Lompico Water asks to borrow $30K to study merger
by Peter Burke
Apr 16, 2012 | 1908 views | 18 18 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lompico County Water District trustees voted to borrow as much as $30,000 from the San Lorenzo Valley Water District to explore several issues related to a possible merger of the districts.

Lompico Water’s board agreed by a 3-0 vote at a special meeting April 4 to borrow the money it would need to study three large storage tanks that need replacement and the proposed route of an intertie connecting the districts’ pipes.

SLV Water’s board of directors will vote on the loan at its April 19 meeting.

The loan would allow SLV Water to hire subcontractors on the smaller district’s behalf for:

  • Soil boring and geotechnical investigations related to the replacement of three water tanks in Lompico. 
  • Surveying, including a map of the proposed intertie pipeline and preparation of easements for the property owners. 
The surveyor would work with property owners along the route to determine the value of the easements.

Lompico Water does not have enough cash on hand to pay for the studies and keep operations running smoothly. The district also does not have a manager who would manage projects such at the technical studies.

Lompico board members Rick Harrington, Bill Smallman and Lois Henry voted in favor of the loan. Sherwin Gott and Shannar Abraham were absent.

According to SLV Water District Manager Jim Mueller, the survey and soil investigations would address several questions asked by SLV Water’s directors about the potential consolidation, said.

“At this point, we’re trying to answer some unanswered questions,” Mueller said.

The cost of the intertie is a key issue, Mueller said. He said the district must also be able to secure the necessary easements before starting construction on the pipeline.

“It’s moving, and it’s slow,” Mueller said. “There’s a lot (of information) to gather and analyze.”

San Lorenzo Valley Water District presented Lompico Water’s directors with a $2.64 million plan in July 2010 that included such improvements as replacing the leaky tanks and building the intertie pipeline between the districts. Since then, the staff of the larger district has continued to study the possible merger.

Mueller said this week that the estimated cost was $2.5 million, but the planned geotechnical studies would clarify how much merging the districts would actually cost.

Using the results of those studies, SLV Water staff members would put together a follow-up proposal with more detailed information about easements and cost, Mueller said.

Most Lompico residents are in favor of joining SLV Water, according to a survey included in their water bills. Of the 44 percent of water users who returned the survey, about 87 percent approved of the merger, while 8 percent opposed it.

The cash-strapped Lompico district still must find a way to finance the merger, however. That would likely involve passing a bond, and the 500 Lompico Water customers would foot the bill themselves, according to SLV officials.

Directors Abraham and Gott, who were absent from the April 4 meeting, have been in the minority on many votes of the five-person board.

Abraham said by phone this week that he was out of town April 4 and was due to return the following Monday, April 9. He suggested that the meeting should have been held then.

“It was not urgent enough to do a special meeting that couldn’t wait a couple of days,” he said.

Abraham said SLV Water’s board was expected to vote on the proposal at its April 19 meeting, more than two weeks after the Lompico board’s special meeting.
Comments
(18)
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Ken Klamath
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April 25, 2012
http://pressbanner.com/view/full_story/13071517/article-Letter--Water-rate-increases-are-unfair

We do not want our water company bought out by SLV Water District.

We should also not be afraid to speak up.
Lompico
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April 25, 2012
To Lompico- Take Heed

Felton Resident |May 03, 2011 Not to mention, remmember FLOW got us to buy CALAM and give it to San Lorenzo? That is another $500 /yr on our property taxes on top of all these rate hikes. CALAM never treated us like this.

To Lompico - Take Action

This will soon be our sad story if you don't get involved now. Lompico Water has 3 seats up for election. It's not rocket science, just takes a bit of smarts,a sense of ethics, dedication and interest in fixing our own system.

All things most of the current board seem to be lacking.

If the current board and their lackey Citizen's advisory committee had any sense of fair play, they would have investigated alternate plans also on saving the district, not just the merger.

