EID bond refinancing approved: Will save $1M annually; term not extended

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat 1-31-14

A majority of the Board of Directors of the El Dorado Irrigation District Jan. 27 approved saving $1 million a year by refinancing $133 million of its debt at a lower interest rate.

The vote was 3-0-1. Voting for the refinancing were Board President Alan Day and Directors George Osborne and Bill George. Director Greg Prada abstained and Director Dale Coco was on a prior-announced absence.

By the time the existing bonds are swapped out for the new issue in mid-February, the savings this year is expected to be $300,000.

At the final moment when the general manager, finance director, bond counsel and bond underwriter decide whether backing the bond issue with bond insurance is the most economical approach, the district could wind up with fewer bonds on the books at a lower rate without extending the term of the bonds. It could also come up with a bonus when they are sold.

The bonds were chosen for refinancing because they are callable, meaning EID can pay them off before they mature. The new bonds will have the same maturity date of 2039. In addition to the $1 million savings through 2025 and $400,000 thereafter, there will be a net present value saving of $6 million-$8 million, according to Finance Director Mark Price.

Net present value analysis, according to Fundamental Accounting Principles by Larson, Wild and Chiappetta, “applies the time value of money to future cash inflows and cash outflows so management can evaluate the benefits and costs at one point in time.”

Price told the board the savings could be used to decrease future rate increases and fund smaller capital projects on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The bonds, called Certificates of Participation, were issued in 2004 at an original true interest cost of 4.144 percent and will be refunded at a rate of approximately 2.8-3 percent. The 2009 original true interest cost was 5.964 percent and the refunding rate will be approximately 5.1-5.25 percent, according to Price.

The district has $360,561,000 in outstanding debt. Thirty-one percent of the debt is in variable-rate bonds backed by a letter of credit from Citibank. From March 1, 2004, to Dec. 30, 2013, the rate has varied from a high of 3.828 percent in 2008 to a low of 0.991 percent Dec. 30, 2013.

The district actually earns more on its reserve funds than it pays in variable rate interest, said Dave Houston of Citibank. “The reserve funds are invested in the State Treasurer’s Local Agency Investment Fund and can be withdrawn anytime. It’s a net cash positive versus what the district is paying,” Houston said.

Houston said the variable rate debt is “tailored for EID to have the best match to liabilities” and “to take the volatility our of your budget.”

Price noted that in the last couple of months the variable rate of the district’s bonds had been 0.03 and 0.04 percent.

Tuesday General Manager Jim Abercrombie told the Mountain Democrat the latest indications from the bond market are that the actual savings from the refinancing may be as high as $1.4 million annually.

In an e-mail to the Mountain Democrat sent at midnight Monday, Director Greg Prada explained his abstention as follows:

“With regret today, I abstained on voting for the debt refinance due to my concern that the Preliminary Official Statement contained materially misrepresented projections as to the district’s intent to raise rates 5 percent annually in 2016-2017,” Prada said.

“I believe that the debt refinance opportunity is in the district’s best interests but only if it can be obtained using financial projections which reflect only board-approved rate hikes and further are consistent with the campaign representations three board members made to the public in getting elected,” Prada said.

“Things can change regarding rate hike intentions by one or more of these board members, but to date the board has had no scrutiny of 2015-forward budgets and spending alternatives,” Prada said. “I am disappointed that the financial projections being presented to prospective new bond holders precluded my ability to vote for the debt refinance.”

Prada did join a unanimous vote for the EID “Disclosure Procedures,” which he had wanted more time to study when it was presented at the Jan. 13 meeting.

Six actions were approved by the board:

1. Resolution authorizing issuance of the refunding revenue bonds.

2. Indenture of Trust agreement making Union Bank trustee for the eventual bond holders.

3. Preliminary Official Statement disclosing all material aspects of the district.

4. Continuing Disclosure Certificate describing reporting requirements for the duration of the bonds.

5. Escrow Agreements making Union Bank the recipient and escrow agent for the borrowing proceeds.

6. Bond Purchase Agreement contract with underwriter Citigroup Global Markets Inc., valued at about $900,000.

Another $300,000 covers the cost of the bond counsel, the cost of the rating agencies to rate EID’s bond issuance, EID’s financial adviser and other costs of issuance. Total cost of the refinancing, according to Price, is $2.3 million. The savings figures touted for the refinancing included the transaction costs, he said.

