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Consolidation moves forward

New board sets January meeting date

Plans are moving forward as two services districts prepare to become legally one.

At the stroke of midnight Jan. 1, Quincy Community Services District and East Quincy Services District will become American Valley Community Services Authority.

That new governing body will meet Thursday, Jan. 11, at 9 a.m., in the Quincy Library’s community room to discuss business. Among its very first business decisions will be the election of a president and vice president.

The second responsibility will be the selection of one general manager. It will be up to the new board to determine if they want to choose one of the existing general managers for permanent or interim management, or fly the position. The search for a general manager could take 60 to 90 days.

All but one of the new 10-person AVCSA board met Nov. 16 to discuss final plans for that January meeting. Joining the two boards was Josh Nelson of Best, Best and Krieger, who has assisted members through the consolidation process. Denny Churchill, president of QCSD was absent.

This is the second time the two boards have been close to consolidation. The first was approximately eight years ago when some members of East Quincy Services District backed out almost at the last minute.

Using bits and pieces of that first consolidation research, Nelson has led the two boards through the process of the Local Agency Formation Commission, better known as LAFCo. LAFCo is responsible for all special districts. Nelson explained that with the help of QCSD administrative assistant Katie Nunn in uncovering previous ordinances from the first consolidation attempt, the LAFCo process was speeded up.

Nelson pointed out that LAFCo received no protests against consolidation.

In preparation for that first January meeting, committee members from both sides have done a lot of work.

One of the most time consuming and comprehensive tasks has been taking two different personnel plans and coming up with a plan that would appease most current employees. The plan also moves forward with another plan for new hires known as PEPRA.

During the Nov. 16 meeting there were discussions about who rate payers were make their checks to, the audit process and other procedures.

Checks for service can be made out to the ratepayer’s district or AVCSA until July 1. Plumas Bank has indicated it would honor checks made out to EQSD or QCSD, said EQSD administrative assistant Shawnee Howe.

There are other decisions to make such as where the main accounts will be kept, and who will record meetings. Ultimately, the decision to have only one office, not two, might be made.

Nelson said that’s why it’s important to get a general manager in place as soon as possible. These are the kinds of decisions a general manager would be making. “We don’t want the board telling the general manager what to do,” said EQSD board member Mike Beatty.

Nelson said there’s no penalty for not having a general manager in place by the first meeting, but it would speed up the process.

This led the board to a discussion of when they should schedule closed sessions. One board traditionally holds them at the beginning of the meeting; the other holds them at the end.

It’s believed AVCSA could schedule a closed session at the beginning of the Jan. 11 meeting to select a general manager.

In explaining why this new attempt at consolidation came about, it was recommended that the two districts become one in an effort to gain state grant funding for a new $26 million treatment plant demanded by new state water regulations.

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