Water Agency Fills Vacant Board Position

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BEAUMONT – At a special board meeting on August 6, the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency filled a vacant seat on its Board by selecting David Fenn of Beaumont as its newest director.  The position became vacant when longtime Director Ray Morris passed away in June.

Dave Fenn-SGPWA-BODFenn, a licensed real estate broker, was selected from 17 candidates who submitted letters of interest.  “I have never seen such a highly qualified and distinguished group of people seeking public office in my life,” Board President John Jeter said.  “We have some outstanding citizens living in our communities, and I would encourage them to enter public service in some way.  Local government needs them.”

Of the seventeen candidates, seven were from Banning, seven from Beaumont, two from Cherry Valley, and one from the Banning Bench.

Fenn is the first member of the Agency’s board to be a resident of Beaumont in nearly 15 years.  “We had some outstanding candidates from Banning, and I hope these Banning residents enter the public arena by some other route, but I just feel we need someone from Beaumont on the Board at this time,” said Mary Ann Melleby, Agency Treasurer.

“I am humbled and honored that you have selected me from this group of outstanding candidates” said Fenn, who was sworn in at the end of the meeting.  He serves in the At-Large number 2 position, representing the entire Agency service area from Calimesa to Cabazon.  His term will end in December 2016, when he will be eligible to run for the remaining two years of the unfinished term.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Water Agency Adopts Connection Fee to Fund New Water Supplies

SGPWA logoBEAUMONT –  The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency recently adopted a connection fee on new construction in the Pass area.  The primary purpose of the fee is to ensure that the region has sufficient revenue to procure additional water supplies needed to meet projected regional water demands.

The fee, adopted on a 5-1 vote after a series of three public workshops over the past 13 months, will include $171 per new house for construction of infrastructure required to meet future water demands, and $6,231 for each new acre-foot of water that Agency will need to acquire.  Most new homes constructed in the future will have annual water demands of less than one-half acre-foot per year, so the total fee for a typical new home is expected to be in the neighborhood of $3,000.

This cost would be paid by the developer and built into the cost of the new home.  Other public agencies, including cities, counties, school districts, and water districts, have similar fees to finance the cost of new infrastructure required for the new homes.

“We’ve been talking about this for over ten years, and if we had implemented it five years ago when it came up last time, we probably would have been able to procure an additional water supply by now,” said John Jeter, Board President, who supports the fee.  “This region needs new water supplies, and this is the only way to make sure that we have enough money to procure them.”

The Agency plans to use a combination of revenue from the connection fee, water sales, and general tax revenues to finance a major water purchase in the next few years.

According to state law, the Agency must partner with either a land use planning agency or local water district to enable it to collect the fee as new homes are constructed.  The Agency is seeking to sign cooperative agreements with such agencies in the next few months so that the financing plan can be in place prior to development of its 2015 Urban Water Management Plan, which is required for most water districts every five years.

“We are not a land use planning agency.  We are a water district.  We don’t create growth, but when it is created by city and county governments, we need to ensure that there is sufficient water for it,” said Board Treasurer Mary Ann Melleby, who also supports the fee.  “There is not enough local water, even with recycled water, to meet the projected water demands of our service area.”

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Water Agency Maintains Tax Rate

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BEAUMONT – The Board of Directors of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency voted at its meeting on August 3 to maintain its current tax rate of 18.5 cents per hundred dollars of assessed valuation for the fifth consecutive year.

The tax is required to pay the Agency’s share of debt service and operation and maintenance for the State Water Project, the system of pipes, canals, reservoirs, and pump stations that convey water from Lake Oroville to the Pass area.  The Agency sells this water to local water agencies, who use it to replenish local groundwater basins.

The Agency is funding a major new pipeline, pump station, and reservoir in the Mentone area that will enable it to import its full entitlement of State Water Project water, and to deliver more water in wet years.  The Agency’s portion of this facility is approximately $80 million.

“We have been working on this project for over a decade now, and we are nearing the finish,” said Board President John Jeter.  “We are proud of the fact that we will be able to fund it without raising our tax rate any further.  We have worked hard to keep costs down and to deliver the maximum return for the taxpayer dollar.”

Since 2000, while continuing to fund increasing State Water Project costs as well as the new facility in Mentone, the Agency’s tax rate has increased only nine percent.  It remained at the same level from 2000 through 2010 before being raised to its current level in 2011.  The Agency’s annual debt service payment in 2016 for the first time will exceed $20 million.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

At Large Position No. 2 Vacancy

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 The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is seeking an individual to fill the At Large Position No. 2 on its Board of Directors. The At-Large Position No. 2 represents the entire Agency service area from Calimesa to Cabazon.

The vacancy is due to the recent passing of William R. (Ray) Morris. Morris had been the at-large director since 1997.