Prada’s objection was to a No. 3, the Preliminary Official Statement. The POS is a treasure trove of information about the district. A statement on page 30 brought his opposition:

“The district is currently projecting water system rate increases of 5 percent in fiscal year 2016 and 5 percent in fiscal year 2017,” the POS stated.

However, the very next two sentences stated, “Any increases in water system rates in fiscal years 2016, 2017 and thereafter are subject to notice, public hearing and protest process as described under … Proposition 218. ”

The final sentence of the POS stated, “There can be no assurance that such increases will be approved by the Board of Directors or that a majority protest against the increase will not occur.”

On page 31 was a list of bimonthly water service charges for single-family residents, with EID’s lower than Grass Valley, Elk Grove, Placerville, Rancho Murieta, Placer County Water Agency, Nevada Irrigation District and South Lake Tahoe. At $94.34, EID’s rate was slightly higher than flat-land districts like Sacramento Suburban and Folsom, and definitely higher than Citrus Heights’ $57.28.

El Dorado Hills resident Paul Raveling produced a graph showing rates, operating expenses and inflation from 1996 to 2013.

“Rates increased 5.6 percent between 1990 and 2009,” Raveling said, adding the Consumer Price Index rose 81.5 percent in the same period. “EID is catching up with inflation.”

Prada also objected that the Facility Capacity Charges (hookup fees) for 2014 were too low at $17,578 plus the cost of the meter and any potential road crossing charges.

“The financial plan was submitted last year. The board approved the financial plan document. The budget was approved in October,” said Day. “The board did not approve rate increases for 2016. That would have to go through a Prop. 218 process.”

“The information is a snapshot in time,” said Day. “So long as we pay our bills we’re OK.”

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EID crew rebuilding 2 flumes

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat 10-28-11

Four regular construction crew members and four temp workers are busy hammering away at 336 feet of wooden flumes the El Dorado Irrigation District is rebuilding from the ground up. They began Oct. 3 and by Oct. 26 had all the framing in place.

The EID construction crew is rebuilding two flumes, identified as Flumes 39 and 40. The two flumes hook up on the east to a section that was rebuilt last year. Each flume section is separated by a short section that is a sharp turn and won’t be rebuilt until next year. That sharp bend is elevated and requires engineering and steel girders, according to Steve Lindstrom, hydro operations and maintenance supervisor.

Flumes 39 and 40 are remote enough that the demolished materials needed to be taken out by helicopter and the new, precut treated timbers and lumber needed to be helicoptered in.

A small portion of the flumes under construction are slightly elevated and required the crew to build concrete piers sunk 8 to 15 feet into the ground.

“Flume 39-40 is a 520-foot-long section with portions last rebuilt in 1951 and 1961,” wrote Cindy Megerdigian, EID water-hydro engineering manager.

“Replacement work has been occurring over a three-year period starting in 2010 with the last sections scheduled for replacement in 2012,” wrote Megerdigian. “District crews have been providing construction work with engineering and environmental (studies) provided by district staff and consultants. When full replacement is complete in 2012, the estimated cost for all labor, materials, design, and environmental is estimated to be just under $3 million.”

Wednesday several workers were using a palm power tool to attach metal strips securing the beam joints. Bigger metal strips were hand-hammered to the beams.

Meanwhile the top construction duo were hammering in the tongue-and-groove planking that covers the bottom of the flume. Each plank was tightened by using two 2x4s, with the outside 2×4 hammered down and the wooden wedges driven between the two 2x4s, which jammed the loose board against the plank.

Near Camp 5 four EID construction workers are rebuilding Spillway 42, with major concrete work and new timbers.

The spillway has two elements. One is three automated spillway gates that can be operated remotely by EID’s proprietary computer system. The spillway is opened in case of a blockage that causes the water in the flume to rise too high. This will prompt a canal worker to go out and inspect that section of the canal to see what is causing the high-water alarm to go off.

The second element of the spillway is a manually operated section in which flash boards are lifted one at a time. These flash boards are used to skim off ice in the winter and send it down the spillway.

Flume sections total 2.5 miles, tunnels total two miles, and the remainder of the upcountry water conveyance system is 17.5 miles of canal. It starts at a diversion dam near Kyburz. The low dam on the South Fork of the American River collects water sent down from four alpine reservoirs EID owns in three different counties – Echo Lake near Echo Summit, Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness, Silver Lake in Amador County, Caples Lake in Alpine County.

