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East Quincy Service District expenditures questioned

 Laura Beaton
Staff Writer
10/17/2012

  An East Quincy Services District customer presented a letter to the board expressing her dissatisfaction with how EQSD is spending its customer’s money.

  Kathy Felker read and distributed a letter, during the board’s Tuesday, Oct. 9 meeting, itemizing $287.91 in expenditures for items such as candy, soda, popsicles and sunblock.

  Felker said it was not the ratepayers’ duty to pay for personal snack items of district employees.

  “It makes me wonder what other items are being funded by the public,” she added.

  Felker also took exception to EQSD expenditures not allocated in the budget.

  She said the budget provided zero dollars for travel expenses, yet $381.85 had already been paid for travel expenses for general manager David Edwards.

  Felker wanted to know who authorized Edwards’ trips. “Why, basically, are we shining on the budget?” she asked.

  Felker asked that her letter and concerns be put on next month’s agenda and that the general manager investigate and bring a recommendation to the board and public.

 

Wastewater facility update

  There was much discussion regarding Edwards’ trips to other service districts to view their wastewater facilities.

  Edwards revealed plans to go to Vancouver, B.C., to view a sewerage plant similar to one for which he would like to send out a request for proposals.

  That comment brought protestation from audience members who suggested Edwards was not following the board’s decision last month to stick with engineer Dan Bastian’s step-by-step plan and proposal for construction of a new wastewater facility for American Valley.

  David Keller, executive director of Plumas County Community Development Commission, told the board that the joint grant proposal from EQSD and the Quincy Community Services District had been approved.

  The $10,000 would fund an income study on American Valley residents to determine whether the two districts are eligible to apply for further grants of up to $100,000 for an in-depth feasibility study on the proposed wastewater project.

  However, when asked for a timeline, Keller said it was unlikely that the $10,000 would be received from the state before winter.

  He added that before the grant could be accepted, the Plumas County Board of Supervisors wanted to be certain that the two service districts were fully invested in a collaborative and cooperative effort.

  This led to director Mike Green making a motion to go forward in a good-faith effort with the Quincy district to look for a solution to American Valley’s wastewater needs.

  The motion was passed unanimously.

  Keller said once the grant money was received, his staff would conduct the income survey in such a manner as to gather as much relevant data as possible on the valley’s residents.

  This information could be useful for future grants and multiuse projects in the county.

  If the income data meets guidelines, the next grant may be applied for in 2014, Keller said, because new state regulations require recipients to sit out a year after a grant award.

 

Other news

  The board approved amendments to the district’s bylaws reflecting changes in personnel and regulations.

  The district agreed to move forward with an online bill-paying option for their customers beginning with the new year.

  The board approved a cap of $4,000 for the purchase of a vehicle for general manager Edwards’ use. A falling tree destroyed the former general manager’s vehicle.

  The board directed Edwards to come to them with expenditure proposals for approval before taking action.

  Last month’s water flows showed a mere 0.001 percent variance, indicating virtually no leaks. Two major leaks have been found and repaired in the past couple of months.

  The board approved Edwards’ appointment to the board of directors for the California Special District Association.

  The organization provides legislative advocacy, education and member services for all special districts in California.

  EQSD board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month.


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