Virgin Valley Water District held arguably its shortest meeting on March 19, approving one item on the agenda: adoption of the VVWD’s 12th revision of rules and regulations.
That adoption put in place revised rules for developers and builders within the district.
Adoption of the rules and regs was tabled several weeks ago when it was determined that more public input was needed before revisions should be approved. After an information session with developers, the VVWD board went forward with adoption of updated rules by
a 4-0 vote. Board president Nephi Julien was not present.
It was noted that Section 7 pertaining to VVWD water share leasing was removed from the document. District manager Kevin Brown explained that changes in pricing and leasing will occur in the coming months when major leasing contracts expire and pricing of other lease rates increase according to current contract terms. At that time VVWD will consider a stand-alone policy on water leasing rather than making another revision to the standard rules and regulations.
In the extended budget review for upcoming fiscal year 2020 held on March 6, the board approved a three percent cost of living adjustment(COLA) across the board for the 19 employees of the district. This amount is reduced by .625 percent so that employees cover
their own increased PERS retirement payment. The increase was approved by the board for wage calculation in the pending FY2020 budget.
Other budget items that were discussed and acted upon in the March 6 meeting were an increase in the line item budgeted for VVWD headquarters expansion and the setting of lease rates for any VVWD water shares that become available during the fiscal year.
The board previously approved expansion of the headquarters building, and now approved expenditures of $1.1million for designing and starting that expansion in FY2020. The prior draft budget had been projected at $600,000 for the year, which was now viewed as inadequate for the work expected to be accomplished during the fiscal year. The project is in design and should be ready to bid in August.
VVWD water share lease rates, always a topic of controversy in the valley, are due to increase in FY2020 because of an escalation clause in the 2014 contract between VVWD and Southern Nevada Water Authority of Las Vegas. In October 2019, SNWA rates will rise to $1350.00 for Mesquite Irrigation Company (MIC) shares owned by VVWD, and $1,637.75 for Bunkerville Irrigation Company (BIC) shares. That reflects an increase of over $100 per share on VVWD water that SNWA currently holds under long term lease. The board discussed the lease rates charged to SNWA by other water shareholders in the area, which are due to increase in 2019 to $1,115.67 (MIC) and $1,357.17 (BIC).
Board president Nephi Julien moved to set the lease rate for any VVWD-owned water shares that become available during FY2020 at rates identical to the 2019 rates charged to SNWA by other area water shareholders. That proposal was unanimously approved by a 5-0 vote.
Reporting on hydrologist updates and district work status, Kevin Brown informed the board that rehab of Well 31 is going according to plan. The well was removed from service in late 2018 when its pump failed. Hydro Resources, Inc., has rebuilt the existing pump which is ready to reinstall. Completion date is set for April 5. A new pump is being ordered.
The purchase of a plot of City land on Hardy Lane for the drilling of Well 26A has been suspended due to finding multiple unrecorded utilities running through the parcel, significantly limiting the usable area to drill a well. Other sites or options are currently being explored.
Waterline replacement work at the intersection of Pioneer Boulevard and Oasis is nearing completion; line work begins on Kitty Hawk Drive. April 28 is the targeted completion date.
VVWD’s next meeting at 5pm on April 2 will be the final budget work session for FY2020. The proposed budget draft can be found online at VVWD’s website, www.vvh2o.com. The budget
is then submitted to the NV Department of Taxation and Clark County before it is formally
adopted for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019.