About a mile or so west along a canal section east of Flumes 39 and 40 is Flume 41, which will be next year’s big flume replacement project. It will be put out to bid. This one won’t be rebuilt as wood, but will be concrete flume sections — 87 sections in all. Flume 41 is 1,200 feet long.

This section will require tree removal uphill and hand-scaling the dirt down to bedrock. There are also a number of granite outcroppings that are unstable and will need to be blasted down and broken up.

Before any work starts next year, the EID engineering department and environmental compliance officer will be commissioning bird surveys for spotted owls and goshawks. Then permits must be obtained from the Forest Service, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the state Department of Fish and Game.

Flume 41 will be a more affordable project because it won’t require helicopter work at $200 a minute. It will be accessed via Rock Crusher Road and Oglesby Road, plus a bridge that EID will construct. That bridge will also provide access for future flume and canal work west of the bridge.

Daryl Noel, the EID engineer who oversees canal and flume design, is excited about Flume 41. It sits on a dry stack foundation that dates back to the flume’s original construction in 1875-76. Rather than replace it with caged crushed rock retaining walls and foundation, which was done on Flume 51 the year before last, he and Carlton Engineering have devised a more creative solution.

Carlton drilled core samples underneath Flume 41 from all the way to bedrock on the other side. What the engineers found was the dry stack foundation continues all the way under the flume with no fillers and doesn’t stop until it hits bedrock on the uphill side of the flume.

That means the engineers can keep the dry stack wall and fill its 30 percent void with shotcrete.

“From an engineering standpoint, it is cutting edge,” Noel said.

Besides that, it will save $700,000-$900,000 on this job and will mean it can be done within the October to mid-November six-week period in which the canal and powerhouse are shut down.

It’s solving engineering challenges like this and coming up with innovative solutions that cause Noel to say, “It’s pretty fun work.”

EID cuts expenses almost $1M

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat, 3-23-12

Employees of the El Dorado Irrigation District have agreed to shoulder more of the health care costs, saving the district $430,000 in 2013, according to Human Resources Director Victoria Hoffman.

Additionally, five vacant positions are going unfilled this year for a savings of about $500,000 through the rest of this calendar year, according to Communications Director Mary Lynn Carlton.

The newly signed agreement with the employees, announced March 12, cuts EID’s health expenses 10 percent, according to Carlton.

Hoffman said the benefit changes still allow the district to be competitive in attracting top quality employees, but will reduce operating costs permanently. Employees with dependents will now pay 10 percent of that portion of the medical and dental plan. The district uses CalPERS for its medical insurance, but benefits funded by the district are based on Kaiser rates, the lowest cost health maintenance organization within the district’s Zip Code.

Additionally, retirees will pay 10 percent of the cost of adding their spouses to the plan.

The changes are detailed in a formal Letter of Understanding that is pegged to the Memorandum of Understanding with various employee groups. The LOU goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

A recent change in the MOU created a more stretched out vesting period for retiree benefits. The Letter of Understanding added medical benefits to this revised vesting schedule. State law requires the district to provide retiree health care, referred to as Other Post Employment Benefits.

To become 100 percent vested requires 20 years of service. The minimum vesting period is 10 years with at least five of those working for EID. The 10-year minimum gets a retiree only 50 percent of the benefits. The scale goes up to 95 percent for 19 years.

“All our employees understand our need to save costs,” said General Manager Jim Abercrombie. “To all employees I’d like to say, thank you.”

“I want to congratulate the employees,” said former director Harry Norris. “I’d like to see the employees take a full share of retirement (medical costs).”

The LOU on medical benefit changes was approved unanimously by the board.

Failing to get a vote other than 3-2 vote to table it was Director Alan Day’s request March 12 that the GM report back in 90 days with a plan to cut $1 million in the 2013 budget year and $1 million in 2014.

Director George Osborne joined Day on the losing end of the motion to table the request.

“Did you discuss this with the general manager?” asked Director John Fraser.

“Feb. 13 I reported savings. We have already achieved $1 million by and large,” Abercrombie said. “Potential savings in 2014 is a little hazy. In regard to conversation with Director Day I discussed what the board has directed me to do.”

Abercrombie added that in one two-month period, 62 jobs were eliminated and 31 pink slips issued.

