Zone 7 Meeting - June 21, 2023
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
June 21, 2023
The following were present:
Directors: Dawn Benson
Angela Ramirez Holmes
Staff: Valerie Pryor, General Manager
Heath McMahon, Assistant General Manager - Engineering
Osborn Solitei, Treasurer/Assistant General Manager - Finance
Carol Mahoney, Government Relations Manager
Mona Olmsted, Principal Engineer
JaVia Green, Financial Analyst
Shelisa Jackson, Human Resources Manager
Donna Fabian, Executive Assistant
General Counsel: Rebecca Smith, Downey Brand
Item 1 - Call Zone 7 Water Agency Meeting to Order
President Palmer called the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors to order at 7:02 p.m.
Item 2 - Closed Session
The Board went into Closed Session at 6:08 p.m. and came out of Closed Session at 6:52 p.m.
Item 3 -
There was nothing to report out of Closed Session.
Item 4 -
President Palmer led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 5 -
Director Figuers was absent for roll call, but arrived at 7:27 p.m.
Item 6 -
There were no comments from the public.
Item 7 -
Director Narum made a motion to approve the Regular Board Meeting minutes of May 17, 2023, and the Special Board Meeting minutes of June 12, 2023, and Director Benson seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 with Director Figuers absent.
Item 8 -
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve Items 8a through 8i and Director Narum seconded the motion. The Consent Calendar was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 with Director Figuers absent.
Item 9 -
JaVia Green, Financial Analyst, presented the Item. She noted that a revised Resolution was distributed as the fiscal year referenced was corrected to "22-23". Ms. Green provided background information on the budget, an explanation of the mid-cycle review, and a summary of the proposed amended budget. She indicated that there was a typographical error on the change amount in operating expenses, capital expenses, and total expenses by about $0.2 million which was corrected and highlighted in the presentation. Total revenue is increasing by about $10.4 million from $144.8 million to $155.1 million, and expenses is decreasing by about $5 million from $149.5 million to $144 million. Ms. Green reviewed the proposed revenue and a summary of the changes to Fund 120, Fund 120, Fund 130, and Fund 200.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked why SCADA was categorized under office supplies. Ms. Green explained that it includes software subscriptions, and purchasing new computers, and servers. Mr. Solitei, Treasurer/Assistant General Manager - Finance, stated that staff would recategorize the line item in the amended document.
The Directors asked questions regarding the following: the debt service line item; how grants are accommodated; the Energy Master Plan; revisiting the Asset Management Program (AMP) Policy; the deferral of the HVAC system; the budget for SCADA; funding opportunities for EV stations; and if staff anticipated additional operating costs for the Stoneridge Well once the PFAS treatment is up and running.
Director Gambs suggested noting that the Agency can overcome its financing challenges with its revenues. He also recommended completing the Energy Master Plan prior to the HVAC at the treatment plants, as some of the information may be incorporated into the improvements.
Director Ramirez Holmes gave comments expressing her concerns.
Director Gambs made a motion to approve the Resolution as amended and Director Green seconded the motion. The Resolution passed with a roll call vote of 5-2 with Directors Benson and Ramirez Holmes opposed.
Item 10 -
Mona Olmsted, Principal Engineer, presented the Item. The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) supports multiple initiatives in Zone 7's strategic plan. These initiatives are in the areas of water reliability and fiscal responsibility. In 2017, the Board adopted the most recent comprehensive water systems' CIP update. The CIP identifies the capital projects and programs needed to achieve the goals of the agency. To satisfy the bond issuance requirements for the Chain of Lakes PFAS treatment facility project, and other water system improvements, Zone 7 recently conducted a five-year CIP update. The proposed CIP total is approximately $329 million. On June 1st, staff held a meeting with the retailers to present the proposed draft fiscal year 24-25 five-year water system CIP. Then on June 6th, staff presented the draft CIP at a Special Board Meeting where the Board recommended changes, which staff has incorporated into the five-year CIP. Ms. Olmsted highlighted each of the changes.
After incorporating the recommended changes, the outcome of the CIP effort was the three new projects shown here in a five-year CIP of approximately $329 million total.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked about Dublin San Ramon Services District's (DSRSD) question regarding how the CIP expenses compared with previous years. Ms. Olmsted stated that staff reviewed the average for the past five years at the Special Board Meeting. The annual amount for the five-year fiscal year is in line with the annual expenditures from the last five years. No additional comments were received from the other retailers.
Director Narum made a motion to approve the Resolution and Director Benson seconded the motion. The Resolution passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 11 -
Shelisa Jackson, Human Resources Manager, presented the information related to the Board's compensation. Pursuant to the Board's compensation and expense reimbursement policy, a review of the Board's compensation is conducted every other year, and the compensation shall be established in accordance with the Water Code, Section 2200, and adopted by Ordinance. The Board's last increase was in 2021, and the consideration for compensation was for fiscal years '24 and '25. Earlier this year, staff conducted a compensation survey of six water agencies and the Board has considered the mean compensation rate of the agencies in the past. Based on the information obtained during the survey, the mean compensation amount per meeting would be $230.17. The current Board compensation rate was $197.21 per meeting. Ms. Jackson addressed questions raised during the Administrative Committee Meeting in May. Rebecca Smith, General Counsel, added that the Board is eligible for benefits, but it requires Board action and direction. Ms. Jackson shared the compensation options.
The survey was done with the same special districts used to compare Zone 7 staff compensation, except for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).
A discussion took place about the Directors revisiting the Board Compensation Policy to transition to a flat rate as opposed to per meeting. President Palmer opened the public hearing on the Ordinance.
Director Ramirez Holmes shared that the Board compensation was reviewed annually in the past, but it was decided to conduct it similarly to Zone 7 employee compensation. She made a reflective point to consider the same percentage that was afforded to employees. Director Ramirez Holmes also stated that she was not in favor of group benefits for the Board at the expense of taxpayers.
President Palmer asked for a motion to close the public hearing and then to adopt the Ordinance for Option 2.
Director Green made a motion to approve Option 2 and Director Figuers seconded the motion. The Ordinance passed with a roll call vote of 6-1 with Director Ramirez Holmes opposed.
Item 12 -
There were no comments on the Committee meeting notes.
Item 13 -
President Palmer provided a written report.
Director Ramirez Holmes spoke about the Los Vaqueros JPA Board Meeting on June 14th and the in-person ACWA State Legislative Committee meeting on June 16th. She also shared highlights of the Little Free Library ribbon cutting and encouraged the Directors to donate materials for it.
Item 14 -
There were no requests for items for a future agenda.
Item 15 -
Ms. Pryor highlighted the Stoneridge Well PFAS Treatment Facility Project and grant funding. The Agency had been recommended for Integrated Regional Water Management Program (IRWMP) grant funding for two projects: a water supply risk model and the Flood Management Plan Phase II Project which were about $1 million combined. Additionally, for the Drought Relief Grant Program, the threshold to apply for projects was $3 million so Zone 7 coordinated a grant application with other agencies and was collectively awarded $2.2 million. While these are not for Zone 7 projects, they would benefit the community and save water. It was a good example of how Zone 7 provides regional services and collaboration with all the agencies.
Item 16 -
President Palmer adjourned the meeting at 8:23 p.m.