MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT, ZONE 7
100 NORTH CANYONS PARKWAY ? LIVERMORE, CA 94551 ? PHONE (925) 454-5000 ? FAX (925) 454-5727
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
September 20, 2017
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: SANDS FIGUERS
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
DIRECTORS ABSENT: NONE
ZONE 7 STAFF: JILL DUERIG, GENERAL MANAGER
OSBORN SOLITEI, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, FINANCE/TREASURER
AMPARO FLORES, MANAGER, INTEGRATED PLANNING
LIRA WALTER, ACTING BOARD SECRETARY
COUNSEL: DAVID ALADJEM, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Call Meeting to Order
President Greci called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. and the board went into Closed Session immediately.
Item 3 - Open Session and Pledge of Allegiance
The Board came out of Closed Session at 6:55 p.m. President Greci called the meeting back into session at 7:00 p.m. and led the Salute to the Flag.
Item 4 -
REPORT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION
President Greci reported that the Board met in Closed Session on the items on the agenda and that no reportable actions were taken. He then read a resolution regarding an Amendment to Appendix A - Footnotes to Salary Schedule 7.2 - Professional Engineer License Fee -- to the salary schedule contained in the Memorandum of Understanding with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21.
Director Palmer moved to adopt the resolution, and Director Quigley seconded. There being no discussion or comment from the public on the matter, the motion passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 17-72 Approved the Amendment to Appendix A - Footnotes to Salary Schedule 7.2 - Professional Engineer License Fee - to the salary schedule contained in the MOU with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21, effective September 20, 2017. (Item 2a)
Item 5 -
There were no public comments.
Item 6 -
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING OF AUGUST 16, 2017
Director Quigley moved that the minutes of August 16, 2017 be accepted and approved, and Director Palmer seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a voice vote of 7-0.
Item 7 -
a. Request for "Out-of-State" Travel to Attend the AWWA California-Nevada Section Annual Fall Conference
b. Professional Services Contract for Landscaping Services
Director Palmer moved to approve Items 7(a) and (b) and Director Quigley seconded the motion. The items were passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 17-73 Authorized Colter Andersen to Attend the AWWA California-Nevada Section Annual Fall Conference 2017 (Item 7a)
Resolution No. 17-74 Authorized Professional Services Contract with Jensen Landscape Services, LLC (Item 7b)
Item 8 -
July Employee of the Month Recognition - Gene Briones
Ms. Duerig announced that Gene Briones, Water Resources Technician in the Facilities Engineering section, was the July Employee of the Month. Gene joined Zone in February 2014 as a Water Resources Technician I and was promoted to Water Resources Technician II in February 2016. This is Gene's second Employee of the Month recognition. He was acknowledged for his continued commitment in providing support in various areas such as construction, drafting, encroachment permit work, and offering assistance with Flood Control inspections. Gene was recognized for his ongoing dedication, as well as being an all-around great guy! The Board applauded Mr. Briones in absentia for his accomplishments.
New Employee Introduction - Josh Ruggeiro
Ms. Duerig introduced Josh Ruggeiro, Water Resources Technician I, who was present in the audience. Josh joined Zone 7 through the Temporary Assignment Pool (TAP) program in November 2016, and left the program to take a permanent position in the Flood Control section. He brings several years of experience in engineering surveying, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and water conservation for both public and private agencies. Josh holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Management & Protection with a minor in GIS from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. He also holds a Land Surveyor-in-Training (LSIT) Certificate from the State of California. The Board applauded and welcomed Mr. Ruggiero to Zone 7.
New Employee Introduction - Michelle Parent
Ms. Duerig introduced Michelle Parent, Water Resources Technician I, who was present in the audience. Michelle also joined Zone 7 through the Temporary Assignment Pool (TAP) program in April 2017, and left the program to take a permanent position in the Groundwater section. During Michelle's short time with the agency, she has done a great job maintaining well sites, handling all the well permitting and conducting inspections. She brings qualified experience from her most recent role in the Stormwater Engineering Section at Marin County Public Works, performing GIS mapping, data processing and reporting. Michelle also possesses several years' experience in the software industry, and holds dual Bachelor's degrees in both Geology and Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. The Board applauded and welcomed Ms. Parent to Zone 7.
