1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso and Comstock; General Manager Jennifer Blackman also present.
3. Draft Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan.
Staff reported that the full draft of the Five-Year Capital Improvement plan and all exhibits will be included in the Board books this week; spreadsheets depicting the impacts of the budget on reserves and debt will be included as well. (The Committee noted that the early payoff of one of the district’s outstanding loans will lower the balance of reserves by $300,000, and the district will replenish those reserves over the next six years.) Director Comstock said that he does not have any further changes to the plan at this time, but noted that the district likely will need to reevaluate its Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects each year as priorities evolve. Discussion ensued about how Tier 2 pipeline projects might be installed with existing staff and temporary hire. Director Comstock commented that the district still needs to get an estimated price for project planned to upgrade the treatment process at the wastewater treatment plant and staff agreed to discuss an estimate with Oswald engineering and/or issue a request for proposals to obtain a price. Director Comstock said that since this is a significant potential project for the sewer system, it is important to have this estimate sooner rather than later to incorporate into the plan. Director Amoroso noted that the replacement of the lift station pumps (an unplanned capital expenditure) also will have a significant impact on the financial position of the sewer reserves.
4. Draft Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget.
The Committee reviewed the draft budget, which includes the changes requested by the Committee at the last meeting. Staff said this version of the budget has revised amounts categorized for staff capital improvement hours which now match up with the projects as forecast in the 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan. Staff further noted that the debt section of the budget has been revised to reflect the district’s plan to pay off one of its outstanding loans prior to the end of the current fiscal year (thereby reducing the district’s annual debt service by approximately $55,000). Also, the budget reflects the retirement of one of the district’s bonds (a reduction of approximately $26,000), which was fully paid off during the current fiscal year. On the revenue side, anticipated tax revenues were increased by $20,000, consistent with last year’s tax revenue and anticipated property value increases. In addition, the tax revenues have been redistributed more appropriately between the water and sewer enterprises as discussed at the most recent Committee meeting. Director Comstock noted that the budgeted sewer capital expenses do not line up with the sewer projects identified in the revised CIP for the upcoming fiscal year; specifically, $9,000 of capital projects were deemed to be operating expenses under the plan documents, so this should be reflected in the budget, as well. Staff agreed to make the change. Finally, the Committee discussed the potential 10% increase to the annual water and sewer charges; staff confirmed that the increases will be necessary to fund the budget as currently drafted.
5. Draft Proposition 218 Mailing to Customers re: Proposed Increases to Annual Water and Sewer Charges.
Director Amoroso questioned the range of the potential increase for the district’s commercial sewer customers and discussion ensued about how that range is calculated (the amounts are correlated with historical water use and impact on the collection system, which generally is greater than residential customers). Director Comstock said he did not have any comments on the text of the Proposition 218 mailing. The Committee directed staff to include the draft notice, along with the budget (and notes) and Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan with all exhibits in the Board books for the April 22nd meeting.
6. Community Expression