Tuesday’s meeting was short in comparison to other recent meetings, but the content was just as important.
After hearing a summary from Vice President Sandra Ramaker on her recent trip to the Nevada Water Resources Association Annual Conference at the end of January, the Virgin Valley Water District Board chose to approve the hiring of Bowen, Collins and Associates for the design and construction aspects regarding Well #1 in Bunkerville, next to the Bunkerville Cemetery.
The Well, which has been inactive for 18 years, is unable to be rehabilitated like the District has done with Wells 2 and 27 in the past, since the entire structure is corroded and broken down. The design process approved is not to exceed $135,000. The remainder of the efforts needed to reconstruct the Well will be bidded out and brought back to the Board in late April. This is a currently budgeted item of up to $500,000, just part of the $1,416,000 total allotted for Production Well Budget category. The total operation is estimated to take nine to ten months to bring the Well to its full ability.
The next item approved by the Board was to upgrade its current software and computer equipment. Several of the current systems are up to 20 years old, running on old personal computers that crash often and cause many issues with reports and functions.
The Board approved the purchase of Supervisory Control and Dada Acquisition (SCADA) software totaling $60,413. With this item already budgeted for $150,000 in the current fiscal year, it is something that the Board has been working on replacing for the past two years.
“We’ve been working on this for the past two years,” stated staff member Philip Abbott. “We wanted to make sure all of the ‘T’s were crossed and the ‘I’s were dotted before we brought this to the Board.
The purchase of the software will initiate a six month preparation period and includes software support from GE and warranties through Dell for the equipment. The security abilities will supersede the current system, bringing the operations at the VVWD out of the ‘caveman’ era of technology. Future budget allotment for the FY2015-16 item will stand at $100,000 to allow for the project to move forward.
The Board then moved on, discussing two future conferences that are coming up, and to whether or not they should send any Board members. The first, being held in Elko in April, was passed at a vote of 3 – 2 to send Ramaker. Barbara Ellestad and Rich Bowler both opposed the motion made by President Nephi Julien and seconded by Bubba Smith, stating that the conference seemed to be geared more towards items that are focused on by the staff, not the Board.
The second conference, to be held in Anaheim, CA in June was determined to be a ‘wait and see’ item, since the prices were higher to attend that one and the Board agreed to bring it back to the Agenda at a later time if, in fact, a Board member wanted to go.
The rest of the evening was a report from VVWD Attorney Bo Bingham, who covered the litigation information that is detailed in today’s story from Barb Ellestad. At Tuesday’s meeting, however, Bingham did state that the bank handling John Lonetti’s loan was anticipated to make payment to the District on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 of $4.74 million dollars. As of the time of this story, Wednesday morning, no payments had been confirmed as being received.