VALLEY CENTER WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, April 6, 2009
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 Director Aleshire at 2:00 P.M.
Board members present were: Directors Aleshire, Stone and Haskell. Directors Broomell and Polito were absent. Staff members present were: General Manager Arant, General Counsel Cowett, District Engineer Grabbe, Director of Operations Hoyle, Director of Finance Jeffrey, Board Secretary Stetson, Manager of IT Pilve, Manager of Accounting Pugh and Consumer Services Supervisor Tilley. No spectators were present.
1. Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held March 16, 2009
• Ratification of Purchase Order No. 17725 to Terex Utilities in the amount of $60,324.83 for the purchase of a bucket truck
• Ratification of Purchase Order No. 17703 to EPOCH in the amount of $42,520.64 for SCADA equipment
• Audit demand check numbers 121779 through 121968
• Treasurer’s Report and Financial Statement for the period ended February 28, 2009
• Quarterly report of employees’ expense reimbursements for the quarter ended March 31, 2009
2. Protest of Bill – The Timothy Circle, Inc.:
Director of Finance Jeffrey reported that Mr. Fred Gillett of The Timothy Circle, Inc. has protested his water bill for the period of January 15 to February 17, 2009 in the amount of $2,065.32 for a 42 acre grove. Mr. Gillette contends that the meter read was inaccurate as the property’s irrigation system was not activated during this billing cycle. Staff had denied Mr. Gillett’s protest of the bill following testing of the meter for accuracy (results were in the range of 98%-99% accurate), the unseasonably warm weather in January in which the January rainfall totaled only 0.20 inches, and there was comparable historical usage during this time frame. It was noted that the area received 5.25 inches of rain, but it commenced during the latter part of the billing cycle in question.
Mr. Gillett’s appeal of staff’s decision to the Board of Directors questions the meter testing process and the weather conditions reported by staff. Staff noted that Mr. Gillett was informed of today’s hearing to consider his appeal of The Timothy Circle, Inc’s. water bill, though he was not present. Staff explained that the meter was tested by a Water Distribution Operator who is a certified tester. It was also explained that Mr. Gillette’s weather history report is from a site in Carlsbad though the rainfall data is similar to that reported from the District’s weather station; i.e. minimal rainfall during the January 15-February 17 read cycle with the appreciable rainfall commencing on February 5th near the end of the billing cycle. Director Haskell noted that, in his experience, Bermad valves, which The Timothy Circle, Inc. utilizes as indicated in Mr. Gillett’s letter, have a tendency to malfunction over time as the plastic parts wear resulting in the valve not shutting off as programmed.
Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the Board denied Mr. Gillette’s protest (The Timothy Circle, Inc.) of its water bill from January 15 to February 17, 2009 in the amount of $2,065.32.
3. Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation Facility Expansion Project:
General Manager Arant explained that the proponents of the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation Facility expansion project (Village Redevelopment) have requested that the Board’s consideration of granting concept approval to the expansion project be deferred to a subsequent meeting as they are not able to be in attendance and are continuing to evaluate their participation.
District Engineer Grabbe provided an overview of provisions of agreement with Village Redevelopment pursuant to the proposed expansion project, as summarized below:
Participation by other Property Owners – Village Redevelopment will design and construct facilities to include service for other parcels wishing to participate in the expansion project that are within the South Village wastewater service area.
Assessment District formation – Participation by other property owners in the expansion project will continue to be solicited and pursuing the formation of an assessment district to finance the project will be delayed until completion of the design phase at which time there would be a more accurate estimate of costs. If the property owners elect to pursue formation of an assessment district, they will execute an acknowledgement of the risks involved in the assessment district process. Village Redevelopment does not intend to request inclusion in an assessment district at this time. Also, the District will not purchase the bonds of an assessment district formed for the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation Facility expansion project. The proponents of the expansion project may, however, seek a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan which is administered by the State Water Resources Control Board. Due to the limited availability of the State Revolving Funds and that the project is a private development that is not in a disadvantaged community or will correct a problem such as violation of a waste discharge permit, the probability of successfully securing a loan through the State Revolving Fund was questioned. If the proponents are successful in obtaining an SRF loan, they may need to participate in the assessment district in order to comply with the District’s spending limitation ordinance.
