NOTES FROM LISTENING TO DEC 17th 2018 LDPCSD MONTHLY BOARD MEETING

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Hey viewers!  Here’s the meeting from Monday – and as old Professor Farnsworth would say:

GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY!

There are very few Lew View comments! 

(Difficult to keep toast down already listening to “The voice of the district”!)

lol!

Here we go….just quivering with excitement yeah?

~~~

 

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Johnson: opens meeting at 1307hrs, all present, stand for pledge

JOHNSON ANNOUNCEMENTS: asked if people knew what happened 49 years ago today, 49th Wedding Anniversary of Wes and Gigi Barton.

PUBLIC COMMENT –  no comment

Johnson thanks everyone for their support.

Warren: First came on board during heart of drought, only had 60-90 days of water, sees we got our million dollars back plus land purchase, a lot of improvements to system, got the million bucks back – thanks the board and public for keeping them “honest”? Good work and proud to be part of it.

Johnson: everybody made it successful.

Wes Barton:  Dec 2014 $1 million – $600,000 spent during the emergency.

GM REPORT BY KAMPA:

Impossible to read water audit report ?  Not in agenda packet?  Reads approximately 10 acre feet lost in raw water, and 7.34 AF treated or 22% of what produced.  Hope projects working on will help control failing lines.   Black smudges on paper.

Johnson: report states?  KAMPA: 22% of the treated water lost.

ROSS: How consistent is the water loss from month to month between 22-38%.  Ross believes somebody is diverting the water for use.  Someone is taking water without paying for it he believes.  Has been this way since 2008.  ????  (longer than that)

Kampa stated 5 lines leaking all the time put out a lot of water.  Not consistent month after month.  Fluctuates according to amount of water in system….  Emery stated with all the repairs that have been made the loss should have gone down but remains fairly constant.

Kampa agreed there was a problem.  Kampa said they don’t even know if the ones they are going to replace are actually leaking.  Ross said the loss should go down and Kampa agreed.  Kampa said there was no doubt some were leaking, but was that the totality of the problem?  And he didn’t think so.

The survey found 3 illegal connections but Kampa believes we have more.

7.34 treated, 10AF raw, 17.5 AF total.

Johnson:  total water consumption for this period?  Kampa stated those figures were in gallons not AF, and did some quick calculations……Johnson wanted to know how many AF we sold…..  $6,000 in lost water?

KAMPA – affluent meter vault flooded and doesn’t work…. manual read for 10 years…..will be replaced.  Measures all water leaving plant…..couldn’t test before…….. if can’t find will hire a water audit expert….

Johnson felt the consistent water loss requires a different strategy – perhaps physical inspection of meter boxes.

Kampa reported a lot of research the mapping …..documentation is very fragmented.  Spans a huge amount of time, a couple of things of no doubt, the district followed the county line (rehashing same 411 as last month).   Sierra Highlands Water Company was being followed for the LDPCSD boundaries.  Owners’ Association study …… took boundaries of Sierra Highlands Water Company, what Sierra Highlands had approved by the CPUC,  documentation is only in pieces.   No doubt, probably going to be difficult for state to put it all together, likely going to send back to us and have it  surveyed to prove it an administrative mistake.  (THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!  EVEN MORE MONEY TO SPEND and TIME TO WASTE ON KAMPA’S SPECIAL INTEREST 20 YEAR OLD ANNEXATIONS THAT WANT TODAY’S EXPENSIVE GRANT FUNDED EMERGENCY DROUGHT GROUNDWATER PRODUCTION FOR DEVELOPMENT?)

Kampa says no one place to go for the information.  Kampa pouring over documents and sending to the state.

Johnson:  survey the entire district or just the areas in question?

KAMPA- they’re going to want a surveyor to take the two documents survey and the map and compare the two.   Problem is, Mariposa County side of the drawn map can see the whole left side shifted down and does not follow property lines.  (UNIT 7 abandoned and was never included in the SIERRA HIGHLANDS WATER COMPANY SUBDIVISION OR THE LATER CID/POA and CC&R GOVERNED RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION!)

JOHNSON: Want this approved where there is no doubt where the boundaries are, should have been done a long time ago.  (Already done multiple times but the SO GOSIP (same old group of special interest people) refuse to abandon their  proposed money making developments outside the subdivision fueled with proposed entitled subdivision water!)

