Going to try something different to reduce the time and the space required (on the hard drive/server with this audio/video word for word stuff) to get a meeting report out. Going to jump around some of the more routine “house keeping” duties (Consent Agenda, belabored discussion going nowhere, etc.)
A potential award for the LDPCSD’s transparency in government? Wow. Sounds fantastic – if it is actually earned through providing important operational information to customers of this District on the website- like the official Merced Irrigation District Place of Use map for MERCED RIVER WATER under water license 11395.
Come to think about it, anyone interested in purchasing property in this area should be aware of the…….oh my….ahhhhh, is that why there is such reluctance to tell the truth about this GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM for outside POU developments? The SO-GOSIP influence? [Same Old Group Of Special Interest People] Don’t want new or potential owners of property in the MERCED RIVER WATER ENTITLED SUBDIVISION to know what they are actually buying into with the local water company? Not a great selling point that every owner of property in the Lake Don Pedro Owners Association (LDPOA) [with exceptions on the Tuolumne County side] are mandatory customers of the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District (LDPCSD) and will be subsidizing private developments outside the Merced Irrigation District Place of Use per water license 11395 through a SPECIAL BENEFIT GROUNDWATER PROGRAM?
Or is it the “movers and shakers” of the massive holdings of property outside the MID-POU that are suppressing such information getting out? Have promises already been made? Worse yet – under the table agreements or contracts for future Outside MID-POU water service? For gated/non gated residential developments? Ranchettes? Whatever!
What about KNOWN DISCLOSURES FOR PROPERTY TRANSFERS? You know, little things like whether the property is in an SRA (State Responsibility Area) for fire services? Available schools? Dangerous conditions, etc. Something is very wrong when information concerning the provision of such a necessity for life (WATER) is intentionally withheld from the existing customers, much less the public.
Years ago I suggested forming some type of Special Benefit Zone for those properties Outside the MID-POU. The District could perform treatment, storage, transportation and billing so long as the developers of these projects were financially responsible for producing the water for replacing the MERCED RIVER WATER DIVERTED for their service – and that means all of it! Monitoring, maintenance, repair, and future replacement. There are enough properties outside the MID-POU that could benefit and share the costs of such a benefit zone. Why should District customers not receiving the benefit be responsible for related expenses?
GOSH! Sure seems like we’ve heard this before huh? Yes indeed, and I will keep bringing it up until there are some answers to decades old legitimate questions. (The, “Because we said so” answer doesn’t work any more. You know, with this government transparency theory and all….lol)
Anyway, part [A] of the August 15, 2016 meeting. Transparency Award? Good Grief!
PART XII. Finally, the regular monthly meeting for July 18, 2016 is done. Just in time to start reading and studying the August 15, 2016 agenda/packet received very late yesterday – as is so typical. Late Friday before the Monday meeting. Jeez. if not for the Brown Act we likely would not receive ANYTHING!
Unfortunately I could not identify all Director votes with the audio recording I had so the agenda/packet with last month’s Minutes were helpful. Vote was approved 4:1 with Director James Sult abstaining for lack of pertinent information. Good job Jim (wish customers had four more directors like you who read and understand the material and don’t just “rubber stamp” whatever Kampa proposes.
I have a very bad feeling about what these four directors have just approved…..like a ticking financial time bomb that will eventually explode leaving innocent ENTITLED MERCED RIVER WATER USING CUSTOMERSTO FUNDA SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICE (GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION FOR MERCED RIVER TRANSFERS) OUTSIDE THE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE UNDER WATER LICENSE 11395FOR INCREASED LAND DEVELOPER PROFITS.
Sure would be nice if the DISTRICT would focus its attention on the job it was created to perform in the first place. later, Lew
PS: ONE MORE VIDEO TO GO….the July 18, 2016 SPECIAL MEETING at 6PM (This was one of the reasons the July monthly meeting was held in the GYM – thanks again Directors Emery Ross and Russell Warren for re-locating our July monthly meeting.)
