006, will not be subject to the reduction in supplies as implemented for non-firm users.
• Each IAWP customer will receive a monthly water usage allocation which will be provided in approximately November for the entire calendar year 2008. Allocations will be based on usage in Fiscal Year 2006-07. The District’s bill format will reflect the allocation and the usage over or under the monthly allocation. Usage credits representing water usage under the monthly allocation will be rolled forward to offset over-usage in successive months of the 12 month program. Penalty charges for over-usage of a monthly allocation will be billed at the normal water rate plus the penalty charge of $898.00 per acre foot. In order to allow for a transition into the program, penalties for over-usage in the first two months of the program will be suspended, but penalties will be assessed for any cumulative over-usage upon the third month of the program. Over the 12 month program, penalties paid can be regained with under-usage in subsequent months. Penalties paid in one 12 month supply reduction program cannot be earned back with under usage in a subsequent program. Also, accounts under the same ownership can be grouped into a master account to facilitate moving water allocations among accounts. Allowing the grouping of accounts with partial ownership will be considered on a case by case basis.
• Customers with over-usage of 10% or more above allocations for two consecutive cumulative billing cycles will receive a notice and warning of flow restriction. Meter flow restriction devices will be installed upon usage above cumulative allocations such as for 30 days of over-usage for 3 consecutive months and the flow restriction will remain if over-usage continues or until the cumulative water usage is at or under the cumulative allocation. Upon a repeat violation of over-usage, a 50% design flow restriction will be installed for the duration of the 2008 reduction program.
• The IAWP Supply Reduction Plan provides for an appeal process in which the Director of Finance renders a decision on the appeal which can be appealed to the General Manager and then may be appealed to the Board of Directors, whose decision is final.
The San Diego County Farm Bureau has organized a Water Symposium to be held on September 27th at the California Center for the Arts for agricultural customers in which the pending water supply cutbacks will be addressed. Water district representatives will be in attendance to answer their customers’ questions. District staff will be present and will have an informational booklet for distribution to customers. The District is also planning on hosting meetings for its IAWP participants to provide additional opportunities for educational workshops on the supply reduction implementation plan.
Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2007-38
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT ADOPTING
THE INTERIM AGRICULTURAL WATER PROGRAM SUPPLY
REDUCTION IMPLEMENTATION PLAN, JANUARY 2008
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
7. Review of Miscellaneous Informational Items:
• The District’s status report for August 2007 reflects that 3,238 automated meter reading devices have been installed to date and that the vehicle fleet’s miles per gallon have increased as a result of purchasing mid-size trucks. Total number of employees is currently at 80 and will be at 78 following two pending retirements.
• The Vallecitos Water District and Santa Fe Irrigation District have entered into contracts with Poseidon Resources to receive 7,500 ac. ft. and 2,000 ac. ft. per year, respectively, of desalinated water from the Carlsbad/Poseidon Resources desalination plant. Vallecitos Water District will be a direct purchase contractor. At present, the total committed contracted capacity is 93% of the plant’s capacity of 56,000 ac. ft. Contracts for desal. water deliveries with the City of Oceanside and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District are being negotiated. If additional contracts for desal. water from the plant are executed, there is the potential that the plant’s capacity could be exceeded and modifications of the contracts with the agencies that are exchange contractors or receiving “in lieu” of deliveries may be adjusted.
• Customers will receive notification in their water bills that in November 2007, Metropolitan Water District will begin adding fluoride to their water supply. Letters and phone calls opposing the introduction of fluoride into the District’s water supply have been received. The customers are informed that Metropolitan is adding fluoride in compliance with state law and that Metropolitan’s fluoride implementation plan has received the approval of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.
• The Rainbow Municipal Water District has filed a lawsuit against the San Luis Rey M.W.D. pursuant to its Master Plan EIR for water, wastewater and recycled water services. LAFCO has not yet made a determination on its Municipal Service Review for service of the San Luis Rey M.W.D. property and is awaiting certification of the Master Plan EIR. Annexation of the properties to receive water and wastewater service may not be feasible as, under the current water supply conditions, Metropolitan Water District may not issue a favorable water supply availability letter which will be a condition of annexation.
GENERAL COUNSEL’S AGENDA
8. Review of Impacts from Ruling to Restrict Water Project Operations on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Protect the Delta Smelt:
General Counsel Cowett explained that a ruling from the court in the lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council challenging operations of the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project in the Delta was that the “biological opinion” that guides water operations in the Delta were deficient in its protections for endangered fish, especially the Delta smelt, and interim operating rules were adopted which will reduce water supplies from Northern California. The interim operating rules will be in place for approximately one year until a new biological opinion is adopted to guide the operation of the water projects. The new biological opinion is expected to be litigated. At the hearing in which the interim operating rules were adopted, the Judge had stated that the right to deviate from the remedial action shall be reserved to protect, if necessary, public health, safety and human environment. The next hearing on the interim operating rules or remedial action is set for October 22nd in which the Judge will decide on findings of fact and conclusions of law which may include the exception noted by the judge. A final order is expected in mid-November which will be effective in late December 2007.
Due to the complexity of the court’s ruling, the cutbacks could vary substantially depending on the fish, weather and flow conditions in the Delta. The Department of Water Resources is developing models to assist in determining the cut backs due to the court’s decision. Future challenges to the water supply from the Delta are expected as remedial action of the biological opinion for the Salmon steelhead and green sturgeon fish are released. The water industry’s position that the Delta is broken and needs to be addressed is now more widely accepted throughout the State.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
9. Presentation at Water Advisory Committee of Orange County:
Director Aleshire reported that he had been invited to give a presentation at the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) meeting to address the upcoming activities of Region 10 of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).
Mr. Tim Quinn, the new Executive Director of ACWA, was at the WACO meeting in which he gave an informative presentation on the California Bay-Delta titled “The Time is Now to Solve Our Water Crisis”. The presentation addressed the importance of the Bay-Delta water supplies to all of California, its infrastructure, land subsidence and the economic impacts with reduced exports. To educate the public on the water crisis facing Californians, ACWA developed the PBS California Water series and recently launched its aggressive Public Education Program to define the situation. The solution to California’s water supply needs to be a comprehensive effort requiring substantial investments in water use efficiency, additional surface water storage, Delta conveyance facility and environmental restoration.
Director Aleshire outlined programs he envisions to be undertaken by ACWA Region 10 in the next two years. They are: continuation of the Public Education Program to diligently inform Californians of the water supply conditions, a conference session comprised of all ACWA’s 10 regions to discuss issues, a workshop on the future of agriculture in Southern California, and a seminar on the potential of nuclear power to develop cheap energy and supply desalination projects along California’s coast.
10. Upon motion by Aleshire, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 4:32 p.m.