Facing an ever-shrinking staff, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District moved forward on a number of employee related actions at its Nov. 13 meeting.
The latest person to submit his resignation was General Counsel William Wright.
In a letter dated Nov. 12, Wright announced that after 22 years with the district, he decided to resign. Thanking the board, he said he would continue to serve until a replacement firm is selected.
In the past year, Wright has been the target of attacks by board members Kathy Otermat and Bonnie McLane as well as incoming board member Maria Capraun. They have questioned the cost of his services and have alleged he represents General Manager Hank White’s interests rather than theirs.
Board member Norm Krizl said he was disappointed to see Wright resigning. “I wish you all the best,” Krizl said. “Few realize all the benefits you’ve brought to the district.”
In other employee related items, the board voted to hire consulting firm, HR2GO for a minimum of six months to handle the human resource functions currently being carried out by Business Finance Manager Mary Pat Frick, who is retiring in December. In addition, they approved hiring two full-time customer service clerks from a temp agency for no more than 1,000 hours each.
GDPUD has decided to put off hiring any permanent employees until an amendment to its CalPERS contract is in place.
The board also voted to accept the audit of the district for the past fiscal year. Derek Rampone, of the firm of Moss, Levy & Hartzheim, gave an overview of the audit results. The district ended the year with a decrease in net assets of $14,000 due to lower revenue. The audit noted that the district was able to keep this year’s decrease much lower than last year’s by significantly cutting expenses. Overall net assets of the district are $21.4 million. Long-term debt is only $1.5 million, which is low according to Rampone.
White and Kelly Shively, assistant operations manager, reported they had received pre-qualification packages from seven general contractors and after a review, all seven were deemed qualified to bid on the Auburn Lake Trails Treatment Plant retrofit. The seven contractors are RGW Construction, Syblon Reid, Westcon Construction Corp., T&S Construction Co., W. M. Lyles Company, Auburn Constructors, and McGuire and Hester. The board approved notifying the contractors of their eligibility to bid on the retrofit once the bid package is released.
Related to Auburn Lake Trails, was a bill from Psomas, the engineering firm preparing the plans for the retrofit. Kenneth Stram, Vice President of Program/Construction Management for Psomas, requested an additional payment of $149,270 for change orders made to the plans. Design plans are currently at 90 percent but were halted temporarily until the outcome of the Prop 218 process was determined.
GDPUD staff recommended only paying an additional $33,895 which was approved by the board and accepted by Psomas. The firm will now finish the plans with a projected completion date of Jan. 31, 2013.
Stram said the finished plans will include a cost estimate of building the plant. He advised the district to include a five percent override for change orders to the plant upgrade because of any unanticipated costs that may be associated with the project.
The board also approved having El Dorado County Water Agency (EDCWA) represent GDPUD during upcoming Bay-Delta proceedings. Dave Eggerton, the manager of the water agency, said EDCWA recently joined the Sacramento Valley Water Users Coalition in its Bay-Delta Joint Defense efforts, and he asked GDPUD to join them.
The group includes more than 25 Northern California water agencies who are fighting to protect the water rights of upstream water right holders. Eggerton said the Bay-Delta discussions include possibly re-opening the issue or original water rights and a united front is needed to protect those rights.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.