Water production is down

Despite the absence of President Robert Hewitt, the Pine Cove Water District directors had an efficient meeting June 12.
The board unanimously approved the standby assessment and the budget for fiscal year 2019-20, which starts July 1.
“Any discussion?” asked Vice President Diana Luther. In absence of any member of the public, Resolution 542 setting the standby rates at $30 per acre per year for each acre or portion was approved unanimously. These standby fees have been unchanged for many years and generate about $26,500 annually for the district.
In the new budget, total revenues are projected to be $1.05 million, about $75,000 greater than this year.
“The income is a conservative 7.7 percent increase from last year,” General Manager Jerry Holldber told the directors.
The revenue growth is primarily $55,000 more from expected water sales and a $10,000 increase from property tax revenue assigned to the district.
The estimated expenses are $1.01 million, about $60,000 more than this year. The result should be a $40,000 positive balance next June 30.
Salaries and benefits are the largest expense account. “Salaries are up 2.5 percent,” Holldber told the board.
The largest budget increase, $34,000, is for capital improvements, principally for main line replacement. Holldber plans to purchase about 3,400 feet of pipe, both 6- and 8-inch diameters.
Pipe costs have been increasing dramatically. This much pipe will be sufficient for at least two years of projects. “Better to buy pipe now than wait,” he added.
The board also reapproved its rebate program, with no changes, for next year and a new agreement with Charter Communications, which rents space at the district’s Rocky Point communications site.
In May, PCWD water production was 2.1 million gallons, nearly 25 percent less than the 2.8 million produced in May 2018. This was the lowest water production in more than 15 years.
Holldber attributed the low demand to the recent weather. “We had 4 inches of moisture in May and never that much before,” he said.
For the first five months of 2019, production was 13 million gallons, compared with 12.4 million for the same period in 2018.
The water level of the monitoring well rose 6 feet in May. Currently, the water level is 118 feet below ground level. “I wouldn’t be surprised if gets into double digits,” he said.
Also, water loss for May was 1 percent. Holldber said he and staff double checked the data and the billings to be sure that was correct.
The next PCWD Board of Directors meeting will be Aug. 14. The July board meeting has been canceled.