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Director Stan Rajtora, representative on the GA board, gave a report on the November 9 GA meeting. / Laura Austin File Photo

Water Dist. elects new officers

By Patricia Farris News Review Publisher– One of the first orders of business at the December 12 2022 Indian Wells Valley Water District board meeting was the election of new officers for the board. Director Mallory Boyd was unanimously elected to serve as president with Director Ron Kicinski unanimously elected to serve as vice president. The other two positions to fill were the Indian Wells Valley Ground Water Authority board representative (IWVGA). The primary representative to serve on the GA board was Chuck Griffin, he was unanimously selected. The second GA board representative was Director Ron Kicinski who was also unanimously selected.

A lengthy detailed report on the Rate Study was presented. The presenter stated that it was important that the legal request conform to Prop 218 and Prop 26. Before the Rate Study can be approved the District must include a 45-day notice of a public hearing and written majority protest. The Rate Study does not require a voting process (unlike taxes). According to the presenter, the goal is to develop a rate structure that provides fiscal stability and improves affordability to the extent possible. 

Director Stan Rajtora, the representative on the GA board, gave a report on the November 9 GA meeting and what is expected at the next meeting, December 14.

“The Imported Water Project is still progressing, but we still do not have a copy of the latest letter of intent. We are still looking for a loan agent to borrow money from, but still, no progress has been shown with that effort,” said Rajtora. 

At the December meeting, a brief will be presented by Provost and Prichard regarding the Pipeline Alignment Study, the preferred Alignment  Study has been narrowed down from three to two. 

“Also,I expect to see a request for the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a CEQA Document, a pretty standard effort and an RFP for the right of way services. We have to get a right of way so we will have to hire a contractor to do that,”  said Rajtora.  Also, an RFP for design services will be requested.

The Recycled Water Project is still going on. The GA is saying that a report will be available before the end of the year, “which will now be real soon” said Rajtora.  

Regarding the rotation of board representatives serving as chair, we are expecting the Water District representative will again be excluded. “I can vote against it,” said Rajtora “but it will still pass.  

“According to the proposed resolution, the District was supposed to be vice chair this year.” 

Also on the agenda will be a renewal of the Regional Government Services Group contract. Rajtora stated “I voted no last time as there was no budget with it. If there is no budget for it again I will not vote for it. I do not like the undefined contracts where we do not know the cost. It’s undefined and we just keep spending money. 

“I expect to see a request to increase the auditor’s funding. It is the same increase that we discussed last month. It is going to be a formal action on the request to move it from $12,000 to $20,000. The auditor’s reason for the increase is because of the Replenishment Fee. The auditor has had several questions regarding the Replenishment Fee.”

According to the agenda, the audit won’t be presented, it’s just a letter request to add to the budget. 

Rajtora reported that three or four months ago the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) made some recommendations for some changes in the Communication and  Engagements Plan. A discussion of the PAC recommendations is still not on the agenda, One of the PAC’s recommendations is that the GA put a schedule together and integrate it with a cost.  “This is something I’ve been trying to push for a few years, with absolutely no progress. 

“On a good note,” Rajtora said, “the water year 2022 GA Annual Report came out more or less right on schedule.

“I recommend that the Board look at this report and provide input. I am assuming that the District will get Krieger & Stewart and Tim Parker involved again this year. I think our comments were ignored last year. But unless there is a legal issue connected with our consultants reviewing this, I think it would be important for us to get the opinion of these two groups.”