Sweetwater Authority Board Approves $64M Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21, No Rate Increase

The Sweetwater Authority Governing Board approved the budget for fiscal year 2020-21 at its June 24, 2020 meeting. The budget does not increase water rates for customers and reflects more than $13M in reductions over last fiscal year. To achieve these savings, the Board worked closely with Authority staff to produce a balanced budget that minimizes the financial impact to customers.

The Fallbrook PUD Board tour group initially drove from the FPUD administration building to the Alturas Road plant and then traveled along the pipeline alignment before arriving at the Gheen Pump Station. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utilities District

Fallbrook PUD Board Members Tour Construction Project

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, public agencies have found creative solutions to holding meetings in compliance with the State of California’s meeting laws. Recently, Fallbrook Public Utility District board members stepped away from their video screens, using the opportunity to take a field trip to view a new project while conducting a traveling board meeting.

The Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project is a joint project with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and will eventually supply about 30% of the District’s water, and virtually all of Camp Pendleton’s water.

Fallbrook PUD board members view construction project

Construction of the first section of pipeline on Merida Drive is part of the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project. This segment of pipeline between Alturas and Mission roads is about 4,500 linear feet and is 35% installed. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utilities District Fallbrook PUD Board

Construction of the first section of pipeline on Merida Drive is part of the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project. This segment of pipeline between Alturas and Mission roads is about 4,500 linear feet and is 35% installed. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

At the time of the tour, the project had been under construction for 250 days. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, board members and others who attended the traveling meeting stayed in their cars. While behind the wheel, board members wove through parts of Fallbrook to follow the path of the new pipeline. With their smartphones turned on and hands-free, representatives followed each other in a single file parade while listening to a live conference call with the project contractor.  Board members learned about construction progress, and saw where and how the pipe will be installed.

The tour and the project began at the treatment plant on Alturas Road, where bulldozers and heavy machinery are moving earth to build the pipeline and a water treatment plant. The pipeline will transport water from the plant through parts of central Fallbrook, ending at McDonald Road. The project also includes a new four million-gallon storage tank, where the tour ended. Participants discussed the possibility of a subsequent tour to view ongoing progress with construction of the facilities.

The entire construction process will take approximately two years to complete, with the pipeline becoming fully operational by 2022.

Deputy Mayor to Serve on San Diego County Water Authority

On Wednesday, May 27 the San Diego County Water Authority welcomed Escondido Deputy Mayor Consuelo Martinez as its newest board member. The deputy mayor was sworn into the role via a Zoom call from her office.

Sweetwater Authority Board Appoints Chair and New Committee Assignments for 2020

Chula Vista, CA – Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Governing Board voted in December to appoint Steve Castaneda as Board Chair for 2020; this will be his second term as chair. Hector Martinez was appointed as Vice Chair for 2020.

San Diego County Water Authority Makes Settlement Offer to End Litigation

The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) sent a comprehensive settlement offer to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) last month that would end nearly a decade of ongoing litigation over rates between the two agencies.

For over a year, SDCWA had been meeting in confidential settlement discussions with MWD to find an equitable resolution to litigation over MWD’s rates.

Helix Water District Logo Square

Helix Board Elects Officers for 2020

At their December 18, 2019 meeting, Helix Water District’s board of directors unanimously elected Director Mark Gracyk to serve as board president in 2020 and Director DeAna Verbeke to serve as the board’s vice president.

New Agricultural Water Rate Program Benefits San Diego County Growers

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors Nov. 21 approved a new and permanent Special Agricultural Water Rate program structure that offers lower water rates to farmers in exchange for lower water supply reliability.

Unlike the current temporary program, the structure of the new water rate program will let new participants join as a way to strengthen the region’s multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry.

Fallbrook Public Utility District logo

FPUD Board Appoints New Director

Fallbrook, Calif. –The Fallbrook Public Utility District board of directors appointed local businessman Dave Baxter to fill the board seat vacated in July by Al Gebhart.

Baxter, current president of the Live Oak Park Coalition, was selected during a special board meeting to fill the empty Subdistrict No. 1 seat. He is senior director at Relevant Solutions, a company providing business solutions through instrumentation, and rotating and thermal equipment.


Fallbrook Public Utility District Logo

One Seat Open on FPUD Board

Fallbrook, Calif. – One seat is open for the Fallbrook Public Utility District board of directors.

Local residents interested in serving on the FPUD board can apply by writing a statement of qualifications that includes name, physical address, contact information and a brief background of education. The deadline to apply is Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. The statement must be delivered to the FPUD office’s board secretary, at 990 E. Mission Road in Fallbrook.

Kelley Scores 17-Month Consulting Deal With IID

With the start of the new year came the start of a 17-month consulting service agreement between the Imperial Irrigation District board and its recently retired general manager, Kevin Kelley. The value of the contract, which is specifically for consultation between Kelley and the IID Board of Directors, not IID staff, is just under $396,000. It ends May 30, 2020, the same date Kelley’s employment contract as GM would have ended had he not retired, said IID board President Erik Ortega.