Kampa said it would either be an administrative error or we need to go through a petition process to change the POU.  Shouldn’t be too bad because we are already providing service and not bringing in new areas to be developed – they’re existing…..(Perhaps forgot the recent McDonough issue where a property was supposedly brought back into the LDPCSD, which was something I thought only LAFCO had the authority to do?   That property was brought back into district boundary for the specific purpose of development with groundwater substitution paid for by MR WECs!)

Ross said surveying the subdivision would be a can of worms because there are only pieces of rebar marking the survey locations.  Ross said they required brass topped pins with surveyor’s information.

KAMPA said it’s been a lot of preparing for the service line contract – closing out reimbursements – will show up next month.

Randy not present again….out with stomach flu.

Kampa will cover his operations report again.  Normal maintenance around plant.  Kampa concerned with co-ordination with PG&E to fix leak.  Can’t get information.   Randy said it needs to be an emergency to get PG&E out there…..same 411 as last month!

Jose passed his T-2 examination. (D-1/T-2 now and takes pressure off other employees)

DOLLAR GENERAL.  Director Warren asked if there was any new information on the Dollar General not fulfilling the contract as reported earlier?….. Kampa asked  Syndie, no.  Only to get a check to the district which puts a band aid on the wound.   Kampa says it hurts them, because they now own a private water line but there are a lot of main extensions without proper documentation, and DG has not finished their documentation.  Most developers will not complete documentation unless something is held back from their completion but the County of Mariposa TUOLUMNE went ahead and gave them a certificate of occupancy.  Whoops!  Haven’t received any money but he expects we will but not the documentation.

KAMPA does not believe Dollar General will honor what the district is requesting even though he has talked with them multiple times on telephone, 15 times in emails.

Director Ross discussed the AMR (automated meter reading) system and the major failures experienced through the years creating a long meandering discussion including the topic of debris in water tanks (including small fish) and deteriorating main water line from Lake McClure.

Ross asked if it would be tens of millions of dollars to replace the raw water line.  Kampa said he would have to check his budget figures but Johnson stated it would be approximately 2.5 million and Kampa agreed.

VP Hankemeier asked about the barge project (last report was contact could not be made or information obtained regarding the progress of the rebuild project).  Kampa said he left another message that morning for information as they have some new REDESIGN options they are exploring and are drawing them up for the engineer now to be sure they meet the requirements previously set.  Kampa stated “we”’ would have to put the heat on them.

Johnson confirmed that the new groundwater wells could only provide 50% of the district’s true water demand (recall that the district was under mandatory water conservation when wells brought on line) and if the other intake pump goes out the district would likely required a 50% or more water restriction in consumption for the wells to cover demand.

Barge is dry docked with no “in the water again” approximate date.

WES BARTON: Stated he was looking at the situation from an organizational standpoint and what could have happened if we were properly staffed.   He felt many of the questions brought up would never have occurred because the board would have been more involved.   Wes stated he has been looking into the outside POU and map controversy and felt Lew Richardson had some good information about the  situation.   Wes stated if he understood the state’s position (violation notice) this situation was not appropriate for an “administrative remedy” (as Pete Kampa has repeatedly stated) but requires a full change petition to the SWRCB which is not simply asking local people here what they want to do, but rather, noticing all users of Merced River water as to any plan to change current POU boundary and water use regulations.   Barton said the issue wasn’t whether the maps are right or wrong, but rather, does the district want to expand the POU BOUNDARY beyond what was established originally?  Wes stated they were arguing about stuff that had already been decided and should be looking at other things.   He commented on where were we going to expand?    He referenced some material Pete Kampa had provided that suggested only 3 new homes a year.   He said a good accountant would have had the Dollar General set up with a pre-fund that the district would draw from without having to chase after the money owed.  Regarding the Barrett Cove leak that has continued for months due to the lack of PG&E to repair a power pole next to the leak…..what happened to the $16-$19,000 claim for damages PG&E had against the LDPCSD?  (When district dug up some PG&E power lines looking for our water lines.)   Wes said he never saw a payment from the district to PG&E and wondered if that was part of the problem regarding PG&E’s failure to respond to the power pole problem near the continuing main line leak.  Wes said that leak has apparently expanded.  Wes said he has noticed the increase in water because that is where he has always walked every day.

