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June 29, 2019

MSWD Board Meetings - May 16 & 20, 2019

Director Sewell was absent from the Monday, May 20, meeting.

Sewer Construction on Indian Canyon

This is a contract for $566,041.78 with Tri-Star to construct a sewer along Indian Canyon between Dillon and 18th Avenue. Indian Canyon will be improved and upgraded by the county and cities, and putting in the sewer first saves the district money and will result in a better road. Approved 4-0.

Rehab of Well 24

Usually, Well 24 produces 1,100 - 1,200 gallons per minute of water, but in March, production dropped to only 300 - 400 GPM. The pump assembly and well casing need to be repaired. While that is going on, production from Well 28 can be increased to make up for the loss of Well 24, but Well 28 requires treatment to remove uranium which makes it more expensive to run. The district has contracted with Layne Christensen Company to fix Well 24 at price of $217,512.92. Well 24 was drilled in 1973. Approved 4-0.

President's Comment

President Duncan had this special comment that he read out at the end of the Thursday study session. He said it was in response to some phone calls he had recently received.

While neither Mission Springs Water District nor myself directly represent the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), we are an active, well respected, longstanding member of that organization. At no time does ACWA hold meetings at 6 AM, regardless of the topic. At no time in the past, or foreseeable future, will ACWA address the subject of holding meetings to protect women and children from sexual predators. Those are criminal activities handled by law enforcement agencies. ACWA's focus is on California water-related issues.

Secondly, since adopting our current rates in March of 2016 MSWD has not addressed the subject of water rates, nor has it been on the agenda for the past three years for discussion, adjustment or vote. The process to perform our last water rate consisted of the following: a recommendation from staff to consider a rate change, a thorough and detailed rate study conducted by an independent third-party consultant, creation of a website to keep the public informed along the way, several mailings to our customers, a Proposition 218 mailing as required by law and several public hearings, also as required by law. That process lasted almost an entire year. Then and only then was a motion or vote taken by the board of directors to adopt new rates.

To imply that rates could be reduced by nearly one million dollars or any other fixed dollar amount is an incomprehensible and immeasurable statement. Any statements made that recent votes have been taken to adjust our current rates are an outright lie.

Lastly, I want to be careful about this, because this is not intended to supercede or override whistleblower act or any other legal rights we have as Americans. This statement applies to usual and customary business of the district. It is not intended to restrict whistleblower laws or any other right of the American people. At no time does any Director, employee or contractor of Mission Springs Water District have the right or obligation to send information at their own discretion to the District Attorney, Sheriff, police, FBI or any other law enforcement agency regarding routine district business. For example, bypassing a water meter.

With a nod from the board, I would like to direct our General Manager to post some sort of a statement on our website saying that we have not addressed rates, we've not voted on rates, since March of 2016.

I have been unable to find anything on the MSWD website that seems to fulfil the President's request.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | June 29, 2019 at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)