Clean audit for EID

By From page A1 | July 10, 2013

Auditors for the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) issued an unqualified (“clean”) opinion for the district in their report to EID’s Board of Directors at their meeting on Monday, June 24.

That report was provided by EID’s auditors, Richardson & Company.

The audit found that the district’s total assets decreased $24.6 million, or 3 percent in 2012, primarily due to accumulated depreciation and reduction of cash used for debt service and pay-as-you-go construction projects. Total liabilities also decreased $19.2 million, or 4.4 percent, primarily due to debt principal payments and the 2012A and 2012B advance refunding bond issue that reduces future debt obligations of $4 million.

Total revenues for 2012, including operating and non-operating sources, were $66.8 million. The audit noted that operating revenues in 2012 decreased by $2.3 million primarily due to reduced hydroelectric power revenues which were down by 41 percent. The decline was made up, in part, by greater water sales and service. Non-operating revenues in the form of surcharges, property taxes, and interest income were relatively flat.

Operating expenses were $41.5 million with personnel costs making up 64 percent of that amount. Depreciation, amortization and interest expenses were $36.1 million. Together they totaled $77.6 million.

However, if only operating revenues and operating expenses are considered, excluding depreciation and amortization, the district ended 2012 with a surplus of $11.7 million.

Capital assets of the district increased $14.7 million in 2012 to $958.6 but netted out at $693.3 once accumulated depreciation was figured in. This was down by 1.9 percent from the previous year. Outstanding debt was at $370.5 million, which was a decrease of $10.6 million from the prior fiscal year. According to the auditors, the decrease was attributed to scheduled debt service as well as $3 million prepayment on the 2004A Issue.

The report concluded that the auditors did not identify any deficiencies in internal controls that they considered to be material weaknesses, any instances of noncompliance, or other matters that they are required to report.

The board then moved to approve the audit as well as funding for two capital improvement projects.

One was for the purchase of a new $37,849 pump to lift water from the Folsom lake pumps to the El Dorado Hills water treatment plant. The purchase is part of a Water Facility Replacement Program that is estimated to cost $500,000 when completed.

The second was a contract with McGuire and Hester for up to $579,500 for construction of the Yates Lift Station Upgrades Project. Built in the late 1960s, the station serves the Diamond Manor Mobile Home Park. The approved project includes installation of new mechanical equipment, new electrical systems, a new perimeter fence, new manholes and piping, site soils stabilization and grading, water service and compliance measures. Also approved was $123,328 for EID construction management and inspection, consultants inspections-testing, relocation of the existing PG&E electrical service and contingencies.

The board heard a legislative update by state legislative advocate Bob Reeb on six bills currently being circulated in Sacramento as well as the status of water bond negotiations. Reeb said water rights fees and water quality fees have both been increased and they are expected to continue to rise. Several bills they are monitoring includes AB 145, which would shift the safe drinking water program from the California Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board. AB 218 would require the district not to ask about felony convictions on initial job applications, although they could ask after a person is qualified. AB 1235 would require every local elected official to go through training on everything financial — budgeting, auditing and investments. Reeb added that it was suggested the bill include members of the legislature, but no one jumped on that idea. Other bills he discussed dealt with CEQA noticing requirements, handling impasses between employers and employees, the Brown Act and building standards.

Reeb said nothing has been done to date regarding water bonds. Currently there are two bills in committee and the legislature has held some hearings on the subject. But he said he doubted anything would happen until next spring.

General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported that Director Alan Day was elected as the Alternate Special District Representative to the El Dorado Local Area Formation Commission. He also reported that Jenkinson Lake was 96 percent full and Caples Lake was 99 percent full as of June 17.

Paul Raveling of El Dorado Hills discussed a survey of water rates in the state from 2011. He said EID rates were the 46th lowest among 216 agencies: 45 agencies were cheaper and 170 agencies were more expensive. He alleged board member Day used false information when he ran for the board and he owed the community an apology.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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