The Pine Cove Water District board last week unanimously approved several resolutions and actions dealing with financial matters.
Approved were the traditional $30 stand-by fee, the 2015-16 budget, a rebate program and authority to lease space at PCWD’s Rocky Point communications facility to American Medical Response. Each of these was approved unanimously.
During the public hearing for the stand-by fee, local Realtor and Pine Cove resident Marge Muir asked how an assessment on a parcel might be removed.
General Manager Jerry Holldber replied that action has occurred in the past and he now is investigating the situation for another parcel. He advised Muir to have the property owner contact him to discuss the situation.
Revenues and expenses for the adopted 2015-16 budget will total $821,000, the same as the draft budget reviewed at the May meeting. The only major change was including $4,000 as the cost of the election of two directors in August.
Muir questioned the $5,000 increase for retirement payments to CAL PERS, to which the district’s legal counsel, Brad Neufeld, responded, “Many, many districts around the state are seeing their PERS costs increasing.”
American Medical Response, which will begin providing ambulance service to Pine Cove on July 1, has requested space at the Rocky Point communication site. AMR will install a repeater and generator at the site, according to Holldber. The lease will cost AMR $4,800 annually. After five years and after 10 years, it will increase by $1,200.
To encourage water conservation, PCWD has had a rebate program for several years. At this meeting, the board adopted a formal policy listing conservation actions customers might take, for which the district will share the cost. For example, for installing a low-flow toilet (1.6 gallons or less per flush), PCWD will pay half the purchase price up to $100. For installing a high-efficiency front-load washing machine, the customer can receive $50. Several other water conservation actions are eligible for rebates; however, the policy limits the maximum rebates per property to $250 per fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
In water actions, the board adopted a resolution limiting outdoor irrigation to two days per week. The State Water Resources Control Board’s water emergency regulations for small districts, offering the choice of this action or reducing total potable water use 25 percent compared to 2013.
When asked how the district might enforce this resolution, Director Lou Padula replied, “See something, say something.” Board President Mike Esnard agreed that it depends on “self-enforcement.”
Holldber stressed that the district was not hiring water police and would rely on neighbors. “But the people are really conscious about water usage in the community of Pine Cove,” he said.
During May, possibly because of the rainfall, water production declined nearly 17 percent, or 450,000 gallons, compared to the May 2014 production of 2.7 million gallons. However, for the five months since January, total production in 2015 is nearly half a million gallons more than in 2014.
One of the possibilities, suggested Holldber, is “the discouraging increase in water losses.” Consequently, he plans to hire a leak-detection company to investigate a portion of the distribution system. The unaccounted-for water use in May increased to 15 percent of total production compared to 14 percent in April.