In a surprise action, board member Maria Capraun was appointed interim general manager of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District after Gary Hoffmann, who had been serving as interim general manager, seriously injured himself over the weekend and resigned.
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That action was taken in closed session at a special meeting of the board Monday night on a 3-2 vote with Capraun, Board President Bonnie McLane and Director Kathy Otermat voting for and Directors Ray Griffiths and Norm Krizl voting no.
According to McLane, Hoffmann informed the board on Monday that he had broken several ribs and injured his spine and would be resigning immediately. McLane said she believed Hoffmann had also maxed out the hours he could work.
McLane will be helping to manage the district as well. Becky Siren, who has worked with the district in the past, is also assisting and apparently several district retirees have offered their services on a part-time basis as needed.
Capraun will not be paid while she is in the job, according to McLane.
In other actions, it was reported that the firm hired to find a permanent general manager for the district has identified four candidates for the job. However, the board has asked to widen the pool of candidates with McLane saying they would even consider a general manager who doesn’t have water district experience as long as he or she is a “bean counter.”
It was also reported that a cost of service study will be prepared by the state. That study is needed for the district to justify an expected rate increase. According to information from staff, the study will be prepared at no cost to the district.
A letter sent out to residents advising them of the drought will be revised and a new one will be sent out. This is in response to numerous complaints from residents in which the letter threatened possible fines for not voluntarily cutting back on water usage. There were also complaints about not allowing new hookups in Auburn Lake Trails. According to McLane, those water meters were part of the original bond and hence are already paid for.
A number of budget-related issues will be taken up at the board’s next regular meeting on May 13 according to McLane, including a possible workforce reduction in response to an expected deficit of $250,000 in the next fiscal year.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.