With General Manager Leo Havener absent, the Idyllwild Water District (IWD) directors’ monthly meeting finished up in about a half-hour Wednesday, July 20.
A special meeting had been called for Tuesday, July 12, to discuss the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) progress but was canceled because of illnesses.
Instead, Director Peter Szabadi, at the July 20 meeting, told the other four directors that progress on replacing the WWTP was not sufficient and that’s why the special meeting that was canceled was called.
In Havener’s report, he wrote that the map for the proposed WWTP project was received and that property negotiations with Idyllwild Arts Foundation (IAF) is the next step. Last year, he told the board that IAF is cooperating on selling some of its property to the district to expand the facility.
Szabadi said Havener is working on remedying the WWTP progress issues. In the meantime, he asked each director to write down questions they would like answered about the WWTP progress. President Dr. Charles Schelly named some of his questions, including, “Why did the costs go up?”
The directors discussed making every employee at-will, meaning they can be fired at the will of a supervisor. However, Szabadi said some employees had been hired under contracts. “We can’t change that on certain employees,” he said.
Schelly asked that at each meeting, the board review a district policy “to keep us abreast of what our policies are.”
In response to a question from the audience, Chief Financial Officer Hosny Shouman said IWD has one of the cheapest connection fees on the Hill.
The connection fee for a 1-inch meter is $6,954. When asked later if this includes the installation fee and capitalization charge, Shouman wrote, “It is including the capital asset cost not the installation fee. The installation fee varies. The customer makes a deposit for the installation fee for $2,000 and it depends on how big or the small of the job is for installation fee.”
In comparison, Pine Cove Water District charges $14,042 for a 1-inch meter connection and installation is not included. Basic installation starts at $740.
Fern Valley Water District charges $5,790 for a 1-inch meter plus $790 for installation and $5,000 for capitalization.
All the districts also offer ¾-inch meters, as well as meters above 1 inch.