Monthly Archives May 2012

May 21 2012 LDPCSD Monthly Meeting

Hope you folks had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.  Here are some phtos of our old administration office and the new fire station being constructed next door –  then on to my report on the last LDPCSD regular monthly meeting held on Monday May 21st, 2012.


May 21st, 2012 Regular Monthly LDPCSD Meeting

Present: President Bill Kinsella, Directors Mark Skoien, Victor Afanasiev and VP Lew Richardson.

Absent: Director Emery Ross due to difficulties regarding the birth of a calf on his ranch.

Also present: IGM John Turner and Board Secretary Charise Reeves.

Pledge of allegiance. No public comment.


Jeff Biggs, Project Manager with Pinnacle Emergency Management, briefed the board and public on the continuing progress of re-establishing a permanent office. Two bids for the building replacement have been submitted for consideration one of which was quite comprehensive and furnished by the original building provider. The site drawings have been completed, reviewed by our engineer (Binkley and Associates), and will be submitted to the county on Tuesday. Demolition and removal of the burned out administration office will likely start next week and the new building is anticipated to be moved in by the first to middle of July. Due to underground pipes, the building (and flag pole) will be relocated approximately 12 feet back and we will lose the shade tree. The replacement building will be the same size and a new interior configuration has been carefully considered by staff which will include; a third office, a window between offices, more efficient work areas, better visibility for customers who enter, storage and file areas, etc. Mr. Biggs advised there were a few details not included in the first building, such as lap siding, which would greatly add to the appearance. Mr. Biggs advised the concept was to make the customer service area more appealing.

Director Victor Afanasiev asked questions about roadway transportation of the buildings (demolished and replacement), and CHP/public notice as to possible traffic delays. IGM John Turner advised he would follow up on those matters. Jeff Biggs advised the presented schedule was tentative but very close to anticipated completion times.

Customer Billing Representative Syndie Marchesiello asked how the building would be demolished. Biggs advised originally they planned to haul it out in one piece, however, due to the crumbling nature of what is left they will demolish it on site and then remove the debris. Temporary fencing will be furnished when existing fencing is taken down for the demolition process and building placement. (The shade tree will likely also be replaced through insurance.)

Discussion ensued regarding information that a fire suppression system was not required for the new building (only smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors) because it was under 1,500 square feet. Merlin Jones, candidate for District II Mariposa County Supervisor, suggested double checking with the fire department just to be safe. (Merlin, and his wife, have attended a number of LDPCSD Board meetings during the last few months.) Mr. Biggs stated he would further research the subject.


President Bill Kinsella introduced John Turner to the public as the new Interim General Manager and offered him the opportunity to “blow his horn”. (laughter) Mr. Turner said the meeting was his first as IGM and he was getting to know everybody, what they do, how they do it and that his biggest goal was customer service. Mr. Turner also stated, in regards to the treatment plant, he wanted to understand where all the numbers were coming from. He advised a recent State Department of Health inspection went well although a particular area could use some fencing. Turner said he would continue familiarizing himself with the operations of the district.

Wes Barton cautioned that the numbers presented in the packet were misleading because two months were reported due to the fire recovery and questioned why the tank level report was not in the packet because it was useful in analyzing the “shrinkage” (water loss) which was previously estimated to be up to 30%. Barton said it was previously stated the new meter reading system would bring that loss down to 10%. The IGM advised he would eventually convert such information into graph form. Turner also said he had prior experience with water conservation and unaccounted for water and his main concern was how much water was purchased, and how much was sold because any difference was non-revenue. He added loss over 7% required action and he believed our loss was much higher. He agreed the new meters would help reduce this loss but leaks also had to be addressed.

VP Lew Richardson mentioned the report indicated the Ranchito Well produced .47 acre feet although the usage outside MIDPOU was .65 and it was his understanding well production must equal or exceed usage. IGM Turner advised he would attend to the matter.


Financial Administrator Charise Reeves stated there was $558,128 total from all accounts (restricted/unrestricted accounts) and we had received the second out of three teeter payments from the counties, the third expected in June. Charise said she would make it simple and asked if there were any questions.

