By Gregg Scott
As most people in Chester are aware, the Chester Public Utility District (CPUD) has been dealing with some fairly contentious issues over the past several months. After the termination of the former Fire Chief and the resignation of two board members, it appears that the board is once again back to business. The two new board members, Kimberly Green and Arthur Tharp, that were sworn in at the June meeting were in place and ready to take on the challenges along with the rest of the panel. There were about 19-20 residents attending this meeting which the board recognized and thanked for their input.
One of the items brought up in the public comment time was regarding the “debt” to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) of several million dollars. General Manager Adam Cox explained that, yes, it was a debt owed, but that it was similar to a mortgage. You make payments on it to cover principal and interest, but the total isn’t due until you sell your property.
There were several other public comments regarding the pros and cons of moving the fire engines and ambulance back to the airport station. It seems that nobody, including the board, really knows why they were moved to the Main Street location in the first place. Some comments posted on social media have been found to be false. It was announced that the engines will be relocated back to the Airport station within the next few weeks.
Other announcements included the approval of a 1$113,000 grant through the KBK foundation that will enable the department to replace the older/outdated breathing apparatus that the firemen are currently using. Also, GM Cox noted that residents within the district will be receiving a notification regarding the formation of a streetlight special assessment district to cover the costs of Chester’s street lights. It seems that once you receive the notification the assessment district will be established unless more than 50 percent of the residents contest the fee rates.
The board did approve a preliminary 2022-2023 budget in order to better identify specific line items with the idea that GM Cox will present a completed final budget at the July meeting.
The new date for future board meetings will be on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
The July meeting will be Tuesday, July 26.