At Pine Cove Water District (PCWD) Wednesday, Aug. 10, directors received an update on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant and loan process, and also decided not to accept a revised agreement between Riverside County Fire and PCWD for purchasing fuel.
PCWD paid the second half of an environmental report to Davey Resource Group of $12,920 for the USDA grant and loan to make major repairs and improvements to district facilities. The district has been going through hoops with USDA for some time trying to satisfy requirements, but USDA keeps returning with more questions, said General Manager Jeremy Potter. He and Office Manager Becky Smith said they suspect he is inexperienced and undergoing a “learning curve.”
Directors discussed an amendment to the cooperative agreement between PCWD and Riverside County whereas PCWD can buy fuel from county tanks for its vehicles at the same price as the county pays. The amendment, however, included prorated delivery charges that Smith said were $300.
Vice President De Luther pointed out that the tanks are on PCWD property. “Do we charge them rent? That’s also our building. We’re not charging them for that.”
“Why would we buy from you when we can buy [fuel] down the street [at Pine Cove Market]?” Smith emphasized.
The board unanimously voted to reject the agreement 4-0 with President Robert Hewitt absent.
Potter told the board four wells exceeded the maximum contaminant level for lead so he turned them off. “We have flushed and resampled the wells and submitted [the samples] to Babcock Labs,” he wrote in his operations report. “When we receive the results, we will reimplement them back into service.”
“How does that happen?” asked Luther.
Potter speculated that a chunk of sediment could have broken loose or it could be old copper piping.
He said the good news is that PCWD operated fine without the wells.
“So, the levels weren’t real, real high, they were just above standard?” asked Director Rose Venard. “Right,” Potter said.
Potter also reported that he is checking with state officials on whether to go back to Stage 1 because static well #10 is at 117.8 feet, up almost a foot, and the well pumps are running at a minimum. “We’re not buying water,” he said, “and customers are cautious.”
Smith lamented that liability insurance has gone up $10,000 annually and PCWD’s insurance agent warned her that it probably will rise again next year due to fire danger. She said she is researching alternatives, such as whether the California FAIR Plan covers businesses.
The HeloPod stationary dip tank was expected to arrive in June or July but is now expected mid-August. The 7,000-gallon capacity tank will be set up on a gravel bed in Dutch Flats from which firefighting helicopters dip water. Funds are coming primarily from the county. The gravel bed cost $19,000 but the county is reimbursing about $11,000 from County Service Area 38 funds, said Potter. A smaller, portable HeloPod tank already is on the Hill.