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Like last month’s Community Services District board meeting, this month’s lasted less than an hour. In that time, the board adopted a sewer management plan required by a regulatory agency and set the stage for considering whether to pursue a wastewater discharge permit that’s been described as an insurance policy for the district.

Here are highlights of the 45-minute meeting.

Sewer management plan approved

The board voted to approve the Sewer System Management Plan required by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The plan was completed in advance of state-mandated deadlines of November 2009 for some sections and May 2010 for the entire plan, said Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations as he presented it to the board. The plan was prepared by consultant HDR Engineering Inc. The 61-page plan is included in the board meeting packet.
“There’s really nothing extraordinary that we aren’t doing already,” Siebensohn said about the plan’s requirements. The district already performs collection system maintenance, cleans sewer lines and performs sewer inspections.

“We’re going to have to start TV-ing the lines,” he said, referring to running cameras through the lines. “… We use that only for troubleshooting now. As part of this plan, we’re going to have to go through and do a percentage of the collection system each year as part of the preventive maintenance … so it’s going to take definitely more staff time to go through and start doing some of these elements.” Siebensohn expects to know what additional costs are involved in implementing the plan by the end of next year.

The plan must be revised and updated every two years.

Policy approved for dog containment and kennel fee

The board adopted a revised policy for loose dogs that conforms to the legal interpretation of Security authority.

“It’s pretty much the same as it was before, except the difference is we don’t have the opportunity to issue ordinance violations for the loose dog,” Security Chief Greg Remson said. “… The gist of it is dogs can’t come on district property except for aiding people with disabilities. If we capture a loose dog within the district boundaries, we’ll bring it over here to the kennel that’s located by the wastewater plant. We will attempt to contact the owner, and we will keep it for 24 hours. … If they don’t call us, we’ll release the dog to Animal Control.

“There’s also a kennel fee in place of $100 for maintenance of the dog and that would be charged to the owner of the dog.”

Go/no-go decision on permit

The board discussed whether to get a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The board directed staff to pursue the permit as “a safety valve,” General Manager Ed Crouse said at the Improvements Committee meeting this month. The permit would allow the CSD to discharge treated wastewater into the Cosumnes River in the event of an extremely wet  season or a carryover storage problem that strained the storage capacity at the wastewater treatment plant. The goal is to avoid being in the situation the district was in the spring of 2006.

CSD was fined for violating its discharge requirements by releasing treated wastewater during the wet spring of 2006 to relieve storage pressure at the wastewater treatment plant.

The problems started in 2003, when recycled water deliveries to the Country Club were delayed until the CSD met new treatment requirements. At the end of the irrigation season, the excess wastewater was carried over, and wet spring weather exacerbated storage and disposal issues. 

The excess wastewater was disposed of by fall 2007. Since then, the district has had less than100 acre-feet of wastewater in the storage ponds when the irrigation season ended.

At the board meeting, Paul Siebensohn, director of field operations, said wastewater storage at the end of this season was 78 acre-feet. On Oct. 7, before the end of the season, storage reached 58 acre-feet, the lowest level of the year, “so it was far below that 100 acre-feet threshold set back in 2006,” he said.

Additional studies for the permit and construction of an outfall in the river to implement it are expected to total between $600,000-750,000, and the permit would have to renewed in five years, Crouse told the board Wednesday.

“I’d say everything’s on target,” Director Betty Ferraro said. “What would be the reasoning to pull back?”

Crouse said while the permit was a long-term solution, in the short-term the district has access to spray fields on the Van Vleck ranch in addition to the golf courses to prevent carryover storage. “We have an alternative. But, as we get further along in build-out, we’re not going to have that excess capacity … because the projects that are going to need that disposal capacity are going to be coming on line. … So the question for the next five, seven years is, is the NPDES permit really needed?”

“You’re gambling with the weather, which we have no control over,” Ferraro said.

After saying that the permit was insurance, Director Bob Kjome predicted there will be “a lively debate” at the November board meeting when all five board members are expected to be in attendance to vote on whether to proceed with the permit. Directors Bobbi Belton and Steve Mobley were absent from Wednesday’s meeting.

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Vandalism, graffiti and weekend parties

Security patrol officers breaking up “a couple of juvenile parties” over the weekend had rocks thrown their way, said Security Chief Greg Remson. He added that a rock hit the windshield of a patrol car and put a small crack in it. “We searched for them, but they might very well still be running,” he said.

Due to vandalism incidents at the Plaza involving spray painting, black marker, and tossed rolls of paper towels and toilet paper that were removed from a restroom, “We’re stepping up patrols in that area and having the manager file a crime report with the Sheriff’s Department,” Remson said.

An off-duty deputy and Security officers will be patrolling on Halloween, “so we should have plenty of coverage on that night,” he said.

Director of Field Operations Paul Siebensohn said his workers had painted the water tank on Gazebo Hill because of graffiti. The tank is the district’s responsibility, he explained.

CSD medical care contributions approved

The board approved the annual amendment of the CSD employer medical and hospital care contributions for represented and unrepresented employees. Darlene Gillum, director of administration, said the CSD contribution stays the same for represented employees in 2010, but the full cost contribution for unrepresented employees will decrease 5 percent under the lowest cost HMO plan provided by CalPERS. Blue Shield Net Value split the Sacramento region into two coverage areas and the district is in the lower-priced one, Gillum said.

Later in the meeting, Gillum reported the district expects to reduce its cost for dental and disability coverage by $5,000 by switching to a new provider after getting competitive quotes.

Internet access

The CSD Hot Spot, a wireless Internet network for media use at board meetings, is up and running at the CSD Building, Darlene Gillum, director of administration, reported. The Rancho Murieta Association agreed to charge the CSD $10 a month for broadband access instead of a business rate of about $80, she said.

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