“I really want to compliment the employees, who really think of ways to save money,” Abercrombie said. “Recognizing every year since 2007 we came in under budget, I want to compliment the employees.”

“I’m deeply concerned about continued cutting,” said Director George Wheeldon, adding at some point some vital operation will not get done.

Wheeldon noted that Sacramento Regional Sewer District recently had to pay the California Sport Fishing Alliance $600,000 for sewage spills.

“You want to lay off the Vactor truck (which cleans out sewer lines)?” Wheeldon asked Day. “It’s a slap in the face. It’s just to make you look like a white knight on a horse.”

“This is just a study,” said Osborne. “If we are at rock bottom, so be it.”

“This is just an affirmation of what we’ve been doing. It’s kind of redundant,” said Director Bill George. “Our responsibility is to provide reliable water.”

“Where do you get $2 million?” Fraser asked Day. “This is just a backdoor way of doing things. I propose we table this.”

Wheeldon seconded that and the motion to table was ruled by District Counsel Tom Cumpston as taking precedence over a previous motion to have the GM study Day’s proposal.

“I’m certainly sensitive to George Wheeldon that one thing suffering is preventative maintenance.” Fraser said.

“I think it is unfortunate to go there on scare tactics — ‘Oh, we’re going to have bad water.’ If we can put together Prop 218 (rate increase notice) for five years, we can (budget for five years). The goal is to continue the conversation. I think it’s a reasonable starting place,” Day said.

“Quite frankly, I feel like this is a feel-good thing. We’ve been doing this (cutting expenses),” Wheeldon said.

“What you say is fine,” Fraser said. “These are not goals, as I see it.”

“It’s a matter of semantics,” Osborne said.

“Where are you on your budget process?” asked Norris. “It should be part of the budget process. It looks like a budget committee task. Do ad hoc budgeting and it’s going to be chaos. If it is not part of the budget process, it should be tabled.”

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EID cuts out CalSPA early

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat 2-3-12

Two and out.

The El Dorado Irrigation District completed in two years what it had negotiated to complete in five years in a legal settlement with lawyers for the California Sport Protection Fishing Alliance.

In a deal that cost EID $240,000, the district agreed to reduce the number of sanitary sewer overflows to 5 per 100 miles by the fifth year. Instead the district achieved that in two years. Two consecutive years, to be exact.

That saved the district $6,000, because part of the settlement required the district to pay CalSPA $2,000 a year to “monitor” the district’s SSOs. CalSPA had used the “citizen suit” provisions of the federal Clean Water Act and the district’s own reporting to the state to sue and collect attorneys’ fees.

“If any sewer agency gets sued under the act, the agency will almost certainly lose and have to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees as well,” wrote Elizabeth Wells, EID engineering manager for wastewater and recycled water.

The reason the district is done with CalSPSa is because it negotiated an early termination clause.

EID achieved that after Operations Director Tom McKinney and Wastewater Division Manager Vickie Caulfield achieved a big switch and a two-fer. They changed from 24-hour shift operation at Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to a single shift, with offsite monitoring through the district’s sophisticated computer telemetry system. The extra shift was put to work on a newly purchased $350,000 hydro cleaning truck that cleans out sewer lines.

To make night shift elimination work required the district to build a new $1.8 million bridge to the Deer Creek that would be above the flood plain, so plant operators could get to the plant after hours even in high water.

The first year of the agreement the district recorded 4.27 sanitary sewer overflows per 100 miles, down from 10.2 in 2009. The agreement called for 11 SSOs in 2010 and 2011. For 2011 the district recorded 1.96 SSOs per 100 miles.

“This is a very significant achievement for collection crews,” Wells and Caulfield wrote in a report to the board.

“Elizabeth Wells and myself worked our tails off,” Caulfield told the board Jan. 23. “John Shavers, the collections systems supervisor is now working in the rain.”

“We could not have done it without the support of the Board of Directors,” Caulfield said. “Without that trust we could not have accomplished this.”

“The Mother Lode Force main replacement is a huge part of this success,” Caulfield said.

That project replaced 6,700 feet of rotted sewer line at a cost of $1.7 million – below the engineer’s estimate of $3 million.

The district’s sewer system has 561 miles of pipeline, 7,300 manholes and 64 lift stations. It covers 77 square miles.

