Friday, October 24, 2014 • 05:48
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VC Water Board considers import purchase, reviews budget



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From left to right, Charles Stone, Water Board Director; Robert Polito, Vice President; Gary Arant, General Manager; and Gary Broomell, President.
June 25, 2014
During the June 16 Valley Center Water Board meeting, the staff recommended the Board's authorization of a purchase order for import material required for the Charlan Road seasonal storage facility.

Dudek Engineering has been designing the wastewater reclamation facility and seasonal storage. Fifty percent of the design has now been completed. The seasonal storage will have a capacity of 48 acre-feet of storage. The earthwork will require approximately 74,000 cubic yards of imported fill.

The design geotechnical engineer reviewed the previous geotechnical survey. It was determined that further investigation would be required to confirm the suitability of the borrow site material. The material will be evaluated during construction. Only suitable material will be purchased.

Total cost of the project ranges from $200,000 to $240,000. The interim funding for the deposit was provided from project participant deposits. The import material was funded from SRF construction loan proceeds.

Also on the agenda was discussion of the South Village Wastewater Expansion Project. There was an amendment to the Kennedy/Jenks Engineering Design Contract for additional wastewater collection facilities. The additional scope of work included North Village Planning area and Orchard Run/Konyn Dairy area. This revised estimate includes up to four construction contracts consisting of 5.6 miles of LF piping and two lift stations.

South Village Facilities construction completion is scheduled for October 2014. North Village Facilities design completion is scheduled for Dec. 2014 with construction completion set for Feb. 2016.

It was recommended that Resolution 2014-19 be adopted approving Amendment Number One to the Kennedy/Jenks Consultants Design Contract for a new contract amount not to exceed $424,977.

It was reported during the meeting that the total combined 2014-15 budget of $46,255,415 is 10 percent lower than last year. This reduction reflects the lower capital outlay proposed for the Water General Fund compared to the previous year.

Water operating budget revenues are 2.9 percent higher than the current year budget. The budget includes a meter service charge increase of 5.2 percent. Property taxes of $1,938,000 remain the same as the current year estimate. Water availability charges will be $585,000.

It was addressed at the meeting that local expenses for water operations, excluding source of supply, are up 5.1 percent from the prior budget. The increase is attributed to higher maintenance, outside services, labor, and benefits. The source of supply has increased 2.5 percent from the current budget due to wholesale rate increases.

Total water costs are up 3.2 percent, whereas energy costs are down 7.8 percent. The reduction is due to operational efficiencies, pumping at off-peak rate periods, and solar. These efficiencies allow a re-investment of savings into new and continued upgrades and alternative energy sources.

Operating expenses at Moosa is $21,499 lower than the current budget due to decreased allocation of labor and benefits along with lower chemical costs. Monthly sewer service charges and standby fees for properties not connected to the system are unchanged from $98.60 per unit, to be collected by special assessment on the tax bill.

The expenses of Woods Valley Ranch of $46,937 is higher than the current budget due to a higher allocation of labor, benefits, and maintenance costs. For the South Village Expansion Project, sewer standby fees in the coming year will be utilized to establish a replacement reservoir.

Currently, personnel is comprised of 61.2 full-time positions. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, employees will pay a part of their health care costs if they are not on the Kaiser Plan.

The staff recommended approval of Resolution 2014-20 adopting the 2014-15 budget as well as approval Ordinance 2014-04 amending the Administrative Code for changes in authorized staffing levels for 2014-15 and to incorporate changes per the approved MOU with employees.

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Michael Robledo