The Chester Public Utility District seated three out of five directors during its Dec. 10 meeting.
Directors taking their oath of office were Ben Thompson, Barbara Montandon and Wes Scott. John Knopp was not present to take his oath.
The fifth seat is currently vacant due the resignation of Joe Waterman as a board member. Waterman resigned after being hired as the district’s general manager. He began working in the position of a 12-month contracted employee Dec. 1.
In other housekeeping business, the directors held their annual election for board offices. For the next 12 months Scott will be chairman. Thompson will act as vice chairman. Montandon moves to board secretary and Knopp was again voted to board treasurer post. Upon the filling of the fifth seat, the appointed director will act as director-at-large.
The new board voted to post a vacancy notice in the newspaper. Members will be accepting letters of interest for the vacant seat through the end of January 2014.
General manager’s report
Although he had been general manager less than 10 days, Waterman’s report revealed that few stones have been left unturned as he is familiarizing himself with the inner workings of the district.
Prioritized among his self-assigned tasks are the centralizing of all district records, reviewing utility expenses and seeking ways to reduce costs to the district, researching ways to improve revenue streams through improved billing and invoicing systems and networking with the Plumas County Special Districts Association, other Basin fire chiefs, the Plumas County Local Agency Formation Commission and Plumas County counsel.
In the area of district employees, he has instituted weekly staff meetings and is working to identify ways to improve the tracking of employee leave credits.
In past meetings, water and sewer lead supervisor Andy Capella and Capt. Chris Dean have made reports to the board about their specific divisions of responsibility.
This meeting, Waterman reported on the activities of each of the district’s divisions during his report.
He reported that the district’s water system received clean testing results for the month of November.
In the emergency services area of fire and ambulance, Waterman told the board that the district had provided a first responder medical training that was attended by 20 students. He said details are being finalized for the emergency medical technician class that will be held at the district beginning in January.
As part of the EMT class, Waterman said the district will be contracting with Feather River College to allow students to obtain EMT clinical time by doing ride-alongs with the district’s ambulance crews.
Waterman said the district has applied for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program with the hopes of being approved for the purchase of $380,000 in new equipment. He said the equipment would provide a good baseline to begin equipment replacement cycles.
Should the grant be approved, the district’s match to the grant would be $17,000.
While the emergency services division is currently running $254,164 in the red, the reserve account has a balance of $432,301, a total sufficient to cover the fire and ambulance deficit and pay the grant’s required match.
The Chester Public Utility District board of directors meets the second Tuesday of each month, at 5:30 p.m. at 251 Airport Road.
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