The highlight of the Jan. 13 meeting of the directors for the Pine Cove Water District was the recognition of PCWD as a District of Distinction through the Special District Leadership Foundation.
At the initiation of Assemblyman Brian Jones and Sen. Jeff Stone, the state Legislature approved a Members Resolution 13 in October honoring PCWD, which Jesse Ramirez of Stone’s staff presented to the board last Wednesday.
PCWD earned this honor for “… its prudent fiscal practices as well as its effective operation and successful governance … the [PCWD] has proven it understands and respects the responsibilities inherent in providing essential public services in a fiscally responsible manner.”
“I am so proud of our staff and directors here at the district,” PCWD President Robert Hewitt said after the ceremony. “The work ethic, dedication to our community, going well above and beyond the minimum required and a true desire to do the best thing for all concerned.
“This award is simply one more acknowledgment of how hard everyone around here works and we truly appreciate the recognition,” he added.
During the discussion of the status of the current-year budget, Director Diana Eskew commented, “We spent 94 percent of the budget for ‘Conservation and Rebate Programs’ and that’s good. People are taking advantage of it and saving water.”
According to General Manager Jerry Holldber, of the $2,800 expended for this purpose, about $2,160 was for new appliances such as toilets and smart-water systems. The balance was to subsidize 51 rain barrels, which the district has sold.
The budget allocation for rebates was set at $3,000 and less than $200 remains. The board encouraged Holldber to shift more funds to this account to continue its support of investing in water-saving technology.
Overall, through December, revenues for fiscal year 2015-16 have totaled slightly more than $357,000 while expenditures have been $377,000. Reserves are the source of funds for the difference. As with most special districts, revenues, especially from property taxes, are greater in the second half of the fiscal year, as $47,000 in property tax revenue represents only a third of the expected total.
Many expenditures, such as insurance and audit costs, are paid in full in the first quarter rather than spread proportionally over the entire fiscal year. Also, overtime expenses are greater in the summer and early fall than the rest of the year.
In water business, Holldber reported that water production was 2.6-million gallons in December, which was 330,000 gallons more than a year ago. For the full year, PCWD produced 31.7-million gallons, which was 1.4 million or 4.3 percent less than 2014 and 255,000 gallons less than 2013.
“December production was up a few 100,000 [gallons] and sales were up because a few people didn’t shut their water off when the left the Hill,” Holldber told the board.
After the freezing weather in December, water demand was exceeding 125 gallons per minute while normal is 40 gpm and about 80 gpm in the summer.
“We had no problem meeting the demand. Our wells are great,” he noted.
The board confirmed that June 11 will be the district’s Customer Appreciation Day, commemorating 60 years as a public water district.