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Minutes - Water Resources - 7/16/2007CITY OF BOULDER, COLORADO RlIABTC stvnl~nMM1CRi!)NC MRRTiN(: SiIMMARY FORM NAME OF BOARD/COMMISSION: Water Resources Adviso Board DATE OF MEETING: July 16, 2007 NAME/TELEPHONE OF PERSON PREPARING SUMMARY: Kaaren Davis, 303-441-3229 NAMES OF MEMBERS, COUNCIL, STAFF, AND INVITED GUESTS PRESENT: BOARD MEMBERS -Jim Knopf, Robin Byers, Kelly DiNatale, William DeOreo, (Bart Miller absent) STAFF - Ned Williams, Paut Lander, Brit Faulkner, Steve Buckbee, Liz Cam bell. WHAT TYPE OF MEETING BOLD ONE REGULAR] SPECIAL QUASI-JUDICIAL Agenda Item 1- Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Agenda Item 2- Meeting Minutes -June 28, 2007 Motion: Byers-to accept the meeting minutes with revision. Seconded: DeOreo Vote: 4-0 in favor, Passed Agenda Item 3- Public participation and comment. -Steve Pomerance: PIF Study- The value of the ciry's water resources/infrastructure if the city tried to rent that value (at 5% inte~est) would pay $3.50 per ] 000 gallons of capacity. Operating costs are around $2.00 or less. PIF's are about twice as important financially as the water rates in terms of costs. PIF's need more attention. RFP is a good start but needs darification: 1) PIF's need to be corrected from forecasted demand to actual usage afrer the fact, 2) Scope of work: All classes should split irrigation use from indoor use. Agenda Item 4-5 Matters From Staff- • Fluoride Issue: Per the board's request, asked Richard Knaub if he would be available to attend a future meeting. He said he would be available depending upon schedule or would be available to meet with a board member or two in a more informal setting if more information would be wanted. • Nederland Skateboard Park: Staff is preparing an agenda item for City Council for July 24`". This is an agreement with the town of Nederland whereby the ciry of Boulder would deed to the town of Nederland about 4,000 SF of property on the west end of Barker Reservoir so that Nederland can construct a skateboard pazk. In retum Nederland would grant to city of Boulder the right to make three taps on their water system and three taps on their sewer system at no cost, so that city of Boulder can construct public restroom(s) with running water and flush toilets. Matters fram Board - • Byers: Valmont Butte update: Received an update from Williams. City is in the midst of limited impact special use review with the County. City now seems to be seeking approval from tribal representatives and the Trust for Public Land on how the cleanup will be done. They are not actually paying any of the costs. None of those folks are represented by city government. Why are we including them in this process? W illiams: If they are the most likely purchasers of the property, we are trying to solicit their comments and input so that whatever remediation we perform will ultimately be satisfactory to them should they be the final purchasers of the property. Byers: Have we seen any good faith money from them? Should be cautious about putting out money for the benefit of groups who may not acwally become purchasers. Agenda Item 6- Discussion regarding Water Budgets: Jim Knopf of the WRAB presented the results of the meeting between WRAB members Knopf and DeOreo, the City Manager, Deputy Mayor and Staff. WRAB members at the meeting discussed the fact that for most customers the system is working, but that there are a couple of items that need immediate attention such as the refund of excess collections from inaccurate water budgets being retroactive, and ad'ustment of the 12 e ual month bud et structure for Commercial/Industrial customers. Rules and WRAB Summary July 16, 2007 Page No 1 Ordinance do allow for changes but CMO and Council are concerned about process and there is a need to find a method to contact all involved Commercial/Industrial customers. School District needs irrigation meters for their properties but when and how many have not been decided. Result of the meeting is that the problem has been outlined. Resolution has not been reached but there is a commitment to having a follow- up meeting about a month from the first. WRAB discussion included: • DeOreo: After the meeting went back and reviewed a report on all cities that have water budgets. Every agency which has a water budget system has an appeals process as does Boulder. DeOreo feels that the clear intent of the ordinance is to give everyone a reasonable budget that meets their requirements and the City Manager has the authority to make adjustments to accomplish that end. Hoping that we can move beyond the discussion process. Disappointed that there was hesitancy over process. Report will be e-mailed to WRAB. • DiNatale: Asked Williams for his input regarding the meeting. Williams: Regarding the School District: The District is installing sepazate irrigation meters for 6-] 0 of their lazgest school properties. Regarding CommerciaVIndusttial customers: Any Commercial/Indusfrial customer who wishes to split out their meter and have a separate irrigation meter, the city will waive all the normal city permit fees and in return are asking that the property owner finance the plumbing and construction costs involved in installing the new meter and connecting it to the irrigation system. • DeOreo: Numbers through May indicate that the consumption is out of balance in the Irrigation accounts and not the Commercial. Either the Irrigation accounts have bad budgets or they are irrigating incorrectly. This maybe useful for pointing out inefficient users and thus who needs outreach and education on proper use. • Knopf: City Right of Way irrigation needs to be addressed. When customers request an adjustment to their budget to accommodate the ROW irrigation needs, the city is granting it, but there needs to be a way to contact all irrigation customers to inform them about this option. Lander: In addition to having sent individual letters to all users in November, all irrigation customers were sent a letter in early March warning them that there might be substantial increase and to monitor their budgets for need for adjustment. • Knopt: Problems with change in occupancy in vacant spaces. If 2005 is the base year and some of the properties were vacant, new tenancy would push the occupants into higher use categories. Williams: with respect to CommerciaUindustrial occupancy, we have been processing adjustment requests. If 2006 is a better year