Zone 7 Meeting - September 21, 2022
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
September 21, 2022
The following were present:
DIRECTORS PRESENT: DAWN BENSON
DIRECTORS ABSENT: ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
ZONE 7 STAFF PRESENT: VALERIE PRYOR, GENERAL MANAGER
HEATH MCMAHON, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER - ENGINEERING
OSBORN SOLITEI, TREASURER/ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER -
CAROL MAHONEY, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS MANAGER
AMPARO FLORES, INTEGRATED PLANNING MANAGER
KEN MINN, GROUNDWATER RESOURCES MANAGER
MONA OLMSTED, ACTING PRINCIPAL ENGINEER
BRANDON WOODS, ASSOCIATE ENGINEER
JAVIA GREEN, FINANCIAL ANALYST
ALEXANDRA BRADLEY, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
DONNA FABIAN, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
COUNSEL: REBECCA SMITH, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Call Zone 7 Water Agency Meeting to Order
President Palmer called the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors to order at 7:01 p.m.
Item 2 - Closed Session
The Board went into Closed Session at 6:03 p.m. and adjourned at 6:38 p.m.
Item 3 -
There was nothing to report out of Closed Session.
Item 4 -
Item 5 -
5. Roll Call of Directors - Director Ramirez Holmes was absent.
Item 6 -
6. Public Comment - none.
Item 7 -
President Palmer pulled Items 7c and 7d for a question on Item 7c, as public comment was received on Item 7d.
Director Gambs acknowledged and congratulated staff for their achievement for excellence award in their financial reporting.
Director Gambs moved to approve Items 7a, 7b, 7e, 7f and 7g and Director Figuers seconded the motion. The items were approved by a voice vote of 6-0 with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
President Palmer asked if Item 7c covers the increase in electrical needs planned for the PFAS treatment facility at Stonebridge Wells and Valerie Pryor, General Manager, replied no. This is an as-needed contract for various as-needed repairs and is not specific to a capital project such as Stoneridge.
Director Benson moved to approve Item 7c and Director Green seconded the motion. The item was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
President Palmer stated that she pulled Item 7d as there was public comment received from David Lunn. President Palmer read parts of the letter where Mr. Lunn suggested Zone 7 enter into a joint funding agreement with the US Geological Survey (USGS) for annual stream gauge operations, maintenance, and installation of an additional gauge to service the Arroyo Mocho. Mr. Lunn also noted that flood damage could be prevented if staff are aware of the high flows with the flood warning system, which has no additional cost to Zone 7.
The Board asked staff to bring the item back to a future Board meeting with their recommendation.
Item 8 -
Director Figuers moved to approve the Regular Board Meeting Minutes of August 17, 2022, and Director Benson seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a voice vote of 6-0 with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
Item 9 -
Carol Mahoney, Government Relations Manager, stated that the Legislative Committee asked Andy Ross, Senior Planner for the City of Livermore, to deliver a presentation to explain what is behind Measure P. Ms. Mahoney added that Measure P would affect changes to the policies associated with the City of Livermore's Urban Growth Boundary within the South Livermore Planning Area. If it were allowed, then the City would undertake a sewer extension project along Buena Vista Avenue, Tesla Road, and Greenville Road. Ms. Mahoney stated that the Tri-Valley Conservancy sent a letter in July to the Board of Directors asking the Board to take action on Measure P. Staff developed a draft fact sheet, which is included in the staff report and can be available for informational meetings and other events.
Mr. Ross provided a brief overview and summary of the project and Measure P which hailed from most of the development in unincorporated Livermore, Alameda County, is supported by septic systems and recent studies have shown that there are elevated nitrate levels in the groundwater supply. Mr. Ross added that this is creating concerns over water quality and has led to new and slightly more stringent regulations on septic system development. Mr. Ross stated that this has limited development of the wine country and surrounding areas, and as a result, the city has continued to receive inquiries asking to connect the City's municipal sewer system. Measure P would amend the urban growth boundary policies in the City's General Plan which would allow the city to extend sanitary sewer service beyond the urban growth boundary and service uses.
Rebecca Smith, General Counsel, reminded the Board that as a public agency they are limited in the way they can spend funds in the context of advocacy. One of the rules that comes out of the FPPC, is that they cannot spend public funds to advocate for a measure, but there are some things that the FPPC says are appropriate expenditures of public funds. That includes things like spending staff time in order to understand the impact of a potential proposal, and analyzing it, and then educating about it. She also noted that today there is no action for the Board to take today as this is an informational item.
President Palmer asked that the draft fact sheet be finalized and posted on the website.
David Epstein, Executive Director of the Tri-Valley Conservancy, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Conservancy, for requesting staff prepare a fact sheet, and thanked the Board for their continued support.
