Pine Cove Water District (PCWD) Board of Directors met in its last hybrid meeting Wednesday, May 11, before returning to its next scheduled meeting at the office at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 8.
The board unanimously approved both meeting in person and the next meeting.
Two important issues the board discussed were progress on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan/grant application to make major repairs and improvements to district facilities and progress the helopod at Dutch Flats to aid wildland firefighters.
PCWD Interim General Manager Jeremy Potter said Davey Resource Group has completed the last phase of the USDA application process, an environmental report. “We are expected to get the final draft soon,” said Potter. PCWD paid half of the $24,000 for the report in April.
The helopod dip tank is a 7,000-gallon water tank from which helicopters dip water to dump on wildfires and which Riverside County is funding. Potter’s operation report said it is “still expected to arrive at the end of June or early July.”
Potter met with Riverside County Deputy Chief Robert Fish recently who said the helopod does not require a concrete slab but a gravel bed would be sufficient and less expensive.
Asked how much this would cost, Potter later said, “This project is still ongoing and total cost is not figured yet. Once the project is completed I will be submitting a request for reimbursement to CSA [County Service Area] 38 for the materials and labor to extend the main line, set a designated hydrant, and build the pad.”
Potter also had other good news that the static well #10 has risen nearly 2 feet and that production (consumption and leaks) was down from last year by nearly 300,000 gallons. He told the board, “We’re pumping a minimum out of our wells right now …” He was optimistic but cautious as he warned that “… it isn’t summer yet.”
He said he is, however, monitoring the water to determine if the district an come out of Stage 2 water restrictions.
In reviewing the draft budget, Director Lou Padula questioned the high increase of insurance — from $21,000 budgeted for fiscal year 2021-2022 to $48,000 for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
The insurance is for property and Potter said, “We’re lucky to even get that insurance.”
PCWD has designated an area outside the office as a kiosk for public information regarding the district.
Two directors will be up for reelection this November — President Robert Hewitt and Lou Padula.