(Since that was the description with which Board President Danny Johnson referred to our GM, why not use it for this series of videos?)
anyway, the video for PART XI is finally done. But first……some pre-video highlights. lol
RESERVE FUNDS $
The proposed RESERVE FUND ACCOUNTS, which KAMPA & KOMPANY advocate the Board institute, must have a substantial amount of money in them, and since the district DOES NOT HAVE THAT MONEY NOW it will be necessary to obtain it from customers in the future. This will likely occur with a PROPOSITION 218 vote of “some” of the paying customers.
The actual amount of money needed for each of these accounts (or target account balances) is an UNKNOWN at this time which essentially equates to a sort of BLANK CHECK TYPE SITUATION. [We don’t know how much money now, but will eventually start charging customers later after we agree on how much we can “squeeze” out of them. (Good description Wes). Dear Lord, are customers really that uniformed? Perhaps gullible? Want to buy a bridge?]
Naturally, extensive and costly research must be completed to ascertain WHAT THE WATER DEMAND might be for each proposed land development project when proposed and that estimate must be sufficient to meet the estimated high water demand when the project is complete and water is flowing.
The process to determine what the water demands might be are time consuming and costly but when complete a dollar figure amount will be placed on each account and customers will subsequently be charged a rate/fee to start putting money into these accounts. (Some of the accounts make perfectly good sense, others will be used to pursue this GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION SPECIAL BENEFIT.
ANOTHER KAMPA & KOMPANY DECEPTION?
But once again the District (Pete Kampa & Kampa Community Solutions, llc) purposefully confuse this issue of further OUTSIDE Merced Irrigation District Place of Use (MID-POU) water service by glossing over some very important facts. Facts, which in themselves, frame this GROUND WATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM in terms of what it truly is:
a SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICE never contemplated in the original design, intent, and construction of our SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT with a whole slew of potential pitfalls which will cost customers an outrageous amount of money for perpetuity! You are witnessing the groundwork for this obscured financial nightmare right now.
SUBDIVISION LOTS INTENDED TO RECEIVE WATER
Property lots in the subdivision already have lateral service lines installed and are ready for water delivery with only the addition of a water meter to document the amount of water used so a monthly bill can be generated for payment to the district to cover the costs necessary for that water delivery.
SUBDIVISION PROPERTY USE ALREADY DETERMINED
Subdivision lots are governed by CC&Rs (Covenants, Codes & Restrictions) which are generally far more restrictive than their respective county building and planning codes. With a few exceptions, subdivision properties were specifically intended for single family residential purposes with the normal outbuildings associated with such residential use.
SUBDIVISION “AVAILABILITY FEES” REASONABLE
Since the average size of one of the over 3,100 subdivision parcels is under two acres, a reasonable formula of determining what an owner should pay for water availability fees was set at $60 per acre, with a maximum of 3 acres, or $180 a year.
So an owner with a one acre lot pays $60 per year added to their property taxes; an owner of a 1.6 acre lot would pay $96 a year (1.6 x $60 = $96), but owners of 3 acre and 5 acre parcels would both only pay $180 a year due to the “cap” on the maximum fee that could be established [$180/year].
Please appreciate also that even the larger parcels in the subdivision fall under the CC&Rs established for that unit of the subdivision which are again, as most owners know, generally far more restrictive than respective county ordinances.
Estimating the water demands for developments in the subdivision are relatively simple since options and uses for those property developments have been severely reduced by way of subdivision CC&Rs. Everyone knows how they will likely be developed.
THESE ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT VARIABLES
Where the project will occur is known: in the subdivision where lateral service lines were already installed decades ago. (This is very important engineering wise where distance, elevation, and pressures are critical to proper water transmission from the plant to the customer’s property.)
What sort of development: single family residence with associated outbuildings. (The “average family” uses a predictable amount of water per year. Which is why “conservation restrictions” take into consideration how many people live in the residence full time.)
