By Meg Upton
What a difference a month makes. Between the last Indian Valley Community Services District meeting near the end of January and Wednesday evening, Feb. 23’s meeting, the IVCSD reels from the resignation of yet another general manager, Ted Cassidy. The board is also now short again one director, as board director Kaley Bentz stepped down now that construction for his business (Riley’s Jerky) has begun.
The meeting began with accountant Mandy McGarva, who met the week before with the finance committee, present for comments and questions to bring the new board up to speed. Any changes however, were not adopted on Wednesday night but a summary sheet will be available at the next meeting. Director Kristi Gorbet commented that the meeting with the accountant had been super helpful in understanding the budget versus actuals for each item in the budget, now organized by department.
“What’s interesting to me are that revenues are down 68 percent. [We need to know this] in strategic planning for short/mid/long plans. We have short-term fiscal year to June. We don’t have long or mid planning. We’ve asked Mandy to keep us aware of being down 68 percent,” said Gorbet.
Gorbet appeared not shocked by the numbers but rather acknowledged the work to be done and the perimeters already set in play: no late fees being charged at the moment and the ongoing need to look for grants and other opportunities.
Without a general manager, the board along with assistance by CAL OES partners Kevin Rainville and Scott Wagner, (who were not present at the meeting) a list of priority projects was established.
The board had put together an action plan for each project. All considered FEMA projects met in special session assigning two board members to each project. The projects are as follows.
First priority is Lift Station repairs. Lift station #1 has fire damage to pump and controls and is currently operating on a rental generator. At Lift station # 2, the pump and well are okay but controls were damaged by flood out from the fire. Lift station #3 has pump 1 damaged and pump 2 not working properly. Two new chopper pumps will have to be purchased as well as one new control. In addition this lift station is located on property that does not have a legal easement. Gorbet and Bob Orange are assigned to this project.
The water treatment plant needs to have a Pall system with rapid sand filtration system replaced. Susan Doran and Roger Cherry are assigned to this.
Another project is the raw water supply line and the replacement of 5,000 feet of raw water pipeline from the Round Valley reservoir. Along with that one is the raw water supply line to the cemetery. The district’s side of the damage is 267 feet of 4-inch pipe replacement and ends of the meter box. Susan Doran and Roger Cherry are assigned to this. Doran stated that she was reaching out to the cemetery board to see what their plans are for repairs on their end.
Priority number 2 is emergency protection measures. There needs to be an accounting of all money spent during the fire emergency. Over 600 invoices were found to be issued during the Dixie Fire. Also equipment used during the fire must be identified. Orange and Doran are assigned to this task.
The third priority is the fire station and equipment. The IVCSD’s insurance adjuster approved $1,314,000 for the replacement of the fire hall and equipment. A complete inventory list needs to be submitted to FEMA, the county part of the parcel (the former par of the building that was the town hall) and the fire department part of the parcel need to be combined. Last Saturday, a pre-construction meeting with supervisor Kevin Goss and various stakeholders (sheriff sub station, ambulance services) and Chris Meyers took place to discuss the combining of agencies under one roof. A storage trailer will be placed at the 5-acre parcel on Highway 89 at the temporary fire station replacing the one that burned at the lift station. Questions remain as to how to combine ownership or rental agreements of such a building, which could house police, ambulance and fire under one roof. Orange and Doran are assigned. Doran stressed needing a site plan for this as soon as possible. The estimated building could be 8700 square feet.
The fourth priority is the gazebo. While the gazebo remains intact, the handrail and the bench inside the gazebo burned as well as the railroad ties used around the curb and the irrigation pipes or hoses used to water the landscaping. Doran and Gorbet are assigned.
The fifth priority is the damage to hydrants and meters. An inventory must be made with GPS locations of all meters that were damaged and/or removed in the district due to the Dixie Fire as well as a complete list of the damage to the hydrants to be replaced or repaired as well as the replacement of valve covers. Doran and Cherry are assigned.
Additional projects for the district Cal OES /FEMA work are related to the following: debris removal of hazardous trees (J&C Enterprises are under contract) and debris removal of buildings, equipment, and content (which is currently under bid). Orange and Gorbet assigned.
Lastly there needs to be a list of those who donated labor, what was worked on, hours worked, and where the work was completed as well as a donated equipment and tool list. Orange and Gorbet assigned.
The directors will be working as supervisors on each project until there is a new general manager.
“CAL OES are going to action plan meetings with IVCSD board members for each project. They will participate in that. They prioritized for the IVCSD,” said Gorbet.
An additional project is capping the lines on burnt properties to keep mud and rock from further entering the lines.
A procedural move was made by the board to go back to one regular meeting a month with a second meeting to be determined as a special meeting with a plan of action.
During the fire report, interim chief Bob Orange discussed picking up various donated engines and the need to paint a donated truck. Next Wednesday, an engine will be picked up in Redlands completely outfitted.
Cal OES had made the recommendation to office manager Jeff Titcomb to complete form 130 which will list names with a protocol for point of contact (given that there’s no general manager at the moment).
The board received letters of interest from two community members in taking over Kaley Bentz’ vacated seat on the board: one from Jason Powers (who was not present) and one from Wanda Carpenter (who was present). The board briefly asked her questions about her interest. A new director will be chosen at the next regular meeting.
Outreach for a new general manager is underway with a job description in the board packet for review. One potential contractor Zoomed the IVCSD meeting and answered questions regarding his proposal: Adam Cox of Sectaris Partners, currently working in Chester.
The next regular scheduled meeting is March 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Taylorsville Historic Hall.