Flume 3 rebuilt in-house

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat, 11-23-12

One of the shorter flume sections is being rebuilt by the construction staff of the El Dorado Irrigation District.

Flume 3 is 109 feet long. It was relined by EID in 2000 and last rebuilt in 1946 by PG&E.

The flume is part of the 22-mile system of flumes, canals and tunnels that brings water collected from four alpine reservoirs and is eventually diverted from the American at Kyburz into this system that supplies one-third of EID’s water.

Because it is one of the shorter sections EID did not have to hire temporary workers to help construct it. Five EID employees work six days a week on the project. They began by tearing down the old wooden flume and building new footings that used 78 yards of concrete. The footings are 2 feet by 2 feet wide and the depths vary from 3 feet to 10 feet according to the terrain. That work took six weeks.

Each year the canal is dewatered in October and the powerhouse shut down while flume sections or canals are replaced and the banks above scraped and stabilized to prevent slides. The high priority sections were identified in a study and report by a private geotechnical firm. EID chooses the one most needed to be replaced each year.

Flume 3 is estimated to cost $450,000, according to EID engineer Cindy Megerdigian. That figure includes $200,000 worth of materials, $90,000 of helicopter work to remove the deconstructed material and deliver new wood and concrete. It also includes engineering design and capitalized labor and inspection on the project.

For the third year the flume support timbers are attached by bolted-on plates. This helps the flume better withstand earthquakes and makes it easier to deconstruct when it comes time to replace it. Megerdigian said the reconstruction will last 50 years and the lining will last 25 years.

Additionally the crew filled with rock from the hillside an area below the flume to create a bank that machinery can use to reach Flume 4 when it is rebuilt in three to five years. Its spillway was rebuilt with new foundations in 2009 when some of the timbers and the lining were replaced, according to  Steve Lindstrom, hydro operations and maintenance supervisor. The section of Flume 4 west of the spillway was replaced after the 1992 Cleveland Fire.

Two other projects are under way at the same time. A $1.87 million bid was awarded to widen, remove rock outcropping, lay down geotechnical fabric and compacted aggregate base on a 6,230-foot-long road. This road and an all-weather equipment bridge across the canal will provide access to 1,050 feet of flume and will save $1.5 million in helicopter costs next year when 600-foot wooden Flume 41 is replaced with concrete flume sections next year. That is estimated to be a $5.3 million project.

The second project under way at a construction bid of $1.3 million extends the 14-mile Tunnel portal east to accommodate a larger trash rack and create space for a small loader to pick up trash from the rack. currently the trash is picked up by hand from above with a person held by a rope. Also part of this bid is upgrading Spillway 46, abandoning Spillway 47,repairing 200 feet of canal, removing large boulder that have fallen into the canal and stripping and stabilizing the slopes above.

This tunnel is the last one before a short section of canal empties into Forebay Reservoir in Pollock Pines.

All canal work must be completed by Dec. 7 when the canal is rewatered and the powerhouse starts up again.

Flume 9 rebuild nears completion

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat 11-29-10

Big Bertha’s gone, but a couple of feet of snow replaced the big rock as the latest challenge for the Syblon Reid construction crew rebuilding Flume 9.

And cold temperatures. It was 20 degrees when the El Dorado Irrigation District inspector snowshoed in to the job site Monday morning.

Two weeks ago the new concrete flume sections were flown in by helicopter. Getting the site prepared for the flume sections was quite a chore. The previous owner of the 22.5-mile El Dorado Canal, PG&E, had laid down timbers and logs as a base for the the 150 feet of Flume 9.

After taking out the wooden flume Syblon Reid had scaled the hillside above it down to bedrock, blasting off the huge rock nicknamed Big Bertha. Then to create a stable and permanent base for the new concrete flume sections it had dug down 23 feet before it found bedrock, said Daryl Noel, EID’s hydro operations engineer.

A lot of what was dug up was old timbers and logs. EID replaced that buried timber base with an engineered compacted base. Then it had Syblon Reid pour parallel 27-inch-wide and 18-inch-deep foundation tracks on which the concrete flumes sit and are anchored by drilling in bolts.

The flume sections are reinforced by 5/8 inch rebar spaced 12 inches apart both horizontally and vertically. The flume sections are created at another site, accessible by road, where the helicopter can pick them up.

