Montecito Water District's June Board Meeting: Key Topics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Montecito, California, June 29, 2018)

GROUNDWATER MEASURES

Engineering Manager Adam Kanold provided a Semi-Annual Groundwater Monitoring Program Report. The District’s regular fall 2017 and spring 2018 groundwater well surveys successfully recorded groundwater elevations for 62 wells (19 District-owned, 43 private) in the Montecito Groundwater Basin. The data shows a slight rebound in groundwater elevations across the District, but the majority of wells are still well below 1998 wet weather elevations, and more than 50% are below historic (1991) dry weather levels. Over 50% of the wells monitored during spring 2018 showed a decrease in groundwater elevation when compared with spring 2017 elevations. In summary, it will require several more consecutive wet years to fully recharge the basin. Private well owners who would like to be added to the survey are encouraged to contact the District’s engineering department directly by calling 805.969.2271.

BUDGET MATTERS

The Board adopted the budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018. The Montecito Water District budget provides the planning, framework, and functions necessary to improve, maintain and manage the District’s assets necessary to provide high quality and reliable water supplies to the Montecito and Summerland communities. The District’s current facilities include approximately 114 miles of pipelines, two surface water treatment plants, 2,556 valves, 922 fire hydrants, 4,605 meters, 51 pressure regulating stations, 12 groundwater wells and 9 pump stations. For the 2018-19 fiscal year, the District will have a staff of 27 full time employees, including engineers, certified treatment and distribution operators, water conservation experts, finance, customer service, and administrative staff. The 2018-19 fiscal year budget forecasts $19,543,454 in Revenue, $16,542,492 in Expenditures, $2,088,157 in Debt Service (non-operating) and $2,712,570 in Capital Improvements.

During fiscal year 2018-19, heavy emphasis will be placed on making permanent repairs to District infrastructure following the January 9, 2018 debris flows that, among other impacts, damaged pipelines and associated infrastructure at nearly every creek crossing across Montecito. Other, limited, high priority infrastructure replacements and equipment purchases are also budgeted, including $1,231,570 in capital improvement projects and $221,000 in equipment purchases. Additional obligations include $9,170,589 in Joint Power Agency (JPA) commitments and $1,260,000 for remaining regional groundwater storage rights.

RECOVERY

General Manager Nick Turner provided an update on disaster-related expenses, saying that booked expenses to date are at approximately $2.5 million, and the projected total upon completion of all future repairs is estimated at $8.0 million. The District has received a $1.7 million advance from FEMA, which assists with cash flows. Mr. Turner explained that the District will be pursuing additional grants in search of funding to cover the expenses that will not be covered by its insurance and / or FEMA funding. That amount may be at least 6.25% of FEMA related expenses incurred. Preliminary approvals indicate that the District will have the majority of its disaster related expenses reimbursed by FEMA, CalOES and insurance.

WRAPPING UP

The District shared the 2017 Annual Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Report, now available online at www.montecitowater.com/CCR_2017.htm. This report explains where District water comes from, provides information on water quality and how it is measured, and presents the 2017 test results which show that Montecito Water Districts’s drinking water met, or was better than, state and federal water quality standards.

Finally, the Sycamore Canyon Capital Improvement Project was confirmed to be on track for completion by the July 4th holiday. Successful replacement of this 94-year old pipeline upgrades approximately 4,900-ft of existing 8-inch cast iron pipe (originally installed in 1923) with new 12-inch ductile iron pipe. This important project will reduce the likelihood of main breaks and increase the reliability of water delivery to local residents.

Complete agendas and packets for all Board meetings can be found on the District web site: www.montecitowater.com.

Montecito Water District's mission is to provide an adequate and reliable supply of high quality water to the residents of Montecito and Summerland, at the most reasonable cost. In carrying out this mission, the District places particular emphasis on providing outstanding customer service, conducting its operations in an environmentally sensitive manner, and working cooperatively with other agencies. For additional information visit www.montecitowater.com, like Montecito Water District on Facebook, and follow on twitter @MontecitoWater.

 

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