New Employee Introduction - Pete Czerwinsky
Ms. Duerig introduced Pete Czerwinsky, Water Plant Operator III in the Operations section. He holds a Grade 5 Water Treatment and a Grade 3 Water Distribution certification from the State of California. Pete joined Zone 7 on August 28th with over twenty-seven years of relevant experience, most recently at the City of Folsom. He also holds an Associate's Degree in Business Administration from Sierra College. The Board welcomed and applauded Mr. Czerwinsky in absentia.
Item 9 -
SUPPORT FOR CALIFORNIA WATERFIX AND RELATED ACTIONS
Lucia Del Puppo with Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates - FM3 gave a presentation on the key findings from a local voter survey conducted in August, 2017. The survey concluded that voters are largely unfamiliar with Zone 7 and with the California WaterFix. Despite this lack of familiarity, they report satisfaction with their water quality and water reliability, but they expressed concerns about water rates and water hardness. However, once they learned about the California WaterFix project, three in five people said they support it. Support for the WaterFix is driven by the desire for a clean, safe and reliable water supply. The WaterFix receives majority support across all of the cities in Zone 7's service area. This support grows as voters learn more about specific elements of the WaterFix, such as decreasing the amount of wasted water and protecting the infrastructure system in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster.
Directors Ramirez Holmes and McGrail both expressed disappointment that the Board did not receive preliminary polling results prior to the board meeting which would have given them time to digest the information before the meeting. A discussion ensued regarding the data presented which showed the need to educate the community more about Zone 7 Water Agency and the California WaterFix. Director Ramirez Holmes asked that the data and cross tabs from the poll be made available at the agency for viewing.
Based on the survey results, a follow-up presentation was put together by staff to provide additional information regarding the water supply evaluation. Amparo Flores, Integrated Planning Manager, then gave a presentation entitled "Support for California WaterFix and Related Actions." The presentation highlighted the blueprint for "a sustainable and resilient future" by way of infrastructure upgrades to the 50-year-old through-Delta conveyance of the State Water Project, including three new intakes in the northern part of the Delta and two new tunnels. This dual conveyance system will enhance the reliability of the SWP and CVP water supplies and protect the Delta's ecosystem. In July 2017, the Department of Water Resources certified the Notice of Determination, approving the proposed project under CEQA.
Staff recommended adopting a resolution endorsing California WaterFix and related environmental and other actions to support the project's progress, including a gap funding agreement up to $250,000 to cover some limited costs for California WaterFix starting on January 1, 2018. The resolution authorizes the General Manager to negotiate Zone 7's participation in the Finance Joint Powers Authority and the Design and Construction Authority, and to execute any associated agreements.
In response to Director Ramirez Holmes' question about how the Westlands vote of 7-1 against participation in the JPA would affect the share that Zone 7 will be asked to pay, Ms. Duerig read a statement from John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources, which stated "Yesterday's vote by Westlands does not change the fact that 25 million people rely on an increasingly unreliable water system and the Delta's ecosystem is in serious decline. There is broad agreement that water deliveries will continue to decline without upgraded infrastructure in the Delta. The state is not going to walk away from its obligation to advance this critical upgrade. While it's too soon to speculate on potential changes to the project, the state will continue to consider how best to meet the needs of the agencies that want to participate in the project." She anticipates that the agency will not pay for Westlands' share, and that the project will be sized appropriately for the participants. Staff is capping the gap funding amount at $250,000 which is between what was paid for Los Vaqueros at $100,000 and Sites Reservoir at $800,000. The $250,000 requested will cover Zone 7's share through the end of 2018. Anything above the $250,000 in gap funding would need to come back to the board for approval.
Director Quigley expressed his support of the item stating that the California water system needs to be fixed and the tunnels will give us better quality water. He thanked Dr. Flores and Staff for a great report.
Director Stevens added that a very important aspect of the WaterFix is reliability, cost, and water quality.
Director Palmer discussed climate change, rising sea levels, and the resulting amount of brackish salt water going upstream which will increase the salt levels where we currently take the water in in the Delta. This means that we would have to do more desalination if we were to use that water for drinking. Taking water further upstream is something that we need to plan for, and if we don't start soon we're going to have challenges meeting people's needs. She expressed support for the item and stated that planning for taking the water through either a single or double tunnel further upstream is going to be absolutely paramount and time is of the essence.
President Greci discussed the Board's role of making decisions that will maintain water reliability for our constituents in this valley. Although many options are on the table, every one of those options costs money. He reiterated what Dr. Flores mentioned earlier about taking the water further upstream to increase capability during peak flows to divert water when it is available. The importance of the WaterFix is improved reliability and we are not going to get that reliability for free, so we must be smart about managing the costs and stay proactively involved with the plan. He thanked Dr. Flores for an awesome presentation.
