At its first meeting of 2017, the Pine Cove Water District Board of Directors reviewed finances and held a closed session regarding a lease for use of the Rocky Point Communication site.

At the meeting, the board looked at both the December and January financials and saw its cash balance growing.

The $203,00 balance [for December] is a little above normal,” General Manager Jerry Holldber told the board. And January’s cash grew 25 percent, totalling $258,000.

“The January amount is excellent,” he continued. This includes a one-time $20,000 payment from American Tower [for a Rocky Point lease adjustment].

For the first six months of fiscal year 2016-17, which ends June 30, PCWD’s income was 45 percent of the projected total or nearly $390,000. Expenses totaled $404,000. Reserves are sufficient to offset the deficit until the end of the fiscal year. Holldber added that the spring tax revenue would be higher and, “We’re in excellent shape.”

He also explained that January water bills were not based on actual reading of the meters. Because of the snow, staff was not able to read many meters. Only the minimum payment of $62 is being charged. Next month, a reading of use since November will be on the bill. But Holldber stressed that the tier levels will be doubled to account for two billing periods.

“We did not estimate,” Holldber told the board. “We’ll include an explanation in the next billing statement.”

December’s water usage fell 11 percent from December 2015’s usage. However, January 2017 usage was up 9 percent from January 2016.

Total 2016 usage was 31.9-million gallons, which was 188,000 gallons (0.6 percent) greater than 2015’s total of 31.7-million gallons. Most of that increase occurred between July and September.

Although the district’s static-well level still fell a foot, Holldber said the “recent moisture has not reached the well levels. Give it time and we’ll see them rise. It takes a while.”

He also announced that a recent inspection of storage tanks is completed and nothing unexpected was discovered.

“If weather permits, we’ll return to our previous procedure of draining one tank each year and doing any repairs ourselves,” he noted.

After a closed session regarding the Rocky Point property, Robert Hewitt, PCWD board president, announced that Holldber had been appointed negotiator for terms of a current lease.