At the Thursday, Oct. 14 Pine Cove Water District Board of Directors meeting, General Manager Jerry Holldber announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2021.
“It’s time, I’m tired and I’m ready to retire,” he told the board. Holldber became acting general manager of the district in May 1986 and was appointed general manager in July 1986, meaning he has been in the position for more than 35 years.
He told the board that he will recommend 17-year employee Jeremy Potter as interim general manager effective Jan. 1 to try the job to see if it’s a good fit.
“I’ll stick around,” Holldber told the board, offering to help Potter if he has any issues.
“There’s a lot to be thanking you for,” said President Robert Hewitt. Other directors also offered their thanks to Holldber.
With teary eyes, Holldber said adamantly, “I don’t want a party; I don’t want anything.”
Before his announcement, the board heard from Brianna Schultz of Rogers, Anderson, Malody and Scott on the 2020-21 fiscal year audit. She gave the district an “unmodified opinion, the highest level of assurance that we provide … You are looking fairly healthy,” she said.
Holldber noted in the financial report that PCWD had sold a meter and received payment on another, bringing in $12,400.
PCWD is still in Stage 1 and Holldber said he is remaining there. He said some “wells are dropping a little bit but are holding up pretty good considering. Demand is getting less all the time … I don’t see the need to go to Stage 2. Maybe late winter or early spring” it can be revisited. He also commended the customers again for conservation efforts.
Customers used close to 3.5 million gallons of water in September 2021 compared to just over 3.9 million in September 2020.
Holldber also said the new pumpkin for the Foster Lake area that is used by helicopters for firefighting water is coming. “We’re going to dedicate a hydrant just for this tank,” he said. “I hope it’s a waste of money and we never have to use it.”
The north part of Camp Emerson in Idyllwild, about 40 acres, is in PCWD. The camp is planning a big project there with restrooms, showers and other facilities for summer use, said Holldber.
Holldber wrote a letter dated Sept. 22 to the California Inland Empire Council Executive Board who oversees the Boy Scout camp in response to their vice president’s request for water service. In it he said the nearest district “facility from which water service could be provided is a 6-inch fire service extended into Buckhorn [Camp] from a District pipeline adjacent to [Highway] 243.”
He said that a straight-line route is not possible because of a ridge and trees to work around. And he estimates it will take 2,500 linear feet of pipeline and will require an easement from Buckhorn Camp.
The cost estimate, with 15% contingencies, is $565,545.
He told the board he believes Buckhorn Camp will provide the easement because the pipeline will also benefit that camp. But to annex Camp Emerson into PCWD would take six months to a year for the Local Area Formation Commission process, he told the board.
In lighter news, PCWD has installed another web cam at Buckhorn Camp that faces the highway and can be accessed at www.pcwd.org.
Also, PCWD has had two environmental projects going throughout the year. One involves Monarch butterflies. (See photos on page B05.)
Because the Western bluebird is a threatened species, PCWD staff have been building birdhouses and placing them all over Pine Cove. Holldber said they have built 500 to 700 over the years. They will give away birdhouses to any PCWD customers and they are welcome to two or three. “Everybody needs a home,” he added.