District Financial Participation - The District has agreed to secure another seasonal storage expansion site in addition to the 4.0 acre site for seasonal storage to be secured by the proponents of the expansion project. In addition, the District will prepare the Waste Discharge Report and process the Waste Discharge Permit modification. Also, the District will prepare a golf course water balance evaluation to determine how much water can go on the golf course and what capacity the seasonal storage ponds should be.
Standby Fee – A standby fee that funds the operation of the wastewater plant facility was recommended to be established during construction at 50% of the approved annual service charge, and said fee would remain at 50% of the service charge until connection to the facility.
Design Requirements – Expansion will be designed in accordance with the Master Plan prepared for the project with facilities such as the recycled water transmission main to the subdivision, flow equalization facilities and any excess required seasonal storage volume deferred until a later phase to reduce initial costs.
4. Water Supply Status Update:
General Manager Arant provided the Board with an update on the water supply status and anticipated actions by Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority and actions to implement the District’s Water Supply Shortage Response Program.
On April 14th, Metropolitan Water District is expected to make a formal call for implementation of its water allocation plan. A call for a Level 2 with a 10% reduction in deliveries is anticipated. This action will be followed by the San Diego County Water Authority’s declaration at its April 23rd Board meeting of the allocation level to its member agencies factoring in its regional supplies and other resource projects. Special Agricultural Water Rate customers will be subject to the water usage reduction as declared by the Metropolitan Water District and full-price customers will need to reduce water consumption by the allocation level set by the San Diego County Water Authority which will be Met’s reduction attenuated by regional supplies.
At the District’s May 4th meeting, the Board will consider taking formal action to declare a Level 2 water supply condition within its Water Supply Shortage Response Program and implement the mandatory water use provisions. Implementation of a voluntary reduction level could also be considered if the San Diego County Water Authority’s reduction level to its member agencies for full-price customers is less than 10 percent. Water supply reduction plans with specific reduction levels for full price (residential and commercial) and Special Agricultural Water Rate customers would become effective July 1, 2009. Following the action at the May 4th meeting to implement the mandatory water use provisions and implementation of the water supply reduction plans, information will be mailed to affected customers on the use restrictions and customer specific allocations. Customer informational meetings will be held through mid-June.
Components of the District’s implementation program were reviewed as outlined below:
Communication to customers will be through: bill messages/inserts, newspaper, newsletters, direct mailings, web page updates, signs in public places and information cards for employees to distribute. Compliance with water use restrictions as set forth in Article 230 of the District’s Administrative Code will be enforced through measures including a phone hot line/E-mail to receive information on water violations, a violation tracking and notification process and staff training on customer contact.
Support for the conservation components will be through programs such as the regional rebates and landscape audits and providing local technical assistance. Water demand offset program will be developed establishing conservation offsets and local supply development offsets.
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
5. Review of Miscellaneous Informational Items:
• At the March 26th San Diego County Water Authority Board meeting, a water transfer agreement with Placer County Water Agency was approved.
• An agreement was executed with Bayersiche Landesbank for the Authority’s Liquidity Agreement for the Series 1 commercial paper notes at a cost of $780,000, which is a substantial increase and reflects the current volatility of the bond market.
• Solar Project at the District’s Lake Turner site is nearly complete pending finalizing the punch list items.
• A hearing will be held during the April 8th Regional Water Quality Control Board’s meeting on the permit for the Carlsbad-Poseidon Desalination Plant, which is the last regulatory action needed for the project. General Manager Arant stated he will attend the hearing.
• A public workshop for governmental agencies and public hearing will be held on April 8th at the Harrah’s Rincon Casino regarding San Diego Gas & Electric’s application with the CPUC for de-energization procedures in high fire-risk areas under certain weather conditions. Sophie Akins of Best, Best & Krieger will give testimony at the hearing for those agencies that have filed suit to oppose the application and General Manager Arant will testify at the public hearing.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ AGENDA
6. Board of Directors’ Per Diem:
Per Board direction, the Board of Directors’ per diem is reviewed annually for consideration of modification. The Board may increase its per diem by 5% for each calendar year since the date of the last adjustment, which was February 1993. Therefore, the Board could increase its current $100 per diem to a maximum of $218.31 per day of Board business.
Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the Board elected to retain its current $100.00 per diem compensation.
7. A Closed Session was called by Director Aleshire at 3:25 p.m. pursuant to:
• Government Code §54956.9(b)&(c) – Conference with Legal Counsel,
Number of potential cases: 4
8. The Regular Board meeting was reconvened at 3:30 p.m. No action was reported.
9. The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m. by Director Aleshire.