GLRID rate hike on holdDiana Jorgenson Portola Editor 1/13/2010
Grizzly Lake Resort Improvement District persevered through another long agenda Jan. 6, its first meeting of the year.
The current board and district staff are not only concerned with keeping water and sewer to Delleker customers operational on a daily basis, but are also playing catch-up in meeting state-mandated planning requirements, as well as planning for the future.
On the sewer side of district business, General Manager Frank Motzkus presented Resolution 2010-001 as the first order of business. Motzkus told the board that in May 2006 the State Water Resources Control Board required the district to develop and implement a sewer system management plan.
Of the 11 sections mandated, portions were to have been completed prior to May 2008, while other portions the state scheduled for completion by Feb. 2, 2010, and the final portions by August 2010.
While working on current elements, Motzkus discovered the earlier work had never been finalized, although Kirk Moberg of Sauers Engineering Inc. had completed the report. Motzkus adapted the work, changing only the names of staff members, all of whom, like himself, are new to GLRID within the past two years.
The development plan and schedule as well as the first two sections, Goals and Organizational Structure of the SSMP, were approved unanimously by the board.
Discussion of the water side of district responsibilities was multi-faceted, with the first subject at hand a continuation of the proposed rate hike saga.
The rate hike is planned to cover the costs of operation and maintenance of the new Lake Davis Treatment Plant when the city of Portola takes over ownership of the facility in the near future.
The LDTP traditionally has served only Crocker Mountain residents, and the first attempt at a rate hike was directed only to those customers. Residents successfully protested the hike according to the process proscribed by Proposition 218.
A second and much lower rate hike was then proposed to spread across the entire constituency of the district, with the promise to intertie all of GLRID’s water sources and provide redundancy to both sections of the district.
The second attempt only received nine letters representing 15 parcels, with each parcel representing a separate vote. At the public hearing Dec. 9, Doug Morgan, owner of a vacant property, said neither he nor another property owner had received notice of the rate hike.
The board had tabled the rate increase until its attorney, Andy Morris, could be consulted.
At the Jan. 6 meeting, Motzkus reported the situation remained the same, due to the holidays.
Motzkus explained that, upon looking into the customer list further, district secretary and bookkeeper Juli Thompson had found a number of property owners had been designated “inactive” and did not show up on customer lists.
Moreover, Motzkus related that in checking with the county assessor’s office, “There are vast differences between what she has in her system and what the county has on record. We’re trying to work with Andy to find out if we have to go through this process (Proposition 218) all over again—which is all right with us. But, we want to make sure we do it right so we don’t have to revisit this every time.”
Thompson was unfazed, saying that discovering these problems as they occurred helped her clean up the system piece by piece.
Proposition 218 would require another 45-day waiting period if the district were required to re-do the notification.
The board tabled the agenda item until the next meeting.
GLRID contracted with Brien Walters, Walters Engineering, as well as Acumen Engineering, to examine water sources available to both Delleker and Crocker Mountain customers and to present options for a unified system.
The first phase, mapping water sources as well as documenting established water lines, was 80 percent complete said Walters. He reported he had requested documents from the city and was waiting to receive them.
The second phase of the contracted work was to present options for connecting water lines between the two parts of GLRID.
One of those options would make a connection to the Lower Reach pipeline from the LDTP, instead of the Upper Reach, where the connection has been made in the past.
The city has balked at this change and negotiations on the contract between the city and GLRID regarding operational costs stalled.
Walters said the next step would be a workshop presentation to discuss options, but he said, “We need an MOU (with the city) on costs before any decisions can be made.”
Motzkus confirmed he had not yet received the contract back from the city.
He also reported the permanent permit for the new well at Crocker Mountain was still in process with the state.
Although the temporary permit ended at the end of December, officials had assured him the district could continue using the well.