A county reimbursement for fire hydrants, a federal grant for road repair and water leakage concerns were main topics at the Pine Cove Water District (PCWD) Board of Directors meeting Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Through County Service Area 38 Advisory Committee’s recommendation, the Riverside County Economic Development Agency has reimbursed PCWD for five of 10 new fire hydrants costing nearly $35,000. According to PCWD General Manager Jerry Holldber, who also chairs the CSA 38 Advisory Committee that includes two PCWD directors, a second EDA reimbursement for the other five new hydrants is anticipated.
Holldber told the board that the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s $77,000 grant to reimburse PCWD’s labor costs to repair 10 Pine Cove roads following damages from the 2019 Valentine’s Day floods was approved. “Most of our [water] lines are in roadways,” said Holldber.
FEMA is expected to reimburse another $18,500 to repair Mountain View Drive. He said it was the first time in his knowledge (34 years as general manager) that PCWD has been reimbursed such a large amount of money.
Income at the end of the second quarter (December 2019) was 51% of budget. Holldber also added positive news that property taxes and most of the lease payments from the Rocky Point tower come to PCWD in the second half of the fiscal year, which began July 1.
December and January expenses increased mainly because of vehicle maintenance and were over budget for the year at the end of the second quarter by 9%. Original tires on one of the vehicles rotted and required replacement; a broken crosslink on the flatbed required repairs, such as replacing brake lines and the emergency brake; fixing the old tractor; and snow chains were purchased. “ … equipment is old; it needs a little TLC,” Holldber said.
Static Well #10 hasn’t dropped in a couple of months, and is still at 99 feet, compared to 127 feet a year ago. Holldber is pleased with how all the wells are producing.
“It takes months [and] months for our wells to get affected by a lot of snowpack, rain, so forth,” he said. “Well, all the wells this January are still up 40 to 50 feet per well.” For example, he said despite the heavy precipitation last winter, the wells didn’t respond until May and then every month they continued rising. “It’s overwhelming,” he added.
December 2019’s consumer use was just over 2,500,000 gallons compared to December 2018 at more than 2,800,000 and December 2017 at just under 2,500,000 gallons.
Loss of water is currently at 13%, more than Holldber likes to see. The crew has identified two wet spots.
“It’s not a lot that I don’t really want to go tearing up the roads looking for something …” Holldber said. “We’re not sure but we think they’re springs.” He thinks PCWD may need to call in American Leak Detection. “I don’t want to do that, obviously, because of the cost, but I might have to.”
Both leaks are on roads that could cause subsurface damage, Holldber said. “… that might have an effect on the 13%, is my point,” he told the board.
One customer had a 270,000-gallon leak on their full-time residential property but this was repaired before the 13% report.
Inspections of and long-term plans for storage tanks, main lines, smart meters and production wells are being planned, Holldber said at the end of his operations report.
President Robert Hewitt and Vice President Diana Luther were re-elected to their officer positions. Vicki Jakubac replaced Lou Padula (who was absent on vacation) as secretary as Luther had said he expressed disinterest in continuing in the position.
Directors evaluated Holldber’s performance in a closed session following the regular session. Hewitt said the four directors — Hewitt, Luther, Jakubac and Rose Venard — unanimously approved his performance.