I can't believe this board wasted years of Lompico's time and money....but we can still be saved, just need a new board of directors...LBRA need not apply!

Farmer Ted
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April 23, 2012
Here is what really needs to happen. Split the district, and let Lake BLVD tie in with SLV. That way we can keep our water rights, and our park, and the LLRBA can sue SLV when the road washes out.
Barclay Charles
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April 19, 2012
Since the San Lorenzo Valley Water District is seeking the takeover of the Lompico Water District. Shouldn't SLVWD pay for the $30,000 study? Seriously.
Lompico Resident
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April 23, 2012
This is scary:

http://pressbanner.com/view/full_story/13071517/article-Letter--Water-rate-increases-are-unfair

"Plans to ship Felton water out of the area for profit"
Mr Moderate
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April 19, 2012
It's our own history and our own inability to oversee a water district that got us where we are.

That's not going to change with someone saying 'we don't want to pay more'. Me, personally, I would pay more for quality water service.

Our history here has been marred with a district manager who took advantage of a board that didn't know how to manage him. And, under our own control we screwed it up and spent all the money on him instead of our own infrastructure. We're not going to be able to maintain directors that are truly qualified to operate a district.

To me, the most efficient thing is to move toward consolidation with a larger entity that has the smarts to manage the district and the efficiency to keep the costs down.

Not merging only means doom. Mr Gott, I voted for you, but I want my vote back!
Barclay Charles
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April 19, 2012
Entity that has the smarts to manage the district and efficiency to keep the costs down?

Then you won't be advocating for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District to take over.
The Comedian
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April 17, 2012
To borrow from the great comedian Ron White's act. You can fix the pipes, you can fix the pumps, you can fix the plumbing, "but you can't fix stupid". And if you can't figure out why you don't want to own your own water system, then you can't be fixed.
Olivia B
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April 17, 2012
You DON'T want to be taken over by the San Lorenzo Valley Water District. Ask Felton ratepayers. SLVWD is as bad as, if not worse than, Cal Am.

The water quality has plummeted. We no longer drink straight from the tap, water is filtered or store-bought.

Rates are being raised FAR more than FLOW suggested.

Only positive is the people in the office are nice. But that was said about the Cal Am office as well. So we paid $28 million for nothing.

Lompicans - keep it local. Stay far away from San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
Lompico
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April 17, 2012
If you believe that survey and it's results, then I've got some prime real estate you'd be interested in. I'd be more than happy to be the appraiser and the lender. Trust me, no really trust me, it's a GREAT deal!
Lompico resident
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April 17, 2012
Just to be clear, only 80% of the 40% who responded are in favor, so it is really only about 38% of the Lompico District customers that have said they are for it. Not 80% of the total residents.
Bill Smallman
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April 17, 2012
Maybe you should of voted.
Lompico resident
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April 18, 2012
Oh I did vote, and in the upcoming election I will vote for someone who knows the difference between "have" and "of"

Lompico
|
April 17, 2012
How would you know if 80% of the customers are for a merger when there has not been a vote. The people of Lompico want to know how much it will cost and has asked many times and to quote the merger committee, This Answer is "Best Guess"

Is that how you would buy a car or a house? Is that how you would conduct business? It's just simple math, how much will it cost?
Water Boy
|
April 17, 2012
No vote huh? Then why are you responding if that is all this article is about?
Ken Ballard
|
April 16, 2012
Let's be clear. This is a done deal. The merger between the San Lorenzo Valley Water District and the Lompico Water District is already agreed upon behind closed doors.

Public board of directors, public process and transparency are completely meaningless. It's a done deal.

Mark my words.
Ben Lomond
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April 17, 2012
It's a shame it's not yet a "done deal". The Grand Jury suggested it over two years ago. Talks began a long time ago. My understanding is that over 80% of the Lompico District customers favor it and yet a couple of people in Lompico seem to still be trying to derail the process.

What hasn't been transparent?
Water Boy
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April 17, 2012
Please provide what needed to be done to be more transparent?


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