The foundation and steel reinforcing is required to meet seismic safety conditions. EID’s engineering specifications, created by Carlton Engineering, are a huge improvement over what PG&E put in. Concrete flume sections PG&E installed in the 1980s have steel that is described by EID officials as wire mesh and what looks like 1/4-inch rebar, the kind that a person could bend a 10-foot section by hand.

 

The flume base PG&E built is little more than several inches of concrete. On the 1 1/2-mile walk from the Alder Creek Syphon tender’s house to Flume 9 other sections of PG&E concrete flume rest on a series of concrete squares. The light steel reinforcing on PG&E’s concrete flume installations leads to cracking along the edges of the flat bottomed flumes.

A couple of weeks ago a boulder escaped and a tree fell the wrong way, damaging a couple of sections of PG&-installed concrete flume where Flume 9 was set to hook into the existing flume. It took a week to split that rock, said carpenter Brian Luce.

In the meantime one section had to be demolished and an epoxy crew had to be called in to seal the crack in the other section. That was a three-day job, according to Noel. It required a tent to be set up over the expoxy site and propane heaters to warm the concrete to 60 degrees a day before the expoxy, a day to do the epoxying and a day after for it to cure. The epoxy crew packed its supplies in by hand, including a 100-gallon propane tank.

Monday the Syblon Reid crew was constructing forms to connect the new concrete flumes to the old one on the east end and to the in-ground canal on the west end. Tuesday the rebar crew will come in a set the rebar. Shotcrete will then be delivered by helicopter as soon as the weather is clear. A storm is expected Thursday and Friday.

The crew is facing a Dec. 10 deadline and it appears they will meet it. At midnight on Dec. 10 EID will start sending water down the flume to begin generating power and feed drinking water to Water Treatment Plant 1.

Visible above the new flume 9 is netting held in place by vertical and horizontal cables and anchored in the bolts drilled 10 feet deep into the rock. The slide-prone slope has been scraped down to bedrock and a brow ditch dug above the slope to direct runoff away from the slope. A channel under the new flume will carry the brow ditch water off, Noel said.

EID’s engineered base and heavily steel reinforced concrete flumes are built to last 100 years. The canal system and four alpine reservoirs supply 30 percent of the district’s water and supplied water to El Dorado Hills while the water treatment plant there was rebuilt.

Saved by the lawyers and the EPA

By Michael Raffety

Mountain Democrat, 2-13-13

Being saved by lawyers and the EPA must seem like a Deadman’s Hand of Aces and Eights, but that was the report the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors heard Feb. 11.

First the lawyers. For a mere $50,000 ante EID joined a consortium that successfully sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to prevent it from jacking up its fees by millions for the use of federal lands by those holding FERC hydroelectric generating licenses. In EID’s case the license is Project 184, which includes four alpine reservoirs, a diversion dam, 22 miles of canals, flumes and tunnels and a 22 megawatt powerhouse.

EID had been paying FERC $172,000 annually for the use of federal lands, but FERC was going to charge more than $2.9 million starting in 2011, by valuing the federal lands as irrigated farm land, whereas most FERC licenses in California are in forested mountains.

FERC’s original bill would have added up to $11 million over six years. Instead the lawsuit blocked this and then the coalition worked with FERC during its rule making. The bottom line is EID got a 25 percent discount, which lowered its fee $43,000 to $129,00 this year. It will then rise to $172,000 in 2014 and stay there through 2015. In 2016 inflation and revised land values will be factored in to determine the increase.

EID had budgeted as much as $500,000 per year for this expense and over the course of a two-year budget it will save $700,000, according to District Counsel Tom Cumpston.

The other saving came from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is now allowing the district to use electronic delivery of its required Consumer Confidence Report that details the prior year’s water sampling results. Doing a separate mailing of this page-long list of ingredients of the district’s treated water has cost the district $12,600 a year.

Now the district can post that information on its Website and notify customers with their bill that they can look for it on the district’s Website or request it be emailed to them.

“Customers don’t consider it (the mailing) a good use of the district’s money,” Cumpston said.

“My feedback is it’s too technical,” said Board President George Osborne.

The face-down card, though, is the California Department of Public Health, which administers the EPA’s guidance. Cumpston wrote that “the Association of California Water Agencies has been coordinating with DPH and reports that DPH expects to have its followup actions complete in time for the delivery of the 2012 CCRs (Consumer Confidence Reports) this coming July.”

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