Almost a month after the Fern Valley Water District (FVWD) board passed its FY 2020/21 budget — which included the up to $60,000 expenditure for a new vehicle equipped with safety lights and radio for newly appointed Assistant General Manager Jessica Priefer when out in the field — the board pushed back on the allocation.

However, during the meeting the board made suggestions such as equipping Priefer’s own personal vehicle with safety equipment and questioned how insurance would play into that plan. 

General Manager Victor Jimenez fired back, asking the board what is the price of Priefer’s life in the event an accident did occur? The item was tabled to the August board meeting so more detailed information regarding all-available options could be gathered. 

The district’s office will remain closed for the time being due to safety concerns amid the pandemic. 

With respect to the pipeline replacement project, the board voted on a payment for the remaining change order in the amount of $97,273.86. Board member Jim Rees voted against the approval of the extra work completed by El-Co Contractors, Inc., citing it was too much money. 

Jimenez gave his general manager’s report that included the repair of a small leak on Cougar Road, inspecting properties affected by the upcoming pressure change in the system and preparing to implement the new pressure regulating stations.  

Jimenez wrote in his report, “El-Co Contractors, Inc. has completed the pressure regulating stations and we will be placing them in service as soon as we complete our due diligence regarding pressure regulators and confirm and plan existing main alterations.” 

The administrative staff, which includes Priefer and Jimenez, worked on completing the FY 2019/20 year-end reports, preparing new fiscal year projects and purchases, assisting field crew and printing and mailing the 2020 Consumer Confidence Report to all customers.