The Redway Community Services District confronted the challenge of anticipating potential growth in the district at their regular board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Board chair Michael McKaskle reported that the district’s ad hoc New Connections Committee met with engineer Sami Kader of Water Works Engineers, and rate consultant Greg Clumpner of NBS.
McKaskle said the report from Kader was still in draft form and would be available at a future special meeting. He explained that Kader had analyzed average usage for residential and commercial services and from that data could determine average daily production needed for different classes of customers.
“That kind of gave us a baseline of what is our average-month maximum daily production or demand per connection and what is the average demand per connection so it gave us a pretty good idea of going forward, although it’s not finalized and the whole board hasn’t seen it yet,” McKaskle said of Kader’s draft report.
McKaskle said there were 635 actual accounts, but some had multiple connections as in the case of one of the trailer parks in the district.
Board vice chair Linda Sutton pointed out the importance of getting the report’s information as soon as possible.
In addition, McKaskle reported that district consultant Ken Dean and staff Calvin Chaille had been working with information from Scott Buecker, the engineer who had worked on the district’s capacity study of August 2014, to create a spreadsheet on the efficiency of the wastewater treatment plant.
“I could not decipher the spreadsheet in entirety and we really need Ken to sit here and talk with us but it’s basically Ken saying that he has confidence that we’re not going to run afoul of ruining our system if we were to take on some incremental amount of growth,” McKaskle said.
“That’s still in the works. We’re trying to set the groundwork so that we’re able to say how much capacity we have right now,” he added.
McKaskle went on to report that the committee had a consultation with Greg Clumpner of NBS of Davis about rates and new connection fees. He said they discussed conservation surcharges and conservation capacity increase charges, and explained that hookup fees could include equity buy-in and a new capacity surcharge.
The board had previously estimated a growth rate of 1.5 percent for Redway over the next 20 years. At the meeting Wednesday they discussed the difficulty of foreseeing the future and determining what will be required to provide adequate but not over-built services which would be hard to pay for in the event that growth was less than anticipated. McKaskle indicated that the district has gotten inquiries about new connections from potential customers.
McKaskle told the board that the district is in map 34 of the county General Plan Update (GPU). He reported that Redwood Drive and some of Briceland Road in Redway had been changed to Mixed Use designation in the GPU, meaning combined commercial and residential uses. He said this could cause significant development and higher densities in Redway.
The district has an unnamed spring that has not been used as a water source for many years that the board wants to develop. They have been working toward acquiring more of the land around the spring and upgrading the infrastructure.
McKaskle reported that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently looked at the spring and expressed several concerns about the development plans. One potential impact to the river was the reduction of the cold water provided by the spring. McKaskle said CDFW also expressed concern about potential damage to the stream bed, and the potential release of chlorinated water into the stream in the event of damage to the pipe. There was also discussion, McKaskle said, about whether some of the old infrastructure should be removed.
In other business, the board looked at the financials and discussed, as they have in the past, the presentation of the financial report. The district had changed the accounting system they used more than a year ago, but some board members are not happy with the way the financial information is presented and they continue to look for ways to fine-tune the financial statements.
The ad hoc Water Shortage Contingency Plan and Conservation Committee reported they discussed ways to engage and educate children about water usage. Committee members Rian Shultz and Linda Sutton said there are games that teach kids how much water goes into making a hamburger, and they also liked the ever-popular what-not-to-flush list. Shultz asked if the district could have a table at the Water and Fire Day event that is held in Garberville in April.