The current Fern Valley Water District board officers — President Robert Krieger, Vice President James Rees and Secretary Trisha Clark — were re-elected for a second one-year term at last Friday’s meeting.
In other business, the board reviewed the mid-year financial report. General Manager Steve Erler reported that all expenses seemed on target since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1. The current year’s (2014-15) capital projects — demolition of reservoir 5 and the tank farm manifold — have been completed. The total cost, $118,000, was nearly $17,000 less than the budgeted amounts.
Through Dec. 31, FVWD’s revenues have been $476,000, about 43 percent of the projected total for the fiscal year, and expenses, including the capital projects, have been $438,000, which is about half of the projected total.
The expenses include some of the costs for the rate review study, which Albert Webb and Associates is preparing for the district. Erler indicated that a draft may be available for the February board meeting. Webb has been working on the analysis for several months and it will be reviewed later this spring, when the board considers any changes to its current rate structure.
In water business, FVWD consumption increased 4.2 percent to 4.6 million gallons during the November and December period compared to 4.4 million gallons in 2013. However, total customer consumption (34.3 million gallons) in 2014 was 3.2 million gallons less than in 2013.
2014 is the third consecutive year of less consumption. FVWD customers have reduced their usage 5.7 million gallons or 14 percent since 2011.
Erler reported that district staff found and repaired seven leaks this month following the deep freeze just prior to New Year’s Day. Six were non-surfacing leaks and one was in the district’s mainline, according to Erler.
“Customers are not shutting off their valves completely,” stated Jessica Priefer, office manager. “They’re in a hurry to leave. It’s difficult to explain [the charge to their bill] when they made an attempt to shut off the water.”
“We’re comfortable with the current water conditions,“ Erler said. “All wells are off and we’re pulling down stored water and some creek flow.” He also reported that well levels rose in the past month, although they remained lower than December 2013.
“The largest increase is in Well No. 2, an increase of 6 feet,” he reported.
After the election of officers, Krieger appointed members to the district’s standing committees (such as budget, planning and personnel) and ad hoc committees (such as policy manual and rates and revenue).
Directors Clark and Richard Schnetzer will make up two new board committees. Krieger had proposed establishing a public information committee this year. Then Schnetzer suggested an information technology committee might be useful for the board, too. This committee will assess the district’s current computer hardware and software in order to make recommendations for the future capability.