Sally Punte asked if the county was now charging a fee for our liens which Reeves confirmed stating it was a new charge. Ruth Smith questioned payments to the Merced Sun star and Mariposa Gazette newspaper to which Reeves explained those were for advertisements for the utility worker position which also included the Modesto Bee, Sonora Union Democrat and the Foothill Express. Smith also questioned fuel expenses which Reeves explained had to do with the two large generators used to fill tanks during power outages. Ruth also asked about the Hughes.Net monthly service charges to which Reeves explained nothing could be done until she received the files from the document recovery service. (She could not proceed with canceling the redundant service without the account number). Mrs. Smith pointed out the matter was raised prior to the office fire.

Wes Barton questioned why a previously discussed retirement accrual was not integrated in the report to which Reeves responded she thought it best to make that change at the beginning of the fiscal year. (Monthly versus yearly accrual reporting.) Barton stated $18,000 was a more accurate statement of income profit than the reported $140,000 when considering this retirement accrual.

Director Mark Skoien questioned the previously reported bank errors which Reeves advised still have not been completely resolved. Skoien also asked about an amount budgeted for general engineering which regarded a proposed project that had been abandoned. Reeves advised the prior IGM felt the district should pay for the charges since there was no contract and water was not ultimately supplied.

President Kinsella questioned whether district equipment is marked. IGM Turner stated it has not been but will in the future and on the smaller tools he could engrave or stamp district information. Director Skoien asked if all equipment would also be the responsibility of the employee assigned a particular vehicle which Turner advised it would. (This involves a vehicle assignment procedure IGM Turner has implemented for district vehicles.)

Wes Barton recalled that the board had agreed not to spend money on any projects until the Ranchito Well sustainability report had been completed and suggested someone must have approved the work performed by the engineers. (Three corners project/Bonds Flat and HWY 132)

Director Victor Afanasiev questioned an engineering cost which was listed under Director Emery Ross’s name but Charise Reeves stated the charge had nothing to do with Director Ross – he only requested the information. Afanasiev also questioned how depreciation was calculated with the budget.

Director Skoien asked for some clarification of the outstanding legal fees.

The Board of Directors approved the May Treasurer’s Report for the April Period; payment to Springbrook for $9,236.51 for the annual license and maintenance; and payment to legal counsel for $3,274.36.


Charise Reeves acknowledged she incorrectly recorded that Director Emery Ross was present at the March 13, 2012 meetings and made corrections to the motions and votes (also included Director Skoien and a committee meeting).

VP Lew Richardson requested correction with the reported wording for his proposed commendation to Billing Officer Syndie Marchesiello in the recovery of $40,000+ from Public Works for the under billing of the waste water facility which was acknowledged and corrected.

The Minutes, and changes, were approved by the board.

Following discussion, commendation resolution 2012-4 for S Marchesiello was approved by the board.

The board approved resolution 2012-5 updating the Bank signature cards to indicate removal of the prior IGM and a new resolution will be made upon completion of the background check for the new IGM.

Board Secretary Reeves suggested a recess before the Closed Session to telephone Director Emery Ross to see if he could attend the meeting, President Kinsella agreed.

Close open portion of the meeting at 1417hrs.

Consensus of board to continue with closed session and to have IGM John Turner participate.

Wes Barton questioned if the board had any idea of how much the cases might conceivably cost the district – no estimate on such potential losses.

CLOSED SESSION 1437hrs [Director Emery Ross arrived after the start of meeting: 1502hrs]


Conference with Legal Counsel – Pending litigation Agee vs. LDPCSD;

Conference with legal counsel – Pending litigation Kent/Topie vs LDPCSD;

Closed Session: Public employment: General Manager.


Agee vs LDPCSD: No board action pending Agee’s decision whether to pursue action

Kent/Topie vs LDPCSD: Board will follow legal counsel advice for non-binding mediation

General Manager: John Turner will provide a list of references and board will reconvene within 120 days

Board Secretary Charise Reeves, with board consensus, advised the corrected Minutes will be placed in next month’s packet.

Meeting adjourned at 1611 hours


Alright then, with that meeting out of the way it’s back to Hawk watching and Summer clean up.

Check him out!  Every day the larger chick (believed to be male) gets just a little futher away from the nest.   Mom and Dad only stop by to deliver food now and I suspicion pretty soon they will deliver still living prey.  New videos are located on the home page under the top bar menu RED TAILED HAWK.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Tried to capture the “Super Moon” last night in stills and video – still haven’t worked out the audio situation yet but have some ideas.  Here’s the link:


Also, for updates on the Red Tailed Hawk Nest and how the eyases are doing check the top bar menu link under “Buteo Jamaicensis aka Red Tailed Hawk”.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.