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This is the new boardroom setup at the Chester Public Utility District. The new wireless PA system and audio-visual screen make it much easier for the audience to see and hear what the board is discussing. The new chair setup puts the public much closer to the action.    Photo by Gregg Scott      

Changes at CPUD appear to be bearing fruit

By Gregg Scott

Staff Writer

The August meeting of the Chester Public Utility District (CPUD) board of directors opened right on time and with the new wireless PA system working well.  There were quite a few empty seats with 11 members of the public in attendance. The first few items on the agenda went very quickly and the General Manager’s report gave a good overview of activities for the last month. GM Adam Cox did stress the importance of having a Strategic Planning session by the board in the near future in order to search out a definitive plan for all the departments that make up CPUD.

The Fire Chief’s report reviled that there are currently 22 part time / retired annuitant personnel that are available for larger scale team activation and district program needs.  There have been three requests for information regarding volunteer firemen service and Chief Waterman noted that the department is actively looking for new volunteers that will commit to completing the required training and serving the community. He also mentioned that the required ‘pressure testing’ of fire equipment will be taking place in September.

Local resident Darrah Hopper is heading up an effort to revitalize the Chester Firewise Committee. This committee is vital to the education of local residents about what is needed to make your home or property more fire resistant and thereby more acceptable to insurance companies. Any resident in Chester that has done home improvements that could be considered fire safe can help the committee get certified. Please contact the CPUD office for more information.

After the board’s closed session, Chairman Steve Voboril announced that the board had approved the hiring of a new permanent Fire Chief.  The new chief’s name is Matthew Balzarini. He will be coming to Chester from the Stockton area. There is no specific start date at this time, but once his relocation plans are set the district will give provide a date.

Also, while in the closed session the board voted to accept the negotiated settlement as recommended by CPUD’s counsel regarding the litigation involving Anthony Balbieni vs. Chester Public Utility District and three district employees.  Voboril said the details of the settlement will be made public once all the details are finished and complete.

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