to use for historic usage patterns then that is what is used. With respect to multi-family residential properties, no move has been made at this time to change how those are dealt with. Lander: There are methods that have been in use since before water budgets to find reasonable allocations for water use. Those still work. • Knopf: Questions on the Water Budget/Billing Software: What can we do ourselves and what do we have to go outside for? Williams: we can change the price of the box and the block thresholds ourselves. If we want to add a new customer class, develop a new methodology (instead of AMU), we would need to go outside to have those changes done. o We pay annual software license costs for Oracle or to Advanced. o We pay support fees and maintenance. o Byers is interested in the contract with Advanced. o DiNatale would like to know how long major architecture changes would take to make, test and implement. • DeOreo: Initiated discussion on possibilities and benefits around the concept of breaking the Commercial/Industrial class into subclasses specific to type of businesses. Conservation outreach with the goal of reducing consumption was also discussed as a part of this issue. Public Hearing: Steve Pomerance: Why focus on conservation if the City has supply for 30% more demand? Don't think Conservation is worth the amount of time being spent on it. Weather and resources both affect usage. Can't have one without the other. In years when we have adequate water from precipitation and/or runoff, there is no reason to charge people penalty rates during the dry months. The city is interested in municipalizing the power system. The water budget issue is such a mess in the public's eyes that they will never pass municipalization at this point. WRAB Summary July 16, 2007 Page No. 2 Agenda Item 7- Update on water monitors. Liz Campbell gave a demonstration of how the water monitors work and how they can be used to track your budget yourself. She also presented information on the cost of replacing water monitors. The city pays $191 including labor to get a residential monitor installed. $75 fot the equipment and the remainder for labor and other costs associated with installation and activation. The price per unit goes up with tap size. Monitor replacement costs for citizens can be spread across a 6 month period. If the city were to give the water monitors away as opposed to charging users, the total loss to the city would be $769,000 forjust 10% of the users to receive new monitors. The current automated meter reading transponders are dying at a faster rate than we can change over to the infrastructure to support the new technology. $360,000 has been allocated for replacement per year. This year $130,000 has been spent on building infrastructure for the new meters. The rest has been used to buy'/a" transponders for the new monitors. About 7% (1,383 accounts) of transponders for 3/4" taps have been replaced to date. By the end of the year that will jump up another point and a half. From 2008 forward replacement rate should be about 10% per yeaz. We will probably need to accelerate that down the road as more and more of the old transponders fail. Warranty for the new transponders is 10 years of full warranty and prorated downwazd from there after. WRAB Discussion: • Byers: Need to make sure that the new system does not leave behind people who do not have Internet access. May need phone line check-in or something similar. • DiNatale: Asked about the feasibility of building the replacement cost into the meter service charge. Staff: Some costs aze already built-in, but we may need to update that information based on life expectancy of the devices. The public is not beating down the doors looking for the new technology. • DiNatale: Funding of the change out is clearly a higher priority than we initially thought. Agenda Item 8 - Update on Plant Investment Fee (PIF) study. Steve Buckbee gave the presentation. Fees last reviewed in 2001. With new water budget system and other improvements since then, it is time to look at them again. Boulder is likely mostly built out and so the PIF has become a buy in/investment model. Looking to come up with a customer hand-out that is easy to understand. For residential PIF we average the indoor and outdoor usages. Sometimes it is pervious vs. impervious azea that is looked at for the Stormwater PIF. Study will look at both fixture counts and how that relates to meter size and how we use meter size to assess PIF. Study will cover plans for usage changes as well. Costs will be updated to be in line with today's costs and be more equitable. Staff would like someone from WRAB to join the stakeholder group which would have at least three meetings beginning in September. Data and options will be presented to the stakeholder group for evaluation and suggestions. When a consensus has been found, then the item will be brought before the WRAB. Likely it will be brought before the WRAB several times and may go back to the stakeholder group periodically as well as the study progresses. WRAB Discussion: • DeOreo and Byers will sit on the stakeholders group. • Byers: inquired about costs and benefits for this project. Explanation of budgeting for the project was provided by Buckbee. Buckbee added that a major goal benefit of the project is to produce a method of and plan for PIF assessment that is cleazer and more accessible to everyone, including members of the general public. • Buckbee: Clazified the costs associated with the water budgeUwater billing. More specific explanation was given on what would be entailed in major changes to the software. • DiNatale: Requested a few more W RAB briefings as this project progresses. • Byers: Asked about sustainability considerations in the plan. Buckbee explained that there are some provisions in the system for this. Agenda Item 9 -Discussion of schedule for future meetings. A enda Item 10- Ad'ournment WRAB Summary July 16, 2007 Page No. 3 Motion: Motion to adjourn by DeOreo Seconded by: DiNatale Vote: 4-0 in favor, passed. Meeting adjourned at 10:12 PM Date, Time, and Location of Next Meeting: The next WRAB meeting will be Monday, August 20 - 7 p.m., regular meeting, Municipal Services Center, 5050 East Pearl Street unless otherwise decided by staff and the board. These are summary minutes. Audio tapes for full record are available through Central Records. Minutes approved by: ~ ~ Date: ~ WRAB Summary July 16, 2007 Page No 4