The Chester Public Utility District Board of Directors regular meeting was held Dec. 17 inside the district conference room.
The first order of business was the swearing in of three board members by Chester District General Manager Frank Motzkus.
Steve Voboril and Royce Raker will each serve out their remaining two-year term, and Joe Waterman will serve a four-year term.
The newly sworn in board members were handed orientation binders containing information about the operation of the district and procedures they needed to know in their roles as directors, said Motzkus, with plans to schedule a special workshop meeting to review that information during the first week of January.
David Shawles submitted his resignation letter the prior week on Dec. 13, noted chair Steve Trotter, leaving one vacant seat remaining on the board.
A motion was made to accept Shawles’ resignation which was approved by the directors present, with plans to advertise the opening in the local newspaper and on its website for a minimum of 15 days, as prescribed by law, for recruitment purposes to fill the seat by a qualified individual who is registered to vote in the district.
Installation of officers
Steve Trotter will serve as board chair for 2020, Joe Waterman as vice chair, and Steve Voboril as board secretary/treasurer.
Audience member input
An audience member was asked to stand and share his concerns during the public comment portion of the conference.
He then implored that the board members always consider that funds in the district’s budget is hard-earned taxpayer money that should always be spent wisely and with due prudence.
The board members acknowledged his concerns and thanked him for his input.
After the approval of the Oct. 29 special meeting and Nov. 19 regular meeting minutes, the board turned its attention to the financials report.
Some discussion raised by Trotter was made over the cost of a permit required by the State Water Resources Control Board, but Motzkus stated the cost was in the expected range.
Another line item showing an exorbitant cost for postage was noted, resulting in the board deciding to table further discussion of the November report until a review could be made clarifying the high cost of mailings.
Cheryl Johnson, CPUD clerk to the board, said she would research the issue as a possible clerical mistake and get back to the board with an explanation.
General manager’s report
General Manager Motzkus said the district had received the fourth grant payment from the State Water Resources Control Board for $2,733, and the fifth grant request would be submitted soon.
Incurred-to-date funds for the district are $40,256 of $340,970 approved by the SWRCB for the planning phase of an upgraded sewer sanitation system project.
Water shutoff policy
Motzkus continues to work on updating a “Water Shutoff Policy” required by the State of California. He said the policy must be finalized and in place by April 1, 2020, and reflect the new requirements “which has to be posted in six different languages” on the CPUD website.
The policy spells out how much time a consumer has before his or her water is shut off for unpaid bills or for other reasons that the water line must be turned off — because of an unexpected break for instance.
Consumers now have to be notified at least 60 days in advance before losing water, he explained.
Construction work completed
The drainage project is completed, he said, eliminating flooding problems in the firehouse engine bays and parking lot area.
Motzkus informed the board that he and Allan Homme, CPUD lead supervisor, held oral interviews on Dec. 10 and 11, and have offered the full-time operator position to a candidate who has accepted the position starting the first of January. The name of the new hire won’t be announced until a background check is complete, he said.
Fire chief’s report
Capt. Chris Dean read the fire chief’s report to the board of directors, first noting that CalFire personnel have left the Chester firehouse for the season, but plan to return sometime in May while waiting for the new fire station in Westwood to be finished and ready for occupancy.
Ambulance back in service
Medic unit 7252 is back in service, Dean said, and is being prepped for possible long distance transfers.
“Our Health Information Exchange program with Sac-Valley Med-Share is moving forward,” Dean said, adding that an update on the changes have been provided to the board.
Fire code update
Dean said they are looking to update and adopt the current Fire Code, with more details and a proposal to be forthcoming at the next board meeting.
The fire department should be hearing sometime the following week from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office regarding monies owed to Chester Fire by the USFS in the amount of approximately $1.8 million from fire fighting.
The department did receive $8,132.03 in fire money this month.
Subsidized street lighting
The district has obtained a final sum of $3,349.79 for street lighting from the county. This represents just 25 percent of the cost to keep the streetlights on during the past quarter.
Additional revenues need to be found by the district to subsidize the difference appropriated in the budget for street lighting needs.
Responses and ambulance billings for November
There were 34 total calls for service in November, including five fire responses, eight calls for EMS in Chester and three outside town, four traffic collisions reported, public assistance totaled five, there were two false alarms and two hazardous situations, along with three inter-facility flight transfers, plus two team deployments.
The district billed out $39,071.25 for ambulance services in Nov. and received $21,667.31 in payments.
The next CPUD board of directors meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 3 p.m., in the CPUD/CFD conference room at 251 Chester Airport Road in Chester. The public is invited to attend. For information, call the district office: 258-2171.