Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting.

Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting.

A Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 inside the Needles City Council Chambers in Needles, California.

The Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting was broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook.

** Here is a summary and the voting results that occurred during the meeting: **

** Presentations: **

  • Agenda Item #1:

2018 Colorado River Water Users Association Annual (CRWUA) Convention update.

Agenda Item #1 was Information Only and no votes were conducted from members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities.

 

** Regular Items: **

  • Agenda Item #2:

Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) for month ending October 31, 2018 and continuation Power of over-hydro rate of 0.0917 as established October 1, 2018.

Background: The current policy statement that was approved by City Council on electric utility rates stated that a PCA would be calculated at the end of every month. The revised PCA spreadsheet calculates the upcoming purchase period calculation.

Fiscal Impact: N/A

Recommended Action: The upcoming purchase power period (Oct-Dec) is expected to generated excess revenue however, the PCA fund balance is still below the beginning balance. Therefore electric over hydro rate shall continue at .0917 as established October 1, 2018.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to approve Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) for month ending October 31, 2018 and continuation Power of over-hydro rate of 0.0917 as established October 1, 2018.

 

  • Agenda Item #3:

Authorize staff to proceed with the completion of the Lily Hill Water Booster Electric Panel Replacement Project and increase project budget from $139,206 to $146,078 an additional $6,871 from the Water Asset Replacement Fund.

Background: On 12/12/2017 a revised project budget was presented to board of public utilities and City Council. Authorization was for the City Manager to proceed with equipment purchase and construct using in-house labor and specialized technician assistance for the Lily Hill Water Booster Electrical Panel Replacement Project. The panel had a manufacturing timeline of 4 months and had to be returned once due to incorrect specification. Stipulations of the approval were not to exceed the specialized technician line item of $14,999 and a total project cost of $139,206.00. The project was over the estimate for the specialized technician assistance due to prevailing wages that were not included in the estimate. The project exceeds this line item and a total project amount of $146,078. The project total has exceeded by $6,871.

Fiscal Impact: During the project approval the balance of $200,000 was available in the Water Asset Replacement fund. The estimate project costs of $139,206 including design, admin costs & construction and will be funded by the Water Asset Replacement Fund. To date the available fund has $400,000 available in the Water Asset Replacement fund and a revised project cost of $146,078.

Recommendation: Authorize staff to proceed with the completion of the Lillyhill Water Booster Electric Panel Replacement project and increase project budget from $139,206 to $146,078 being an additional $6,871 from the Water Asset Replacement fund.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to authorize staff to proceed with the completion of the Lily Hill Water Booster Electric Panel Replacement Project and increase project budget from $139,206 to $146,078 an additional $6,871 from the Water Asset Replacement Fund.

 

  • Agenda Item #4:

Authorize those interested to attend the Lower Colorado River Tour February 27 – March 1, 2019 at a cost of $865 per attendee to be covered by the All American Canal and Water Department accounts.

Background: February 27 – March 1, 2019 is the Lower Colorado River Tour which starts in Las Vegas, NV and travels along the Colorado River visiting many of the critical users.

Fiscal Impact: $865.00 per attendee to be covered by the All American Canal and Water Department. LE.

Recommended Action: Authorize those interested in attending the Lower Colorado River Tour February 27 – March 1, 2019.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to authorize those interested in attending the Lower Colorado River Tour February 27 – March 1, 2019.

 

  • Agenda Item #5:

Review of rate policy relating to customer generators and solar mandate established by the California Energy Commission and approve the Photovoltaic Interconnection Agreement Section 2 for Net Metering from residential and small commercial solar electric generating facilities of 10 kilowatts or less as amended January 3, 2019.

Background: The California Energy Commission (CEC) updated the state’s 2019 Title 24, Part 6, Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The latest updated to the building codes takes effect in 2020. The building codes now include the requirement that all new homes under three stories install solar panels in addition the new codes help to incentivize energy storage and include a host of energy efficiency upgrades that will collectively reduce energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent. Rooftop solar can potentially create a cost shift from solar customers onto non-solar customers, because those with solar pay lower electricity bills and thus pay less to maintain the grid. The new regulations do not relate to existing buildings. Currently, Net Metering customers are credited using the existing rates established October 1, 2018 for hydro and over-hydro. December 4, 2018 the BPU made recommended changes to the enclosed amended Photovoltaic Interconnection Agreement. The draft Photovoltaic Interconnection Agreement enclosed proposes that all new Net Metering customers will only be credited for net electricity produced within a 12-month period based on the NPUA’s average avoided cost of generation and purchased power. The rate for excess kWh generated will be established and adopted by the Board of Public Utilities every October. The draft policy includes definitions and formulas.

Environmental Impact: A reduction in greenhouse gas and renewable portfolio standards and potentially half (50%) of the energy use currently in a single home.

Fiscal Impact: The solar roof mandate could potentially exacerbate the electric utility revenue and grid management maintenance costs.

Recommended Action: Approve the Photovoltaic Interconnection Agreement Section 2 as amended January 3, 2019.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to change this item to an “Information Only” item instead of an action item. 