Director Ross: Without people in the audience the board would not be as good as it is.  Watching us and bringing stuff to the board.  It takes a lot to come to meetings but it keeps the directors on their toes.

Johnson said the board does listen (referenced Richardson’s comments) but it takes time and money to address concerns.  (Oh really?  How much time would it have taken for any one Director to pick up the telephone and order an official POU map from the SWRCB instead of listening to a GM with an obvious documented special interest in land development annexations outside the SUBDIVISION PLACE OF USE  from 20 years ago he himself set up when starting his infamous water career?)  The board is trying to fix things from decades ago.(No, you are actually re-litigating POU issues settled decades ago by the state (because of Kampa’s FAKE POU MAP) but outside subdivision developers still want more of our water and Pete Kampa wants MR WECS to continue paying for such special benefit groundwater substitution service.) Johnson said he got on the board to help the district, customers and community.  He had worked with electrical panels before and when he saw the panel at the CSD it scared him.  He appreciated the input.

Item 4 – Johnson wanted to pull out the engineer’s document (from consent agenda) for board discussion.     Board approved remaining treasurer’s report and minutes.

Since Binkley Engineering is retiring from our District business – Kampa discussed his research on the new engineering firm and his decision to go with Blackwater Engineering out of Modesto with whom he has worked with in the past.   Approved.

(Confusion over placement of information in the packet – Kampa stated he accidentally placed items in wrong order.)

KAMPA: Lowest bidder for the grant service line replacement and meter project – tour of district equipment in the rain for bidding contractors –  sealed bid/10% bid bond – received 6 bidders, 12 at pre-bid, 6 turned in that morning.   Must take lowest responsible bidder.    Discussion regarding possible reasons for the varying bid estimates.   Some of the pipe materials being used for replacement are not certified “lead free” as now required by new state standards – but said it was not a big deal.

Director Warren mentioned one bid averaged $7,000 per service line replacement which was much higher that what we previously paid for the work.

GM Kampa said competitive bidding does not always get you the best deal.   Kampa said some of the cost was for re-doing the temporary asphalt repairs done in the past with permanent asphalt patches.  A couple of hundred need to be re-done.

Warren stated that in reality we were back to $2,000 a pop.

Kampa said to be honest is was closer to $2,500 per line without the asphalt repair.  He said the whole first year (2015) was done without reimbursing the district with grant money – all out of pocket.   He said we only got a portion of it back.

Warren reiterated we were paying $2,000 each without asphalt and it didn’t seem to make sense.

Kampa stated he wanted to provide more information….and discussed some of the reimbursement he anticipated from the state in the future which was $335,067.

Director Warren stated he was rather shocked by the cost of each line replacement.

Kampa again explained that the repairs were a little bit different this time because everything will be new, whereas not all of the previously replaced lines replaced all the old components leaving a weak link in the line.  He also reminded directors that the new repairs include all the asphalt repairs required.   Johnson asked if Kampa had an area for the first repairs and he responded “yep”, and stated the majority of the repairs would be located ….. paused, and  referenced a “central reduced zone“ it’s past the pressure regulating valve –

Johnson asked for street names.  Kampa replied, Banderilla, Capullo Circle, pretty much all down around the golf course on either side, up to Banderilla, and up to the Alamo Zone north side and all the way down to the other.

Kampa said the incidence of failures in the area was the factor in selecting them for first replacement and they have higher pressures.

Public comment?  None.

Johnson asked about the communication to the community to let them know what was happening.  Perhaps something in the newspaper?  Johnson wanted to show what we have received for the money spent.  Johnson wants a document advertising the beneficial projects completed with the grant money for publishing for the community to appreciate the work.

Board approves notice of award for the contractor bid.  Unanimous.

Victor Afanasiev questioned what newspaper would be used since the Sonora Union Democrat was no longer available in Lake Don Pedro.  Syndie responded,  Foothill Express and the Mariposa  Gazette, Johnson said it could also go on the LDPCSD website.  Kampa said he would do a press release for local media.

5b. Resolution approving compliance monitoring contract.  P29-37.    Another additional document handed out at the meeting.  Unanimous decision.

5c. From last month – operations reporting and priorities.  Kampa didn’t expect this date to be the planning session but discussion would be good – avoid dwelling on small projects.

