Source: Valley Roadrunner

VC Water Board considers fiscal year charges, commends water main repair

Staff Writer

June 12, 2014

The June 2 Valley Center Municipal Water District Board of Directors meeting began with local developer Bob Soukup requesting $500,000 funds be included in the proposed fiscal year 2014-2015 budget to cover the District’s portion of a pipeline relocation and upgrade on his proposed Sea Bright Development west of Lilac Road along Rodrigues Road. Staff responded that it was unnecessary to include the funds that would be provided by the development agreement scheduled to be signed soon, obligating the District for its share of the funds. Furthermore, the Board was unable to take action because the item was not on the agenda. A recommendation on how to respond to the request would be provided at the next meeting.

The public hearing on the proposed water availability charge for FY 2014-15 was on the agenda for discussion. The District levees a standby/availability fee of $10 on each parcel of land smaller than an acre. This fee generates $585,000 in revenue used for capital improvements. A notice is published and letters are sent to property owners where ownership has changed hands since the fee was assessed in 2013. There were no protests, either written or verbal, of the fee.

The adoption of the Woods Valley annual sewer service charge was discussed during the public hearing. The district levees a wastewater service fee of $98.50 per month on the homes and the golf course served by the Woods Valley Ranch wastewater reclamation plant. The fee collected on the tax bill pays for the collection, treatment, and disposal by water recycling. A portion of the fund is established for the eventual replacement of the facility.

Also considered on the agenda was the resolution setting the FY 2014-15 fixed charge special assessments for district 96-1 and unpaid charges for water and other services. An assessment district was formed in 1996 to generate the required capital funds for improvements to the lower Moosa Canyon wastewater reclamation plant of the Treasures Development near Castle Creek Golf Course. Each year the District levees an assessment on each home to pay the outstanding debt plus interest.

Assessments are levees on the tax role. Funds collected by the San Diego tax assessor are turned over to the District, which uses the funds to pay the bonds holders. The debt was for 20 years with the first levee effective in 1997. The bonds will be paid in 2017 and the assessments will cease.

The request to amend Administrative Code Article 160.4 increasing water meter capacity charges resulted in the approach adopted by the Board in which new development will buy in to the water system paying the incremental cost of building out the system and will pay its share of specific improvements. With this new approach, the funds collected from new development can be used to preserve existing capacity to offset the replacement of existing pipelines.

The request for approval of Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) EIR/EIS was considered during the meeting. The letter of comment supported the selection of the BDCP preferred alternative as the environmentally superior alternative. The superior alternative was identified as the 42-mile long 9,000 cubic foot- per- second Twin Tower Facility under the delta on the Sacramento River to the Tracy Fore Bay, location of the State Water Project and Federal Water Project export pumps.

The Board also received a special presentation by an attorney from Best, Best, and Kreiger on groundwater overdraft conditions statewide exacerbated by the current drought. A legislative proposal to increase state and local regulatory powers was discussed.

The District’s federal relations lobbyist gave a report on her efforts to secure capital funds for various reclamation projects and efforts to secure funding from the Federal Bureau of Reclamation for growers to assist them in efficient irrigation upgrades on their farms She expressed optimism in forthcoming grants for on-farm improvements and $150,000 for a planning grant application entitled the Inland North County Water Recycling Feasibility.

The final presentation included a report given on last week’s 42” water main break and repair overseen by General Manager Gary Arant. Recognition was given to district staff in all operating departments instrumental in restoring the main water line to service. Board applause was given to the district field operations department members of construction and maintenance.