Determining an appropriate water availability fee based on property sizes: known acreage in the subdivision. (Subdivision lots are also relatively small.)
So considering the above, estimating how much water is needed and what the actual costs in delivering that amount of water are relatively easy compared to a VARIETY OF UNKNOWNSwhen trying to calculate what would be required OUTSIDE THE MIDPOU.
OUTSIDE MID-POU properties were clearly prohibited in the water license from receiving MERCED RIVER WATER which is pumped from Lake McClure under water license 11395 held by the Merced Irrigation District.
GROUNDWATER from extremely expensive ground wells must ALWAYS PRODUCE SUFFICIENT WATER TO SUBSTITUTE or REPLACE all the Merced River water diverted to Outside MID-POU properties.
Water use Outside the MID-POU varies greatly and is not even restricted as to use. [This is precisely why those wanting to expand the OUTSIDE MID-POU GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM want to stop customers from viewing the OUTSIDE MID-POU report in the monthly agenda packet! Fire stations, sewer plants, other subdivisions, and of course commercial cattle ranches, all consume a tremendously greater amount of water than a single family residence in the subdivision for whom the SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT was constructed.
Outside MID-POU water service requires extending service mains (booster pumps, valves, etc.) much further than ever anticipated in the original engineering calculations approved for the subdivision by state and local agencies. (Not sure if any implications regarding the CALIFORNIA SUBDIVISION MAP ACT where county engineers approve of infrastructure for planned developments) Such expansion only diminishes the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the existing service. This is one of the reasons the district refuses to post the OFFICIAL MID-POU MAP of 11395 water service on the website. A graphic representation of this issue is much easier to digest than paragraphs of confusing words. One glance of the map shows the service area is almost doubled – BUT WITHOUT A SINGLE NOTATION THAT ALL PROPERTIES MUST BE PROVIDED GROUND WELL WATER PRODUCTION.
AND FINALLY – TO THE POINT OF THIS PARTICULAR DIVERSION of blah, blah, blahs – how can anyone possibly, much less adequately, estimate OUTSIDE MID-POU water demand and the substantial amount of money necessary to provide such, when there are so many unanswered questions as to the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY of this Special Benefit water service program?
I believe it is not only UNETHICAL, but probably ILLEGAL, TO CHARGE SOMEONE FOR A SPECIAL BENEFIT THEY NEITHER ASKED FOR OR USE. Why is there such thing as a PROPOSITION 218?
The above is just a first blush look at what Kampa is planning for all of us “ENTITLED MERCED RIVER WATER USING CUSTOMERS” in the subdivision. Raise sufficient money to continue his special interest benefit of GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION for land developers OUTSIDE the MID-POU under water license 11395. (YES redundant – but very important, so read it again)
Raise sufficient money to continue his special interest benefit of GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION for land developers OUTSIDE the MID-POU under water license 11395.
(Copy/paste – cool huh?) Please also consider this entire scheme is supported with public funds. When did customers approve to use public funds to increase private land developer profit margins who just happen to be next to a nonprofit public agency?
The Lake Don Pedro CSD has NO LEGAL DUTY or MORAL OBLIGATION to serve and/or expand OUTSIDE MID-POU water service.
(No. Not yelling. Just didn’t want any view to miss this little tidbit – is this better….
The Lake Don Pedro CSD has NO LEGAL DUTY or MORAL OBLIGATION to serve and/or expand OUTSIDE MID-POU water service.
This unethical tax/fee scam has hindered the intended proper functioning of this SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT for decades and has cost all customers an untold amount of money and time which, although important, will be insignificant when compared to what it will eventually cost customers in the future.
WHY DON’T THE OUTSIDE MID-POU property owners create their own reserve accounts to support ground well construction, maintenance, repair and replacement? They are the ones receiving the benefit. Doesn’t that make sense to you?
OH WELL, here’s the video anyway.
Take a guess.
I’m thinking of an adult beverage that is similar in color to the image below……
Always draws a respectful and thankful group of residents.
