The Fern Valley Water District board reviewed its draft audit for fiscal year 2012-13 at last week’s meeting, noting that property tax revenue resulted in increased assets. While not officially completed nor accepted, the board discussed the draft’s conclusions, which found the 2012-13 records were “in accordance with accounting principles.”

At the end of the past fiscal year (June 30, 2013), FVWD’s assets were $7.3 million greater than its liabilities and had increased by nearly $135,000 after a $20,000 restatement of the balance at the end of 2011-12.

The increase was the result of its net operating income, including property tax revenue. Actual revenue from water sales was about $365,000 less than operating expenses, but the property tax revenue of nearly $500,000 resulted in net positive income of about $136,000.

The capital investment program focused on pipeline replacement along Fern Valley (completed this fiscal year), Encino and Howland roads.

Debt grew about $12,000 due to accrued leave balances.

During the discussion, Director Robert Krieger noted, “It troubles me there is nothing in the [audit] that we ought to have a depreciation fund. We don’t do that.” He suggested the district investigate creating a depreciation account in which to deposit reserves for future capital improvement and repair projects.

The board granted an easement to the Royal family on Upper Rim Rock. The easement will allow the construction of a deck off their house.

In water business, General Manager Steve Erler reported that the groundwater level of the wells was down slightly in October, but some well levels were 5 feet below their 2012 levels. Water production from the district wells for October still exceeded 50 percent of total water. While production for September and October was nearly 33 percent less than the July-August billing period, it was 12 percent more than the 2012 billing period.

Erler also reported that staff had discovered six non-surfacing leaks in October, but all were repaired. Most were on Upper Rim Rock Road and cumulatively the loss approached 10 gallons per minute.

“We repair them as we find them,” Erler said. “We start with the hot spots, based on past records.”

In other business, the board directed President Charlie Wix to write a letter to San Jacinto Mountain Area Water Agency President Jim Billman, a member of the Idyllwild Water District, requesting that the agency meet.

“It would be for the good of the greater community,” Krieger said.

“The water usage during fires is an important topic,” added Director Ron Korman.

All three Hill water districts — Pine Cove, IWD and FVWD — compose the SJMAWA, which is to formally dissolve on Dec. 31, 2013.