Director Figuers added that this topic has been argued for over 110 years. Although it may be the politically nice thing to do to vote against it, it really must be done. He urged his fellow board members to vote for it.
President Greci asked for public comments on the topic.
Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst with Restore the Delta, addressed the board. He discussed the financial and regulatory risks associated with the WaterFix and stated the risks of WaterFix participation to Zone 7 are many relative to its benefits. Given all the risks, Restore the Delta suggested that the Board delay the vote on WaterFix for a few weeks at least until enough information could be gathered from staff to make a decision. If the decision to approve the proposed resolution passes, RTD suggested the Board consider amendments to limit exposure to risks such as capping participation at no more than its average water supply allocation share.
Dan McIntyre, General Manager at Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) addressed the board. He discussed the history of the water reliability policy which was enthusiastically supported by the Retailers. In November 2015, polling done in the Tri-Valley area made it clear that residents expect sustainable water reliability and that 56% of those polled would pay $20 more per month to ensure reliability to save themselves from the predicament experienced in the 2014/2015 drought. Given the uncertainty of the level of support for the various options and projects, he stated it is premature to assume that any one project or combination of projects is the answer.
Director Ramirez Holmes stated that considering the WaterFix has no new supply, committing Zone 7 customers to unknown long-term costs is not something she is comfortable with.
Director Stevens warned against believing information in the media that might be less than accurate and encouraged his fellow directors to trust Staff who has been studying this for a decade or more. Director Quigley concurred.
Director McGrail agreed with Mr. Stroshane that a decision on the WaterFix is premature and too costly.
Director Figuers expressed his support of the project. He added that every major project has risks, but the American spirit is about taking risks and figuring out how to do projects through to completion. The key issue here is we need the water.
In response to President Greci's question about why Zone 7 should be the first public agency to support the project, Ms. Duerig explained that the State Water Contractors have been actively involved in the development of this plan for over a decade trying to come up with the best plan to balance the coequal goals of water reliability with ecosystem improvements. Although this plan is not perfect, it is the best that many experts and many hours can develop. Zone 7 has been central to the plan's development and Staff has a very good level of knowledge of it and all the variations and what that might mean over the future as it evolves and participants decide what their level of participation is. The reason Zone 7 should stay at the forefront is because our reliance on this project is as great or greater than any other contractor at 80-90% of our supply. Even if we were to do potable reuse and desalination, as Dr. Flores said, we would still rely on the SWP for 70% of our water, which is still going to leave us in a position of not having seismically upgraded our primary piece of aging infrastructure. It would not be appropriate for Zone 7 to be the last when we've been the leaders from the start.
Director Palmer moved to approve Item 9(a) and Director Quigley seconded the motion. The item was passed by a roll call vote of 5-2, with Directors McGrail and Ramirez Holmes opposed.
Resolution No. 17-75 Approved Support for the California WaterFix and Related Actions
Item 10 -Committees: There were no committee meetings during the past month.
Item 11 -
REPORTS - DIRECTORS
a. Verbal comments by President
b. Written report by Director Palmer
c. Verbal reports
Director Quigley reported that he attended three ACWA meetings recently.
Item 12 - Items for Future Agenda - Directors
Item 13 -
STAFF REPORTS (Information items. No action will be taken.)
a. General Manager's Report
b. Legislative Update
c. Outreach Activities
d. Water Inventory and Water Budget Update (August 2017)
Ms. Duerig asked the Board to let her know if they would like to be on an ACWA committee. The deadline to file those requests with ACWA is in one week, with the exception of the Ag Committee because that has yet to be formed.
Ms. Duerig further reported that the agency is moving forward with its 60th Anniversary activities. T-shirts and the 18-month calendars have been distributed. An upcoming event on October 4th at Lake Del Valle Dam is being planned. Many board members have already participated in the oral history that U.C. Berkeley is putting together. Laura McCreery from U.C. Berkeley has been trying to reach the remaining Board members who have yet to speak with her, so Ms. Duerig reminded them to please reach out if you need her contact information.
Ms. Duerig then directed everyone's attention to the new painting in the board room which was created by Director Palmer. It is named "January 20, 2017." Ms. Duerig said that when asked what that meant, Director Palmer responded, "Floods Follow Drought." The painting is very representative of the 60 years of commitment that this agency has had to this valley for water resource management during droughts and flood.
Item 14 -
The meeting was adjourned at 8:54 p.m.