The district’s auditor will be at the November meeting

The pipeline replacement project for the Fern Valley Water District (FVWD) began last month. In a cozy room at the district office supplied with plenty of coffee last Friday morning, General Manager Victor Jimenez described the experience he and Office Manager Jessica Priefer had observing how El-Co Conractors, Inc. (El-Co) work on the project.
Jimenez wanted Priefer to have an understanding of how the pipeline project is carried out. “I wanted Jessica to see what was involved in the project,” Jimenez said.
“They started on Rim Rock [Road] at Fern Valley Road,” replied Jimenez when asked where the work on the project had started. Currently, they are about 500-600 feet up Dogwood Drive, according to Jimenez.
As of Oct. 11, 1,100 of the 4,000-foot pipeline had been installed.
“What they cut is a perfect trench but then as they are excavating, they get rocks that are too big, or the tooth of the bucket will catch the asphalt and it will pop up a chunk, but that will all get addressed when they do the final repair,” said Jimenez about if the trenches are specifically being cut.
Is the district saving any money on this project? When it comes to boulders, they are. Instead of El-Co transporting the boulders off the mountain, a local and Pine Cove Water District will be utilizing them, saving FVWD some money.
When the board and Jimenez were asked during the meeting why the prior pipeline had so many issues, they responded that when it was constructed more than 30 years ago, it was not done properly. The district has been having issues ever since.
The district has been putting funds aside for the project and it will cost $1,450,050.
The district reported that “El-Co Contractors, Inc. continues the pipeline replacement project with good results and better than expected rock related delays.” Large rocks have been an issue but “having the breaker has greatly reduced the down time of splitting and excavating the rocks.”
What has staff been up to?
Over the last month, field staff was flushing and servicing the districts hydrants, training a new employee, inspecting the pipeline project and repairing leaks.
Administrative staff assisted field crew, managed the pipeline project, researched total organic carbon monitors and worked on integrating a meter reading program.
The district is still on a 4/10 work-week schedule to make sure the pipeline replacement project runs smoothly, according to Jimenez.
Credit card fees
Another issue discussed during the meeting was credit card fees. The district is in the process of implementing Automated Clearing House payments. There has been some pushback from customers on the expense of paying water bills by credit card.
November meeting
The district’s auditor will be present at the November meeting. Proper oversight is the board’s main concern when it comes to the audit. The board is concerned that fresh eyes are not overseeing the district and want to articulate that to the auditor.