The principal news from the March 13 Pine Cove Water District meeting was the 40-percent increase in water production caused by many pipe leaks on customer property.
In other business, the board unanimously adopted its annual resolution setting the standby charges at $30 per acre, per year for each acre or portion, which has been unchanged for many years. The standby fees generate about $26,500 annually for the district.
A public hearing on the standby rates will held during the June 12 meeting.
In other financial activities, PCWD’s cash was $320,000 at the end of February. “That’s what’s good,” noted Director Lou Padula.
In early March, the district used $58,000 to pay the balance of its loan for the purchase of property along Franklin Drive. The balance was slightly less than half of the total cost. Paying the balance early will save PCWD between $4,000 and $5,000 in interest over the life of the loan, General Manager Jerry Holldber estimated.
About 20 more responses are needed to meet the minimum necessary for the income study the district commissioned this fall, he reported. There was some concern that residents who rent homes may not have gotten the questionnaire. Office Manager Becky Smith said copies are available at the office.
“If the results are similar to Idyllwild’s, we’ll save thousands [of dollars] per year just in [lower] state fees and have a better opportunity for grants or low-interest loans,” Holldber said.
February water production was almost 2.9 million gallons, about 80,000 gallons more than January, but 38 percent more than in February 2018. Holldber attributed this large increase to the number of pipeline leaks throughout the district (see accompanying story). This was the greatest February volume since 2006, when 2.7 million gallons were produced.
However, Holldber assured the board that the wells and system are working fine.
Despite the volume of rain in the past two months, Holldber advised that the groundwater level of PCWD’s monitoring well actually dropped 6 feet in February. Nevertheless, the groundwater level of several working wells did increase this month and, “It will take months for the water to work its way here. We won’t see any improvement until May,” he cautioned. “Just be patient.”
And he announced that he expects to lower the water conservation stage from 2 to 1 in April. The district entered Stage 2 in June 2018.
“There will still be an awareness of water conservation, but it is voluntary. And who knows what next year brings?” he told the Board.
Holldber also reported that he plans to replace the web cameras this spring. And several directors expressed gratitude for their availability.
Resident Robert Hewitt said, “The camera showing the highway  is so valuable to us, and we’re full-time residents.” And Director Diana Luther added, “We use [it] everyday.”