I was inside the house when I heard that unmistakable sound of aircraft orbiting overhead, yet looking out the window could not observe the traditional column of smoke rising in the sky to identify the location – probably because the atmosphere was already pretty hazy with smoke from all the other much larger fires in the state. Never heard sirens, just the drone of three fixed wing aircraft (observation & flight control?) and of course a CAL FIRE helicopter which always draws a number of interested locals.
Sure enough, only a couple of miles away, north of Ranchito Drive just east of Banderilla Drive, a small fire behind a residence was being extinguished through the efforts of a number of responding fire units. Staying away from the immediate area I was unable to confirm, but believed, they were from CAL FIRE and Mariposa County (Lake Don Pedro fire station). The helicopter was making short trips from the Gregoris Park pond on Ranchito Drive to the fire which appeared to be approximately a mile away. Obviously our subdivision ponds serve a vital role in fire suppression in this dry, fairly isolated, and drought prone area.
While taking some photographs and video at Gregoris Park I couldn’t help but notice the power and telephone lines running along Ranchito Drive close to the pond which I would imagine makes the helicopter’s approach and departure far more risky. That got me thinking: should those large orange “visibility balls” be installed on power/telephone lines near these subdivision ponds where helicopters often dip water for local fire control? Perhaps there are good reasons for not installing them, but if they could help these pilots in anyway during these dangerous operations, seems any cost could be justified in the name of safety. Just curious.
Certainly hope there were no injuries/deaths or significant property damage as a result of this, what appeared to be, small fire.
Anyway, GREAT JOB TO ALL INVOLVED, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, but most of all, HAVE SAFE TRIPS BACK TO YOUR HOMES, FAMILIES & FRIENDS. (I’ll raise a toast to your success later) My best to you and yours, Lew
BELOW: SHORT compilation of photographs and video clips of the fire suppression. (UNDER 5 MINUTES! didn’t think I could do it, huh? lol)
Kampa proposed establishing six reserve accounts which will obviously require increasing existing rates & fees along with creating a number of new customer fees. How much of an increase? Not known yet – months of study and research to be done first. wonderful.
Sorry, but I must ask once again:
Why should Merced River water entitled customers of the subdivision pay for a special benefit water service requiring GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION from extremely expensive and often undependable wells in this drought prone, fractured rock, foothill area?
Shouldn’t those OUTSIDE MID-POU land developers pay for ALL EXPENSES REQUIRED to produce their special benefit water service which they need and use?
What is so difficult to understand here? Of course if the District would simply post on its new and improved website the official MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE MAP FOR MERCED RIVER WATER USE UNDER WATER LICENSE 11395, most folks would understand the problem of what this GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM is intended to serve.
Imagine if this substitution special benefit policy is approved by the board…..and later when these ground wells fail and need major work or complete replacement – guess who will be on the financial hook?
UNETHICAL AND SIMPLY WRONG
This makes no sense since the entitled Merced River water using customers in the Lake Don Pedro subdivision (99% of customers) do not need this special benefit groundwater replacement program.
What is groundwater substitution?
What ever amount of Merced River water that leaves the use area permitted under the water license (essentially the Lake Don Pedro subdivision & golf course) must be replaced with an equal or greater amount of groundwater.
Example: IF 5 acre feet of Merced River water (1,629,265 gallons) is pumped from Lake McClure, treated at the LDPCSD plant and then distributed to a neighboring subdivision located OUTSIDE the legal place of use under the water license, 5 acre feet (1,629,265 gallons) or more, would have to be pumped from a ground well source and delivered to the treatment plant as replacement for the river water diverted.
Why does the Lake Don Pedro CSD consistently refuse to post a legitimate map displaying where Merced River Water (pumped under Merced Irrigation District water license 11395) can legally be used in this area? Properties outside the 11395 Place of Use MUST use ground water. Why should 99% of legal Merced River water users in the subdivision (for whom the water plant was constructed) pay for this ground water special benefit for land developers outside the subdivision?
