The Fern Valley Water District directors re-elected James Rees as the board president for 2016. Rees joined the board in December 2009, serving in each of the positions of vice president, secretary and treasurer.

Trischa Clark and Richard Schnetzer were re-elected vice president and secretary-treasurer, respectively.

In surprising and sad notice, Charles Wix sent a letter stating he planned to resign from the board at the end of January. After notifying the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, the board will review applicants to fill Wix’s seat at the March meeting.

The fiscal year 2016-17 budget is in good shape through the first six months of the fiscal year. At the end of December, revenue was about $476,000, which was $40,000 greater than expenditures.

No issues or questions were raised during the budget review. 

Due to the recent snowfalls, staff could not read customer water meters so the November-December bills were estimates. The 9-percent decrease in water usage reported during the meeting was an estimate and could change when the meters are actually read.

“Reading the meters is normally a three-day job. With the snow, it could have been a week or more,” said General Manager Victor Jimenez, explaining why estimates were needed for this billing period.

The estimates were based on three-year histories of use and efforts were made to avoid moving customers into a higher tier until readings were made, according to Office Manager Jessica Priefer.

Jimenez did report that the rains and snow had raised the groundwater level of all of the district wells. 

“Wells are recovering nicely with moisture we’re getting,” Jimenez reported. “We did have an increase in all wells.” The largest increase was 21 feet, but he cautioned that this well may be influenced by creek flow.

But with greater creek flow, he said, turbidity (cloudiness) was being watched closely to minimize its effect on the district’s treatment facilities.