The Idyllwild Water District Board of Directors approved three grant applications at its Wednesday, Oct. 15, meeting. The $2 million request for a recycled water project is the greatest. The other two grant requests were for a total of $150,000 for security fencing and well rehabilitation.
The application for the recycling project has been revised because new funding is available from the state, General Manager Tom Lynch told the board. This application also allows the inclusion of costs (nearly $220,000), which have already been paid. Construction and planning costs approach $1.5 million.
The two smaller grants are being submitted through Riverside County for federal Community Development Block Grant funds. The larger one is for security fencing to surround the district’s new storage tanks — Tollgate and Golden Rod. The smaller request will enable the district to rehabilitate four wells near Foster Lake. If approved, these grants provide 100 percent of the cost of the project; therefore, IWD will not have to provide any matching funds, according to Lynch.
He indicated that the success of the application may be known in spring 2015 and the funds available later in the summer of 2015.
In other water business, Lynch presented to the board a request to extend IWD’s sewer service to the end of Country Club Road. After some discussion, Sewer Manager Steve Kunkle referred the board to an “Infiltration and Inflow” report, several years old, which advised against any further expansion of the sewer district.
The board asked Lynch to further research the capacity of the sewer plant and the legal precedent of expanding the service. This request for sewer service will be reviewed at IWD’s Nov. 19 meeting, the board decided.
Also, the board heard a presentation about the new generation of water meters, iPERL, from Ed Funk, an engineer at Aquametric Inc, the district’s water meter supplier. He stressed that the Sensus meters rarely fail and independent verification is a great test. And Lynch told the board that a meter in question was tested and its accuracy was measured at 99.7 percent.
In financial business, the board received and accepted its 2013-14 audit. Scott Manno of Rogers, Anderson, Malody and Scott, the accounting firm, told the board the audit of IWD’s financial condition earned the firm’s “highest level of assurance.”
For the fiscal year, IWD’s total revenue was almost $1.93 million and expenses, which include nearly $240,000 for depreciation, were $1.95 million. Expenses were also up because the district had a contract with former General Manager Terry Lyons for several months after Lynch started. IWD invested more than $660,000 in construction during 2013-14.
The district ended the year with more than $2.9 million in cash and investment reserves, according to the audit.
For this fiscal year, 2014-15, Chief Finance Officer Hosny Shouman reported that IWD’s water program has a net income of $45,000 for the first three months of the year, while the sewer program has a $3,500 loss.
Water consumption for September was almost 9 million gallons, which is 316,000 gallons more than produced in September 2013 and 1.2 million more than the August production.
Since January, IWD’s 2014 water production has decreased about 7.5 percent from the same period in 2013.
“We’re still in Stage 2, but monitoring the wells very carefully,” Lynch said. Also, Lynch reported that he has had the horizontal wells above Foster Lake evaluated.
“At least seven will undergoing further testing,” he said. If a common pipeline serving the wells can be repaired or installed, Lynch estimated these wells could add another 13 to 15 gallons per minute to FVWD’s water supply.