Subdivision properties DO NOT REQUIRE SUBSTITUTION as they are legal Merced River water users under water license 11395 held by the MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT, and have legally used river water since the district was formed in 1980. Substitution is ONLY REQUIRED FOR PROPERTIES OUTSIDE THE LEGAL USE AREA UNDER L11395!
The simple solution would be to form a “special benefit water service zone” [for all properties outside the MID-POU which cannot use Merced River water] where those receiving the special benefit of GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION pay for all the costs required to provide the service. Those benefiting from groundwater substitution should be financially responsible for the monitoring, reporting, maintenance, repair, and of course, replacement of the ground well for that project.
Simply having the land developer drill a well and then deed it to the district only puts the district (and all customers not requiring substitution) on a substantial financial hook for perpetuity! (Up to several hundred thousand dollars per well.)
All costs associated with this special benefit GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM should be PAID BY THOSE RECEIVING THE BENEFIT, therefore, those LAND DEVELOPERS should be the ones required to create and fund the appropriate reserve accounts needed to cover future repairs and replacement of the ground wells serving their project.
Simple and fair and to do otherwise is wrongfully taxing those not receiving the benefit.
Continuing on the agenda…some very revealing comments by Kampa I thought regarding the “emergency groundwater well project” and grant funding changes which evidently involved over $250,000 re-designated to lateral service line replacement rather than his groundwater substitution program for outside MID-POU land developers.
Wow! Finally some solid evidence “the legitimate authorities” have recognized the situation and have “encouraged” correction?
Fantastic! Money going to where it should have in the first place – repairing/replacing failing primary infrastructure! Now all we need for our nonprofit public agency CSD is a GM to honestly represent this District who is not simultaneously running his own for-profit management company and other public agencies!
Wonder how that suggestion of putting a 1/4 million dollars back into neglected infrastructure was actually made? Imagine that for a moment……legitimate authorities (not those covering for a well known celebrity in the state water industry) taking an interest in decades of corruption complete with the years of unanswered complaints?
In the mood for a little “Twilight Zone” type stuff? A little experiment? shall we?……..
You there? Great!
By chance are you a California government official or other influential individual/agency/entity etc., checking out this site for my seemingly endless ad nauseam comments about the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District (LDPCSD)?
It’s 35+ years of turmoil over the use of Merced River water stored in Lake McClure and used under water license 11395, both held by the Merced Irrigation District of Merced California?
Do you have jurisdiction, authority or some sort of extreme influence over the operation of the LDPCSD?
Perhaps even law enforcement power?
Understand special interest corruption has been a major issue for decades with this PUBLIC AGENCY – possibly even responsible for the February 2012 arson of our Administration Building and records?
Do you recognize and/or care that thousands of innocent property owning citizens of the Lake Don Pedro subdivision have been exploited for decades and essentially forced to financially support private speculative land development special interests to increase their property values and ultimate wealth?
Want to help?
Well, here’s the Twilight Zone concept….
PROVE YOU EXIST!
(Actually, I already believe you exist and recognize you are often forced to remain silent and cannot act due to your current political work environment but I believe that will change soon. Regardless, I have already noticed your handiwork (as disguised as it may have been by others) and am very appreciative. I am sure other viewers are also cognizant of, and appreciate, your continued involvement. This little TWILIGHT ZONE EXPERIMENT request is for those unbelieving viewers.)
YES – PROVE IT!
Require the LDPCSD to post the official MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE (MID-POU) MAP for WATER LICENSE 11395 on the LDPCSD website, ……or
Require the LDPCSD to make Board Meeting audio recordings available on the website
Now back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress
Here we go again! lol I know, I know…..I would prefer to be doing other things as well, but…..”IF YOU DON’T STAND FOR SOMETHING – YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING!”
