The Pine Cove Water District directors reviewed the district’s budget progress through the end of the first quarter (Sept 30) during their October 14 meeting.
While revenue received is about 17 percent of the estimated total of $821,000, the current level only appears low since one property tax and one water sales billing have been received.
The opposite effect appears in expenses because several items such as insurance ($16,000) and workers’ compensation ($12,000) are paid in full at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Similarly, in response to a question about the overtime and part-time salary expenses, which are percent of the estimated total, General Manager Jerry Holldber said the majority of overtime costs occur in the late summer and fall — July through September. The district needs much less overtime during winter and spring seasons.
PCWD customers consumed 2.6 million gallons of water in September, according to Holldber. “This is a little less than last year,” he told the board.
The district’s static well fell 2 feet in the past two months, but overall is doing well compared to the drought period 12 to 13 years ago, he added. For most of the other wells, the groundwater level remained unchanged, but it did increase for a few wells, he added.
“This is due to the late spring and early summer rains,” Holldber said explaining why the groundwater level of some wells had risen in October. “Water is traveling through the ground and we’re resting the wells more frequently and not over pumping.”
However he noted that the groundwater level for several wells in the Dutch Flats area had fallen. This occurred because their pumping had increased from six hours daily to about nine hours, but their groundwater levels remain adequate, he assured the board.
Overall water consumption in PCWD is 24.2 million gallons since January, which is 1.1 million gallons (or 4.5 percent) less than the same period in 2014. It is also slightly less than the usage during the first nine months of 2013. If PCWD customers continue this rate of usage, the total consumption for 2015 might be the lowest in a decade.
The leak detection and repair effort during the summer is also contributing to the reduced production, according to Holldber. The unaccounted for water usage was 9 percent in September compared to 15 percent in June and August and 14 percent in September 2014.
“Locating those leaks was worth every penny,” Holldber said.
“We getting closer to the [unaccounted] level where we were when I joined the board,” said President Robert Hewitt.
The board also concurred with Holldber’s policy of being willing to provide sandbags to Pine Cove customers in the event of an emergency created from the possible rains forecast for this fall and winter. The district may also have waddles (large tubular nettings stuffed with straw) available in an emergency.
Hewitt stressed that the situation should be an actual emergency created from the rain and not simply a weather forecast, which might not occur. Holldber agreed and emphasized that the material was purchased to protect the district’s assets and is only available after these sites are protected.
“In an emergency, we help,” said Director Lou Padula.
Before closing, the board approved a customer appreciation day on June 11, 2016 to honor the district’s sixtieth anniversary.
Also since the regularly scheduled November meeting would be Nov. 11, Veterans Day, the board has canceled that meeting; but a new date, if any, has not been set.