Item 10 -
JaVia Green, Financial Analyst, presented the Wholesale Water Rate Study including the schedule, key dates, and assumptions that went into building the rate study. She discussed the additional information the Board requested at the September 7 Board Workshop, draft financial plan scenarios, and next steps. Her presentation will be posted on the website. Ms. Green asked the Board for direction on which scenario they would like to bring forward for adoption at the October 19 Regular Board Meeting.
After brief statements by Board members, it was reiterated by President Palmer that Zone 7 needs to have a reliable water supply that includes both conveyance and storage, and Zone 7 also needs to make sure fixed costs are under control. She added that unfortunately, rates need to be raised. The Board agreed.
Public Comment was received by Vin Pohray, Kelly Abreu, and David Lunn.
Osborn Solitei, Treasurer/Assistant General Manager - Finance, stated that six scenarios were presented to the Board, and he asked President Palmer which scenario she wanted staff to bring back to the Board to adopt at the October Board Meeting. President Palmer and the rest of the Board recommended scenario 5 for adoption at the next Board meeting, but also wanted another look at scenario 6.
The Board took a brief recess.
Item 11 -
Valerie Pryor, General Manager, presented the Drought Update. She stated that not much has changed in the last month. We are still in a critically dry year and are relying on stored water in Kern County and in our groundwater basin. She added that we are doing historically high ground water pumping, and continue to ask for a mandatory 15% conservation. Demands were 17% lower in August, not as good in July, and we need above 15% conservation for the rest of the year to meet our target. Ms. Pryor added that we are continuing to have good activity on our conservation rebates, and we continue to coordinate with retailers on messaging about the drought.
Director Sanwong asked that the previous year rebate numbers be added to the report for comparison.
Item 12 -
Brandon Woods, Associate Engineer, gave a presentation on the possibility of awarding a construction contract for the wells and MGDP electrical upgrades and replacement project. He gave some background on the electrical systems proposed to be replaced, an overview of the work to be done, and the CEQA process. He went over the various sites included in the project, the anticipated schedule, and finally the contractor's experience, the project cost and funding, as well as staff's recommendation.
Mr. Woods stated that a design/build type of contract would allow the contractor to get the submittal process going much quicker than a typical design/bid/build process. He said if Zone 7 did a typical design/bid/build type of contract, it would result in the project not being complete until late summer of 2024.
Mr. Woods added that funding for the project is available through a combination of three different existing CIP projects. The MGDP emergency generator and VFDs replacement, the Hopyard 6 rehabilitation, and the Chain of Lakes 1 and 2 VFDs replacement projects. With the total project cost for the wells and MGDP electrical upgrades and replacement of $7.34 million, no additional funding would be required for the project.
Mr. Woods stated that staff is recommending the Board adopt the resolution and authorize the General Manager to negotiate a contract with Conco West for the design and construction of the project in an amount not to exceed $6.12 million.
Director Gambs moved to approve the item and Director Green seconded the motion. The item was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
Item 13 -
Director Benson excused herself for the presentation due to her association with EBMUD.
Valerie Pryor, General Manager, introduced Dr. Amparo Flores, Integrated Planning Manager, who presented the item. Dr. Flores stated that under this project, staff are proposing to do a maintenance test of two existing potable water interties between EBMUD and DSRSD. Dr. Flores added that staff will use 100 acre-feet of Zone 7's share of Yuba Accord water. Dr. Flores stated that the cost of the contract is about $7,000 in administrative and other fees where DSRSD will be covering the costs of the operation staff time for the test, as well as any equipment costs. DSRSD would also pay Zone 7 at the treated water rate of $2.06 per hundred cubic feet for the water that's delivered to them by EBMUD.
President Palmer summarized that what is happening is Zone 7's allotment of water is going through EBMUD's utilities, then it will be treated and delivered to DSRSD. DSRSD will then pay Zone 7 for it.
Director Gambs moved to approve the Emergency Intertie Maintenance Test and Director Figuers seconded the motion. The item was approved by a voice vote of 5-0-1 with Director Benson abstaining and Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
Item 14 -
14. Committees - notes
There were no comments from the Board on the meeting notes.
Item 15 -
President Palmer stated that she and Director Green presented to the Livermore Indivisible Group at the Livermore Public Library on conveyance, storage, water quality and PFAS.
Director Benson thanked Rich Gould, Operations Manager, who took her on a tour of Zone 7's facilities. She also thanked staff for her Orientation. Director Benson added compliments to staff who operated the Zone 7 booth at the Splatter event in Dublin.
President Palmer congratulated the finance team for the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement of Excellence for the sixth year in a row. She also congratulated Alexandra Bradley, Communications Specialist, for receiving the Excellence in Public Information and Communications (EPIC) award and job she has done with the website.
Item 16 -
There were no items for future agenda.
Item 17 -
Director Figuers asked that on Figure 8 in Item 17e, Monthly Water Inventory and Water Budget Update, the cumulative precipitation show the first driest year along with the second and third, for future reports.
Item 18 -
President Palmer adjourned the meeting at 9:39 p.m.