Interested parties should submit a letter of interest that includes the individual’s interest, qualifications, background, and information regarding residence (in order to verify that the candidate resides within the Agency’s boundaries). Letters must be submitted via US Mail or personally delivered to the Agency at 1210 Beaumont Avenue, Beaumont, 92223 no later than 4:30 pm Friday, July17.

SGPWA District Map_D At Large VacancyInterested individuals may visit the Agency offices between 7:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday to view a detailed map of its boundaries or to ask questions regarding the position. A map may also be found on the Agency web site, www.sgpwa.com.

The Board of Directors will meet in late July or early August to interview candidates and to select an applicant at a regularly scheduled or special Board meeting. The selection process will be open to the public. The successful candidate will be sworn in at the meeting at which he/she is selected, and will serve until December 2016. The successful candidate will be eligible to run for election to fill the final two years of Morris’s four-year term in November 2016.

The Agency’s Board holds meetings the first and third Mondays of each month at 1:30 pm. Engineering workshops are held the second Monday of each month, and Finance and Budget workshops the fourth Monday of each month, both at 1:30 pm.

Members of the Board receive a stipend of $246.76 per day of service up to a maximum of five days per month.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Reorganizes

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Three elected members of the board of directors of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency were sworn into office recently.  Dr. Blair M. Ball was elected in November to represent Division 4, which includes most of Cherry Valley and parts of the City of Beaumont. Dr. Ball, a resident of Cherry Valley, is a doctor of optometry and a longtime business owner in Beaumont.  Incumbents John Jeter, representing Division 3, and Raymond Morris, at-large representative, were also elected in November.  Also sworn into office was Lenny Stephenson after his appointment in December to fill the vacant Division 5 position due to the death of Ted Haring.  Stephenson, a resident of Calimesa, recently retired from a 30-year career in the construction industry as a safety professional.

At its January 5 meeting, the Board re-elected its three officers for two-year terms.  John Jeter was re-elected President, Bill Dickson was re-elected Vice President, and Mary Ann Melleby was re-elected Treasurer.  Jeter, an ex-Marine, retired as an attorney with the California State Compensation Insurance fund.  He is a resident of Banning and has been President since 2004.  Dickson, a resident of Banning, is a retired Navy Corpsman who is a local agent for Direct Loan America.  He is very active in Banning civic affairs.  Melleby, also a resident of Banning, is retired from the Monte Vista Water District in Montclair and is a Trustee of the University of La Verne.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Division 5 Vacancy

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The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is seeking an individual to fill the Division 5 Director position.  Division 5 covers most of Calimesa, Live Oak Canyon, San Timoteo Canyon, and most of Beaumont between Brookside and Oak Valley Parkway, east of Oak View Drive.  It includes The Fairways, Tournament Hills, Oak Valley Greens, Fore Seasons, Solera, Stetson, and Cherry Valley Lakes.

The vacancy is due to the recent passing of Ted Haring.  Haring had been the Division 5 director since December 2008.

Interested parties should submit a letter of interest that includes the individual’s interest, qualifications, background, and information regarding residence (in order to verify that the candidate resides in Division 5).  Letters must be submitted via US Mail or personally delivered to the Agency at 1210 Beaumont Avenue, Beaumont, 92223 no later than 5:00 pm Monday, December 8.

Interested individuals may visit the Agency offices between 7:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday to view a detailed map of the Division 5 boundaries or to ask questions regarding the position.  A map may also be found on the Agency web site,www.sgpwa.com.

SGPWA District Map_D5 VacancyThe Board of Directors will meet in December to interview candidates and to select an applicant at a regularly scheduled or special Board meeting.  The entire selection process will be open to the public.  The successful candidate will be sworn in at the meeting at which he/she is selected, and will serve the remainder of Director Harings’s term, which expires in December 2016.  The successful candidate will be eligible to run for election to a full four-year term in November 2016.

The Agency’s Board holds meetings the first and third Mondays of each month at 1:30 pm.  Engineering workshops are held the second Monday of each month, and Finance and Budget workshops the fourth Monday of each month, both at 1:30 pm.

Members of the Board receive a stipend of $243.11 per day of service up to a maximum of five days per month.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Board Member Receives Recognition in Special District Governance

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Recognition in Special District GovernanceBeaumont, CA (November 4, 2014) – Mary Ann Melleby, member of the board of directors of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency in Beaumont, recently received the designation of “Recognition in Special District Governance” through the Special District Leadership Foundation.

To receive the designation, special district board members and trustees must complete two distinct parts: 1) Special District Leadership Academy’s four core courses:  governance foundations, setting direction/community leadership, the board’s role in human resources and the board’s role in finance and fiscal accountability and 2) 10 additional hours of continuing education completed within two  years and obtained from the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) or any other state-wide association specializing in local government.

Ms. Melleby completed the first portion of the program a year ago and recently completed the 10 hours of continuing education.

The Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) is an independent, non-profit organization formed in 1999 to provide educational opportunities to special district officials and employees to enhance service to the public.   Its mission is to promote and recognize excellence in governance and management of California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs. The SDLF and its activities are supported by the California Special Districts Association and the Special District Risk Management Authority.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Agency Endorses Water Bond for November 2014 Ballot

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Beaumont – The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Board of Directors, at its September 15 meeting, voted unanimously to adopt a formal position in support of the $7.545 billion water bond measure set for the November ballot.

prop-1-california-2014Titled the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, the bond will appear as Proposition 1 on the ballot.  The Agency Board voted to support the measure, saying it contains much-needed funding for new surface and groundwater storage projects, regional water reliability, sustainable groundwater management and cleanup, water recycling, water conservation, watershed protection, and safe drinking water, particularly for disadvantaged communities.  “This is the first water bond to appear on the ballot since 2006.  We are in the third year of a drought, both the state and our region need more storage, and this region needs financial support for water conservation and water recycling projects, so there is a lot to like in this bond issue” said Board President John Jeter.

The bond measure was approved in a bipartisan vote by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown on August 13.  It is considered a critical element of the state’s comprehensive water plan.  A diverse array of interest groups supports the measure, including organizations representing water, agriculture, the conservation community, labor, and business.  The measure is supported unanimously by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

“The ongoing drought has underscored the fact that we need a comprehensive, statewide water plan to create a more resilient water system and meet legislatively mandated co-equal goals of improved water supply reliability and ecosystem health”, General Manager Jeff Davis said.  “If approved by voters, Proposition 1 will advance such a plan by funding programs and projects throughout the state  to help combat drought and other challenges and secure the future for our children and grandchildren.”

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Water Agency Urges Heightened Water Conservation

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Recognizing that 2013-14 is among the driest periods in state history, the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is urging residents of the Pass region to heighten their ongoing water conservation efforts.  At its April 21 meeting, the board of directors adopted a resolution thanking local residents for their ongoing water efficiency efforts and asking that they be re-doubled wherever possible in response to the ongoing drought.

conserve water

California is in the third year of a drought.

California is in the third year of a drought.  Last year was one of the driest on record and this year is expected to be one of the ten driest years on record.  The State Water Project, of which the Agency is one of 29 Contractors, has a historically low allocation of just 5 percent of its water supply.  As a result, the Pass Agency will receive just 865 acre-feet of its contractual 17,300 acre-feet.  An acre-foot of water is enough to serve two families for a year.

“Polls show that virtually all Californians are aware of the drought and are taking steps to conserve water this year,” said President John Jeter.  “The Governor and water agencies throughout the state have done a good job publicizing the magnitude of the problem.  We know that residents here are already conserving; we want to make sure that, if the drought continues into a fourth year, there will be enough water to go around.”

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.

Experienced Water Leader Tapped for Regional Leadership Position

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency Director Mary Ann Melleby to join 
Association of California Water Agencies Board of Directors in January

Beaumont, CA (October 24, 2013) — Mary Ann Melleby, a member of the board of directors of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency in Beaumont, was recently elected to the board of directors for Region 9 of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country.  Melleby’s one year term begins January 2014.

“I look forward to serving on ACWA’s Region 9 board to support the mission and goals of ACWA and to be involved in the effort to discuss issues of mutual concern and interest of Region 9 water agencies,” said Melleby.

Mary Ann Melleby SGPWA BODMelleby has served as a member of ACWA’s statewide communications committee since 2012 and is the liaison to Region 9.   She was appointed to the board of directors of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency to fill a vacant at-large position in April 2011, and in November 2012 she was elected to a four-year term of office.

ACWA’s nearly 440 public agency members are collectively responsible for 90 percent of the water delivered to cities, farms and businesses in California.  The agency’s mission is “to assist its members in promoting the development, management and reasonable beneficial use of good quality water at the lowest practical cost in an environmentally balanced manner.”

Association of California Water AgenciesACWA’s membership is organized into 10 regions based upon number of agencies, geography and the interests of each region.  Region 9 is comprised of 49 ACWA-member public water agencies within San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties.  The region, which covers roughly 32,000 square miles, is home to a population of just over 4.2 million.

The role of ACWA Region 9 is “to support ACWA goals through grassroots efforts by conducting outreach, communication, and education through briefings, events and tours.”

Melleby joins other Region 9 board of directors members, including:   Harvey Ryan, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, chair; Craig Ewing, Desert Water Agency, vice chair; and board members Joe Kuebler, Eastern Municipal Water District; Ed Pack, Coachella Valley Water District; Kathy Tiegs, Cucamonga Valley Water District; and Jim Ventura, Mojave Water Agency.

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San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency is one of 29 State Water Project contractors whose mission is to import supplemental water, to protect and enhance local water supplies for use by present and future water users and to sell imported water to local water districts within its service area extending from Calimesa to Cabazon in western Riverside County, California.

For more information, please contact General Manager Jeff Davis at 951/845-2577 or jdavis@sgpwa.com.