Later, members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to appoint Stephen Moffitt, Phillip LeJeune and Mike Schneider to an Ad-Hoc committee.

 

  • Agenda Item #6:

Discussion regarding a proposal from a private developer regarding a solar farm for the use of the NPUA.

Background: In mid-December the NPUA received an unsolicited proposal for the private development of a solar farm for the use of the NPUA at $0.045/kWh for the first year and increasing 1.5% to 3.5% per year by the end of 2020. The utility must procure at least 50% from renewable power (solar, wind, geothermal, biopower) by 2030. The NPUA currently uses 58% of its power from hydro, which at $0.015/kWh keeps power purchase costs low. Alternatively, the NPUA has discussed partial funding for those wishing to add roof mounted solar (attached).

Fiscal Impact:

Recommendation: Discussion and direction.

Agenda Item #6 was Discretionary. Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to appoint Stephen Moffitt and Phillip LeJeune to an Ad-Hoc committee, with Terry Campbell available to participate. 

 

  • Agenda Item #7:

SB 998, Water Shut Off Protection Act imposing new restrictions on residential water service discontinuation when customers are delinquent.

Background: On September 28, 2018 Governor Brown signed into legislation Senate Bill 998 which imposes new restrictions on residential water service discontinuation when customers are delinquent in pays their water bills. The new requirement expands and adds to current law regarding disconnections. The new law applies all urban and community water systems, public or privates, that provide water to more than 200 service connections. The new requirements below go into effect for the Needles Public Utility Authority, April 1, 2020.

  • Water systems must adopt written discontinuation policies that are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean and any other language spoken by 10 percent or more people within the system’s service area. The policies must contain certain information, and be posted on the water system’s website.
  • Water systems may not discontinue residential water service due to delinquent payment until payments are delinquent for at least 60 days.
  • Water systems may not discontinue residential water service if all of the following take place: 1.) a primary care provider certifies that the discontinuation of water service will pose a serious or potentially fatal threat to a resident, 2.) the customer demonstrates inability to pay and 3.) the customer is willing to enter into an alternative payment arrangement. A customer can demonstrate an inability to pay based on the receipt of certain public assistance by someone in the household, or a declaration from the customer that the household is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Water systems must limit certain low-income customers’ re-connection fees to no more than $50 during regular business hours, and $150 during non-regular hours.
  • Water systems must attempt to provide notice to renters and mobile home residents that their service may be discontinued due to delinquent payments by their landlords, and that the residents have the right to become customers of the water system without paying the past-due amounts on the landlords’ accounts.
  • Water systems must annually post on their websites the number of times the system has discontinued service due to inability to pay.

Fiscal Impact: SB 998 increased the risk of potential bad debt expenses, an increase in customer deposits may be needed to decrease the risk.

Recommended Action: Information Only.

Agenda Item #7 was Information Only and no votes were conducted from members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities.

 

  • Agenda Item #8:

Continued review of the 2001 water system evaluation by Boyle Engineering Corp. and list of improvements with priorities and funding.

Background: In 2001, Boyle Engineering Corp completed a Water System Evaluation Draft Report. The recommended improvements to the existing system along with respective opinions of probable construction costs are listed in detail in Table 6, shown on Figure 9, and briefly summarized below. These cost opinions are planning level estimates and include a contingency factor for construction, design, geotechnical, surveying, mapping, environmental, and construction management.

Fiscal Impact: Opinion of Probable Construction Costs – Existing System from Boyle Report 2001):

  • Increase well supply and storage at Clary: $5,369,000
  • Drive Lower Tanks Install new Pashard Street Lower Tank: $5,313,000
  • Upsize pipes to serve undeveloped portions within study area: $822,000
  • Expand Upper Zone Storage: $4,760,000
  • Expand Lilly Hill Pump Station: $1,269,000
  • TOTAL = $17,533,000

Recommended Action: No action needed – information only/

Agenda Item #8 was Information Only and no votes were conducted from members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities.

 

** Reports: ****

  • Agenda Item #9:

EUSI, LLC operational support services relating to the wastewater treatment and collection system October 2018.

 

  • Agenda Item #10:

Needles present perfected rights (PPR) report for October 2018.

 

  • Agenda Item #11:

Monthly activity report for September 2018 and delinquencies report(s).

Agenda Items #9 through #11 were all Information Only and no votes were conducted from members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities.

 

** Pending Matters (Not For Discussion At This Time): **

  • Agenda Item A:

Audit suggestions relating to inventory control (meeting of January 16, 2018)

No votes were conducted from members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities on Agenda Item A.

 

** Needles City Manager’s Report: **

– Agenda Item #A: Incident Report(s):

** Needles Board of Public Utilities Requests: **

 

**** You can view other City of Needles meetings agendas at the following City of Needles website address: ****

http://www.cityofneedles.com/Pages/Departments-Services/Boards/2018_CITY_MEETING.html

For more information regarding the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meetings, please contact Cheryl K. Sallis at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 315.

** Picture and Live Broadcast from ZachNews: **

 

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