The Virgin Valley Water District Board of Directors will consider investing up to $1.5 million it received from a recent legal settlement in separate Certificate of Deposit accounts that could potentially earn a higher interest rate than it is now in the District’s regular bank account.
The District received $2.8 million from Vanguard Piping, Inc. for defective pipe that was installed throughout Mesquite. The money was deposited in the District’s regular bank accounts although it is accounted for separately.
VVWD General Manager Ken Rock is recommending keeping over $1 million of the settlement in a liquid local savings account in case it is needed for unforeseen repairs or other circumstances in the next couple years.
“Although the CD interest yields are only a fraction of a percent higher, several thousand dollars will be earned by this action,” Rock’s background material says.
He also adds, “As a reminder for the Board members and others who may read this memo, in the last 5 years this District has spent approximately $3 million dollars in legal, administrative, and repair costs associated with these prematurely failing pipes. Those costs have come mostly out of the general fund – money that could have been invested in system improvements or other things of value to the rate payers.”
“If at some point we are comfortable that the lion’s share of Vanguard Bruiser pipe repairs are likely behind us, it would be completely appropriate for the Board to return to the general fund what is left of this settlement, and use/invest the money in whatever manner is judged best for the district as a whole.”
The Board will also consider three task-order requests from Bowen, Collins, & Associates, the District’s engineering consultants. The first is for technical support and system configuration support for software and hardware at arsenic treatment facilities not to exceed $10,000.
The second request is for Well #2 plan modifications and scope expansion not to exceed $16,539. Originally the task order called for the well pump to be pulled and cleaned, and perhaps rebuilding it. Now, Rock wants to replace the pump with a slightly larger submersible pump and motor,
which would be cheaper and eliminate the need for a booster pump add-on. That would “provide the District with the immediate reliability of a new pump assembly, motor, and cleaned well. Pumping efficiency would improve, for lowered electrical costs. The only real drawback is that some of the engineering design drawings would have to be redone,” Rock says in his background material.
The third task order request pertains to the District’s Master Plan update. Bowen, Colliins had submitted a final draft of a proposed Master Plan in 2009 under the previous District Manager. Nothing has been done with the proposal since.
“The original scope was limited to just anticipating the needs of the distribution system without consideration for wells, treatment plants, reservoirs, or the likely growth dynamics of this valley,” Rock’s memo to the Board states. “As such, my opinion is that the previous Master Plan was incomplete and inadequate, and I asked that it not be finalized until we had a chance to revise the scope.”
Bowen, Collins has “requested $15,753 to finalize our Master Plan to best address today’s assessment of future reality,” Rock says.
The purchase of the adjacent lot to the District’s Headquarters that has been delayed several times will once again be up for final approval by the Board. A minor policy change to the District’s asset capitalization policy will also be considered. Rock wants to increase the approval threshold from $1,000 to $5,000.
“Present and possible future water facilities and their access will be shown along with the proposed boundary of the Gold Butte National Conservation Area (NCA). The Board will consider the approval of these general plans including the District’s efforts and plans for seeking access to these facilities in perpetuity,” says the agenda item.
The Water District has 2,154 acre feet of water rights in the Nickel Creek area which lies within the proposed Gold Butte NCA with Wilderness area. Without guaranteed access to that water it may become inaccessible in future years. See MCJ story Tombstone a Cautionary Tale for Mesquite
The VVWD Board of Directors meeting begins at 5:00 pm at the District’s headquarters at 500 Riverside Drive.