Flood/water district requests $100,000 from county or it would go broke

As manager of the Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Bob Perreault was back at the table requesting funding to keep the program afloat.

At length members of the district and Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved an up to $100,000 credit line for the district. Members of the two boards are the same people, it was noted at the meeting’s outset.

Without the loan, Perreault told the boards the district wouldn’t be able to pay the monthly fees for services demanded by the state. And there’s no forgiveness in the state’s eyes, he explained.

Perreault said that he was requesting the loan for one year and it would be repaid with interest at the Plumas County pooled funds rate.

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Discussion

Perreault reminded Supervisors that he missed much of the budget planning in the last cycle. When he returned to work at the end of July there was a lot of catching up to do including making adjustments to both the public works budget and the budget for the flood and water district.

Perreault explained that in terms of the district, funding is due but it won’t arrive until late in the fiscal year. He anticipates using that funding to repay the county with interest, he said. With adjustments, he said that when the county is repaid, his figures indicated that the district will have a remaining balance of about $12,000.

Without the county loan, Perreault explained that the district wouldn’t be able to meet its obligations, especially paying bills to the state that arrive almost every month.

Perreault said there are options rather than requesting funds from the county and they can be examined better at another time.

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Options include asking residents for a tax increase associated with the flood control district. The rate hasn’t been raised in many years, but he didn’t state what that rate is. Looking to rate increases associated with East Quincy and Crescent Mills lighting districts Perreault didn’t think that proposal would happen. If it went to the voters it would require a two-thirds yes vote to pass. “That’s not going to happen, we know that,” Supervisor Lori Simpson said.

Another option would be through the state’s Department of Water Resources by making it easier for contractors to sell water to each other. But there’s a lot of red tape associated with that proposal.

Or, another option would be to sell some of the local district’s water rights.

Perreault also pointed out that the state still owes Plumas County $4 million from the Monterey Agreement. The county has been waiting for the second half of that settlement for about 15 years, he explained.

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County Counsel Craig Settlemire explained that although the Board of Supervisors and the district board are the same people — funding, budgeting and audits are separate from the county’s other responsibilities.

The real problem lies in the fact that the district’s revenue hasn’t been enough to cover its expenses. Therefore the district must requests funding from the county’s general fund because the district can’t go into the red.

Auditor Roberta Allen said she added it up and the district has requested $493,000 in the past few years and that doesn’t include interest.