Director Warren wanted a priority designation of some type with approximate cost.

Johnson then reiterated he wanted a specific report on where time is being spent by our employees.  Where are our resources being spent.  Is the AMR project actually saving time, or costing district more time and money?  Sick time, vacation time, how are things being taken care of by our employees?   Service maintenance plan board set up – is it helping?  Hindering?

Kampa said it could help but is not being used at this time.  Johnson asked if the program was too cumbersome and prevented employees from using the plan?  Kampa said it was a matter of having the time, Johnson again asked, where is the time being spent?  He said all he hears is there isn’t enough time for whatever, and he wants to know where the time is being spent.

Director Warren said we don’t have the manpower to do a pro-active plan.  He asked if the very expensive map completed was being kept up with the new data?  He was more concerned with the map issue.

Ross said we didn’t have enough people to perform everything wanted.

Johnson talked about his prior employment spanning a great area with 15-20 different organizations but had a report that employees in each area filled out to indicate where time was spent.   He said whatever was on the reporting sheet should equal an 8 hour day.  Originally he was against the “added work” but found the reporting sheet so valuable he insisted that area managers also complete the report.  He said when other managers were making up stuff in answer to the question (what were the employees doing) by top management at a meeting, he could easily report exactly what not only his employees, but their managers, were doing with their time.   Johnson said he had an employee confess to him that the report actually made her feel better about the sense of not getting things done during a particular period when she read what she had accomplished during the same time period.

Johnson said a simple report like that could answer thousands of questions.

Ross questioned the process.  Johnson said it hinged on trust because obviously someone could lie about what they were doing.  Same as with overtime reimbursement….what was being accomplished for this overtime?  Discussion of meter reading and the failure to obtain correct billable readings every month for all customers.

VP Dan Hankemeier wanted to know why employees were perceived as being reactive only and unable to proceed with other planned work.

Kampa said they will never hear from him that our employees running the plant should also be working on capital improvements.  He said they were two different things, yet the employees should be identifying and reporting on district functions that need improvement.   What are the time sucking projects?

Johnson: what is the goal for next month in order to support and work on these plans?  Johnson provided an example:  the general report of “performed service requests” should include how many, what type, etc. are all such requests revolving around a similar problem?  How much time to re-read 29 meters?   Once a complaint becomes a report, how long does it take to response and correction?

Director Warren felt the board was discussing subjects more appropriate for the GM and his management of his employees.  Johnson reminded everyone that the subject came up last month because a groundwater well was off line for a while due to the lack of some gaskets – why didn’t we have those in stock for immediate repair?  He said it was not a witch hunt, but a way for the GM to show how the board could help him and with an employee report tracking system it would not be hard to do.

This month there was $1,800 in overtime.  What did district receive for that overtime?  Questions a responsible board member should ask….where is the money going?

Kampa said they had to obviously discuss the district’s infrastructure and prioritization of a capital improvement plans for the future.  Johnson said such a plan should have dates attached to it for completion, cost, who is accountable, etc.

Johnson reiterated his concern about the condition of intake and thought the public should be aware through district communication.

Director Warren thought 3-4 days more appropriate for such a planning workshop instead of 3-4 hours in one meeting.

Kampa said we were trying to do such projects ourselves and it was an engineering exercise, but just add new projects to others not completed from the past.  He said the district has done things and then s said, wish he hadn’t of done that and he was determined not to rush the process just to get something done for the sake of saying something got done.

Johnson said the board needed to hear from operations and noted that Randy rarely attends meetings (with the operations report therefore traditionally handled by GM Kampa).  Kampa said Johnson and the board would not get the real story and he doesn’t need a report sheet to tell him time is being wasted because none of the automated equipment of the plant is working.  He said the plant was run 80% manually with trouble shooting ongoing.    Kampa stated he has asked for a written engineering explanation of how the treatment plant is supposed to be operating.  Kampa says Randy says the system is only manually operated because he doesn’t know the automatic side of the operation.

Kampa said once the new equipment is installed the employees will be trained on how to run the treatment plant automatically and will  learn  to walk away from the 80% manual operation.

Johnson said, tell me what they are doing – if something needs repair, get it fixed.