Same topic: PETE KAMPA/KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, llc, asking the BOARD OF DIRECTORS for more authority to change the existing management structure with two new management positions.. OR NOT…..depends on whether you believe what Kampa said during the meeting, or what he wrote in the agenda packet material in preparation – often completely different directions. He is quite adept at telling people what they want to hear to garner support – and can then “SPIN ON A DIME” while maintaining a contradictory balance – of course it is our dime and if lost during the dance, it is of no big concern, there are plenty more dimes.
Anyway, there was much discussion as to the actual responsibilities of the GM and other District employees – seriously. I kid you not! Heck of a time to be discussing responsibilities when our SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT is being re-configured into a SPECIAL BENEFIT GROUND WATER SUBSTITUTION FACILITY FOR LAND DEVELOPERS OUTSIDE THE L11395 PLACE OF USE FOR WHICH OUR DISTRICT HAS NO LEGAL OR MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO SERVE WATER IN THE FIRST PLACE. (you may have already heard this before – like a skipping CD on one part of a song!)
Speaking of serious stuff that is repeated ad nauseam, why on Earth is our LAKE DON PEDRO COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT refusing to post the MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE MAP on our “new and improved website”? This is nuts! That MID-POU Map clearly illustrates the restrictions on serving MERCED RIVER WATER outside the boundaries established under water license 11395 – yet the DISTRICT WILL NOT DISPLAY IT FOR CUSTOMERS TO SEE AND APPRECIATE FOR THEMSELVES – EVEN THOUGH OUR DISTRICT HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO THOSE WATER SERVICE RESTRICTIONS FOR OVER 35+ YEARS! When I was on the board I attempted to get that map installed in the office – ABSOLUTELY NOT! (What a foolish thought – illustrating where MERCED RIVER WATER could legally be used!)
For some reason it makes me think of the State of California removing SPEED LIMIT SIGNS ON ALL PUBLIC ROADWAYS then allowing individual law enforcement officers to decide at the time of the vehicle stop what the posted speed limit is, 65MPH one day, 15MPH the next, then later maybe 175MPH! (Yeah, I know, not a very good analogy – but still, how can any business (or enforcement of law), be fairly carried out without a clear understanding of what is legally permitted? Wasn’t there a routine by Steve Martin years ago where he explained his wrongful action by stating he simply forgot murder was illegal? – Guess such explanation works with TOP SECRET materials stored on private email servers as well – even if leading to another person’s demise.)
Seems to me this is the sort of BASIC PUBLIC INFORMATION (where Merced River watercan be legally served) THAT EVERY CUSTOMER OF THIS DISTRICT SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO ON THE WEBSITE. Any person actually – it’s supposed to be a public agency.
Here’s a funny tidbit, PETE KAMPA is scheming some way of receiving an award for PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY OF GOVERNMENT PROCESS FOR OUR DISTRICT WHILE UNDER HIS MANAGEMENT COMMAND– yet he refuses to publish this easily obtainable map! The sad part is I wouldn’t be surprised if he did receive an award for transparency – seems there are many others in government and related support agencies with that same “mushroom philosophy” for rate paying customers and citizens – KEEP THEM IN THE DARK AND FEED THEM BULLSHIT – they can’t do anything about it at all except vote – and by then they will forget the initial complaint due to all the other BS that has been heaped on them in the name of public service!
Yes indeed, I am very cynical of government (as was suggested by an SWRCB employee a while back during a “conference call”) and even more so now considering the lack of promised follow-up by the very people who profess to be concerned about state regulations being followed. (More like cover their own asses and ignore the problem.)
TRANSPARENCY OF GOVERNMENT PROCESS? Yup, there is certainly something transparent about what is going on in LAKE DON PEDRO, – but not in a good way. (Of course we all must recognize that the “wheels of justice grind slow…….but exceedingly fine” aka – some things naturally take more time to investigate while the resulting harm/injury/damage may continue.)
Part VI will start with the exciting Board vote on whether or not to approve Kampa’s research as to the responsibilities required of District employees, including the GM (didn’t we do that in the last episode?)