Clear Creek CSD forms water rate committee

The Clear Creek Community Services District board of directors at its Thursday, Sept. 5 meeting formed a committee to research a water rate increase. Directors Burt Cooper and Rod Twain agreed to work on this project.

Twain said that a report prepared by Pace Engineering, of Redding, California showed there was a need to raise water rates. This report was required by the State of California for grant eligibility to cover the costs of a water system improvement project. He estimated that the district needed to raise $2,621 per year to replace components of the new system as needed and a capital fund was also needed for parts and pipe replacement.

Cathy Hunter, board chair, said the district was currently at the breakeven point concerning finances, according to the annual financial audit.

The board discussed continuing to review and update district documents. Recently the bylaws were revised. Hunter suggested the board work on “Rates, Rules and Regulations” next because it would coincide with the analysis of a rate increase.

Board members agreed to review a draft letter asking that residents check their water shutoff valve before winter for ease of operation and access. The letter asks residents to install a shutoff valve if their home does not have one.

Nicolette Moroney, the Clear Creek Community Services District general manager/ secretary, told the board that the tree removal in the community funded by a Cal Fire grant was finished and 26 parcels had been completed with six remaining on the list. Additional funds have been allocated from Pacific Gas and Electric Company and once obtained the work will continue.

Community members asked about the order in which the work was completed. Moroney said originally it was to be done first come, first served but the company hired for the project said it would cost more moving equipment from property to property rather than completing the work one street at a time. Therefore the trees were removed street by street rather than in the order property owners signed up.

A thank you letter from the board will be sent to PG&E for its donation of $10,000 for the Siren Restoration Fund. The siren atop a wooden tower at the fire station in Clear Creek will be used as an early warning system for evacuation in the event of a wildfire. Members of the Clear Creek Volunteer Firefighter’s Association have been fundraising throughout the summer to cover the cost of the project. The district has had a bid from one contractor to rebuild the tower and had a second bid scheduled when the board met. Fire Chief John Hunter reported he would be testing the siren to see if it worked. If not, repairs on the siren will also need to be funded.

The board heard a presentation from Jay Langer, of Eco Green Solutions, about On-Bill Financing for energy efficiency upgrades. Langer said his company conducted free energy audits to determine what upgrades to lights, heating and air conditioning and pumps could be made to reduce utility bills. The cost of the work, if the board voted to complete it, would be covered by a zero interest, zero penalty loan from PG&E and paid back as part of the utility bill. The payment is the amount of energy savings therefore the utility costs remain the same as prior bills until the loan is paid. The Energy Efficiency Retrofit Loan Program is funded by California utility customers and administered by PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

During the report on the fire department, Hunter said that residents should call 911 when they observe an illegal fire so it is reported in a timely manner.

The next meeting of the Clear Creek Community Services District board of directors is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at the fire house in Clear Creek on State Route 147.