Zone 7 Meeting - July 19, 2023
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
July 19, 2023
The following were present:
Directors: Dawn Benson
Angela Ramirez Holmes
Staff: Valerie Pryor, General Manager
Osborn Solitei, Treasurer/Assistant General Manager - Finance
Jarnail Chahal, Acting Assistant General Manager - Engineering/Operations
Ken Minn, Groundwater Resources Manager
Lillian Xie, Associate Civil Engineer
Lizzie Foss, Financial Analyst
James Carney, Senior Water Resources Planner
Alexandra Bradley, Communications Specialist
Shelisa Jackson, Human Resources Manager
Amanda Rogers, Administrative 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 7:00 p.m.
Item 2 - Closed Session
The Board went into Closed Session at 6:01 p.m. and came out of Closed Session at 6:27 p.m.
Item 3 -
There was nothing to report out of Closed Session.
Item 4 -
President Palmer led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 5 -
All the Directors were present.
Item 6 -
President Palmer nominated Vice President Sandy Figuers for President of the Board of Directors for 2023-24. The Board approved the nomination by a roll call vote of 7-0. Director Ramirez Holmes nominated Director Dennis Gambs as Vice President. The Board approved the nomination by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 7 -
There were no comments from the public.
Item 8 -
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve Special Board Meeting minutes of June 6, 2023, and Regular Board Meeting minutes of June 21, 2023, and Director Palmer seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 9 -
Director Palmer made a motion to approve Items 9a through 9e and Director Ramirez Holmes seconded the motion. The Consent Calendar was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 10 -
Alexandra Bradley, Communications Specialist, presented the bi-annual communications update which included communication and outreach accomplishments over the last six months. Ms. Bradley reviewed the Agency's strategic communication plan goals, objectives, and presented the actions taken to date. She also outlined the key performance metrics and the plans for the second half of 2023.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked how the Agency is incorporating the ACWA Quench California messaging. Ms. Bradley explained that the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant was posted on their project page but stated that it was challenging to share. It would be incorporated into the Agency's messaging. There are also plans to connect with the City of Roseville to review the results of their paid campaign efforts.
Director Green raised a question about utilizing artificial intelligence (AI). Ms. Bradley shared that she attended a few sessions on AI but it was certainly a topic for discussion. Director Gambs suggested including a schematic of the ion exchange in the tour.
Item 11 -
Lillian Xie, Associate Civil Engineer, stated that the Item was brought to the Water Resources Committee on June 27th. The discussion prompted staff to include a Q&A document and the presentation was updated to include additional background information. Ms. Xie's presentation highlighted Zone 7's current water supply; new water supply reliability projects; an overview of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion (LVE) and its benefits; an explanation of LVE operations; the latest LVE allocation requests as of July 12, 2023; a snapshot of the Zone 7 Board action timeline and the Agency's $3.3M commitment to LVE to date; the multi-party agreement (MPA); and LVE benefits/costs to the Tri-Valley.
Director Green asked for a breakdown of the $1.38 billion development and construction costs.
A discussion took place about the participants' allocations, and it was stated that there will be an agreement for dedicated amounts of the expanded capacity. There was concern about Contra Costa Water District's (CCWD) level of control over the conveyance; however, Ms. Xie explained that the participants will pay variable charges to convey water if there is capacity available in the system. Director Ramirez Holmes also explained that CCWD is developing a Facilities and Usage Agreement, which the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority (JPA) is reviewing to ensure it benefits both the investors and the partners in the project.
If Zone 7 decides not to move forward with the service agreement, the funds would not be refunded.
Director Gambs asked for an update on the incremental increases in water rates each year to assess the potential impacts. Osborn Solitei, Treasurer/Assistant General Manager - Finance, explained that it is currently paid with 80% water rates and 20% connection fees.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked staff to note Zone 7's involvement in the project and on the JPA Board in the Staff Report.
Director Palmer made a motion to approve Item 11 and Director Ramirez Holmes seconded the motion. The Item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 12 -
James Carney, Senior Water Resources Planner, presented the purpose of the Energy Master Plan; plan components, which includes a baseline assessment, Energy Policy development, framework and project screening, and Energy Master Plan reports; Request for Proposal (RFP) and contract process; schedule and budget; and staff recommended action.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked to review areas where the Agency could expedite the timeline.
Director Green asked about how the plan would coincide with state rules and regulations and if updates should be done sooner than five years. Valerie Pryor, General Manager, explained it would prepare the Agency for regulations, but it must comply with them regardless of a policy or master plan. Updates would be done in about five years, but the Agency must also be nimble and able to respond to change.
Director Gambs asked about potential projects that would be considered because of the Energy Master Plan. Mr. Carney explained that the goal is to consider all projects that add value to the Agency; however, the first step is setting the policy to define it. The Master Plan will make the process more efficient in the future.
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve Item 12 and Director Narum seconded the motion. The Item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 13 -
President Figuers instructed the Directors to contact Donna Fabian, Executive Assistant, for Committee reassignment requests.
There were no comments on the Committee meeting notes.
Item 14 -
Director Palmer provided a written report. She shared additional notes about other ACWA meetings she attended and information about the State Water Board Draft Seawater Desalination Siting and Streamlining Report to Expedite Permitting presentation. She also reminded the Directors about an ACWA Region 5 event would be taking place on September 22nd.
Director Ramirez Holmes shared that she attended JPA meetings and reported information from ACWA State Legislative Committee that is currently in recess.
Item 15 - Items for Future Agenda - Directors
There were no requests for items for a future agenda.
Item 16 -
Ms. Pryor stated that most of the highlights were shared in the Outreach and Communications Program Update. She shared that the Stoneridge Well PFAS Treatment Facility is expected to be operating in August and a ribbon cutting event would be scheduled for September 13th.
Item 17 -
President Figuers adjourned the meeting at 8:51 p.m.