Tim Lange, candidate for the Pine Cove Water board, was appointed to fill the remaining term of former President Mike Esnard, who resigned in June.

PCWD President Robert Hewitt told his colleagues that Lange was the only person to submit a letter of interest for the seat. The term ends the first week of December and three people — Director Diana Eskew, Sharon Kaffen and Lange — are the candidates for that seat and one other. The second seat is Eskew’s, who was appointed in 2013 to finish the term of Esnard’s predecessor, Tom McCullough, who died.

“Please consider me for appointment to the vacant position on your board of directors,” was the extent of Lange’s application. His selection was unanimous.

After Lange told the directors that he would “… fully support the board if selected,“Pine Cove resident and Realtor Marge Muir stood and reminded Lange that “I hope you support the community.” She encouraged him to ask questions during meetings and to avoid simple “rubber stamping” of recommendations and motions.

After his selection, Lange said in an email, about his new position, “There is a full-spectrum of views regarding the services of the district. The level of mistrust and critical public input is both a challenge and a very interesting learning experience.”

The board reviewed its closing financial statement for fiscal year 2014-15. Revenues were $790,000, slightly more than the July 2014 projection of $775,000. While property tax revenue was slightly lower, increases in water sales and other income explained the overall better result.

Expenditures were $794,000, about 1 percent less than projected. While maintenance expenses and legal costs were above estimates, the cost of salaries and benefits were 6 percent ($27,500) below the original estimate. These savings were the result of two staff vacancies for more than half the fiscal year. New staff has been hired to fill these positions.

In water business, General Manager Jerry Holldber said the June water production was about 440,000 gallons less than the June 2014 production. He told the board, “I want to emphasize that people are doing an excellent job conserving water.”

However, during the first six months of the year, PCWD production was about 50,000 gallons or 0.33 percent more than the first half of 2014.

The groundwater level of the district’s static well remained at 128 feet below the surface. “It’s not dropping,” Holldber stressed, and felt the winter precipitation and May’s rains were finally percolating deep into the ground.

Also, using a leak detection firm was successful, he said. In three days, the company found several leaks, including one large one. Holldber plans two more days of detection and was optimistic that repairing these leaks and any new ones will make a difference with the recent increase in reported water losses.

“This is the first time we’ve had the whole system reviewed,” he said. “This might be something we’ll want to do every five years going forward.”

When asked whether the result of the leak-detection project changed his mind about the need to replace water meters in the future, Holldber replied that many old meters in the district still need to be replaced.

During winter and spring, his crew spent several days searching for leaks; however, the contractor’s tools employed were much more efficient and effective in identifying leaks that the staff were unable to detect.