Kampa stated he felt he had received good direction from the board.  Projects based on engineering experience and cost factor – something we will talk about with the district engineer.  Johnson asked when could this happen –

A condition assessment – estimated years left of equipment,  6 months, typically a full year for a full plan, but we don’t have to do the whole thing, we can carve out certain projects…. Line replacements, raw water line, master metering, a number of projects, evaluation of the transmission line, etc., intake, treatment plant upgrades, distribution components are all part of a planning grant already submitted and will probably take another two months for decision to award planning grant under Prop 68, it might take four months to get a contract and funding for it because it is a half million dollar planning exercise, but the result is plans and specifications approved by the state ready for a construction grant or construction loan but you’ll see progress all the way through it.

Russ Warren also stated he was appalled at the condition of some of the water tanks – rotten boards supporting electronics, lack of security, level indicator systems not working properly … we needed to standardize and update some of that equipment with new technology such as electrical generation from the moving water in pipes.

Continued discussion as to what might be done.  Johnson asked if Kampa if he could just explain to him the operational roles of employees because he felt there was more the board could do there.

Director Emery Ross asked Wes Barton how many people were here in 2008 – for operations?  Wes replied he believed 3 or 4.  Ross said, double what we have now and things weren’t getting done then.

Director Warren felt that with only three employees in operations we were slowly sinking as a district.

Johnson disagreed but continued by asking the board what they wanted to do about the matter.

VP Hankemeier asked when Kampa would have something put together for the board regarding a planning meeting for projects?

Kampa said the first part would be consulting with the engineer but a condition assessment of the plant could not be done quickly and the district had a lot to do.

Public Comment:  Wes Barton stated every GM has had a plan of what needs to be done and how employees were spending or should be spending their district work time.  Every GM here has had their own computer package through the years for such employee tracking costing around $1,000 – $2,000 for the software.   Wes said the real question to ask was, what are employees doing that customers are willing to pay for?  Those are pretty well listed.  But what are they doing that customers do not want to pay for?  Those are the things you want to get rid of.   Wes said this could be done with some special time cards entered into that software package.  Value added work, or, bad work?  That can go into your computer system.  That can be done but who will be using the information?    We hired the CPA at $600 a month, for payroll and the financials, he now gets paid about $2,500 a month.  I don’t know what he’s doing, you guys know what he’s doing but I don’t, but I think he could be doing this kind of recapping work with this information.  Wes said it would take time to get started but it could be done if we stopped with the other garbage.  Just like with the grants – no question that they’re a blessing but everything we do with a grant takes a lot longer and a lot more money than you can convince anyone in the public  – am I to believe we got three wells for $600,000 each?   I don’t think so, I don’t believe that was reasonable and I wouldn’t even try to explain it.  But it happened.  Why did it happen?  Because it had a whole bunch of these  other things in there that had to be done because of all the engineers and all.  Maybe we need to staff up with the right people – so long as we’ve already got a CPA we’re more than doubling his pay right now –  more than doubling it, so he could be doing these things and we could simplify the things all we want  let’s throw out the things that aren’t worth doing.  Wes said he wasn’t looking for a job but would be more than willing to help with the effort.

President Johnson asked for a summary.

Syndie said she had it for Kampa to meet with engineer and establish a time.

5d.  Board reorganization.  VP Hankemeier suggested keeping everything the same.  Ross seconded.

Unanimous board decision to leave board as is.

Next closed session, 3:40hrs, will reconvene at 3:48hours.

CLOSED SESSION: CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – LITIGATION Significant exposure to litigation pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of Government Code Section 54956.9: (1 case)

 

President Danny Johnson open meeting for the CLOSED SESSION REPORT OUT at 4:14 hrs, with nothing to report, and closed meeting also at 4:14hrs.

 

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Well, that’s what I noted from listening to the two CDs (Regular Board Meeting and the CLOSED SESSION “Report Out”) I picked up yesterday.

I wonder if the litigation could be with PG&E for the damage claim the district has evidently not paid?

Or a personnel hiring matter for operations manager from last year?

Or GM Kampa’s POU map submitted to the State Water Board?

(Recall admission from last month that district could potentially be subject to “exposure”?)

Who the heck knows?

(But I sure as heck have some reasonably fact based theories.)

Time will tell.

My best to you and yours, Lew

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