Minutes of 2019 Shareholders’ Meeting (Prepared by Dan Higgins, Secretary)
The Annual Shareholders' Meeting of the Las Positas Mutual Water Company (LPMWC) was held at the Fellowship Hall of the Veronica Springs Church (previously the First Baptist Church), 949 Veronica Spring Road on June 25, 2019
The meeting was scheduled to start at 7:00 PM. However, at 7:10 PM, the number of shares represented had not yet reached a quorum. Director Rick Donovan and Treasurer Alice Donovan started calling various non-represented shareholders and solicit them to text proxies so a quorum could be achieved. President Jeff Childers announced that we would proceed with items that did not require shareholder votes until a quorum was represented.
The first item was a self-introduction of the Board of Directors and the shareholders present. Directors Jeff Childers, Dan Higgins, Layne Wheeler, John Holehouse, and Rick Donovan were present, as was the Treasurer, Alice Donovan.
Jeff Childers then proceeded to present the facilities report. He noted that a goal has been to get rid of points in the well/distribution system where the failure of a single piece of equipment would bring the entire system to a halt. A particular worry has been the single well which had a very old pump and a well shaft that has not been cleaned and maintained for a number of years. The goal is to get a second well on line so maintenance could be done on the existing well. Unfortunately, the current well failed before a second well could be installed.
Jeff then described the well failure that occurred in August 2018 when the current well appeared to be running but no water was reaching the surface. The water system was switched over to using our Goleta water connection and Cascade Well Company was called to help determine the problem. Pulling the old well pump to the surface indicated that old pump was located about 150 feet below the surface. The water was then carried to the surface by a series of pieces of PVC pipe connected with metal couplings. The problem was that one of the metal couplings had corroded so that pumped water was just leaking out and back into the lower part of the wall casing. The PVC coupling obviously had to be fixed; it was also decided to purchase a new well pump and replace the aged one that had been pulled. While equipment was out of the well, the well casing was treated with acid to open holes where water flows into the well casing and the entire length of the well casing was cleaned. A camera was lowered down the well for visual inspection. It was discovered that the well was about about 400 feet deep and that the casing was quite dirty with a black material (probably manganese). This material was pumped to the surface using a loaner pump from the well company. The well system was reassembled using the well company's pump and put back into operation while we waited for delivery of a new pump and other parts. We were using Goleta water for about 11 days at a cost of approximately $9000.
The well system operated using the borrowed pump until all the new parts had been delivered. Cascade then pulled the pump and associated parts from the well again and replaced the system with new parts owned by LPMWC. This process took about a day and it was not necessary to use any Goleta water (i.e. water in the LPMWC storage tanks was sufficient for the short outage). Note that LPMWC retained the old pump as an emergency backup.
Jeff also indicated that the oldest and smallest water storage tank has be taken off-line due to a continued series of small leaks. Remaining storage (approximately 150,000 gallons) is thought to be sufficient. This oldest tank will probably be removed in the next year. It may be replaced with water treatment equipment or some other equipment.
Secretary Dan Higgins then indicated that printed minutes of the 2018 Shareholders Meeting were available for review and had been distributed as shareholders entered. (The minutes had also been available on the LPMWC website). Shareholders present were asked to review the distributed minutes.
At approximately 7:35 PM, Director Rick Donovan announced that a quorum of shares were now represented, with 390 shares represented and 380.5 needed for a quorum. President Jeff Childers thus called the annual Shareholders Meeting officially to order.
It was then asked if there were any comments or correction to last years minutes. There were none. The minutes were then approved by unanimous vote.
Alice Donovan then began discussion of the financial reports that were also distributed when shareholders entered. It was reported that the total of current checking and savings accounts for LPMWC was $339,182 as of June 20, 2019. She indicated that she thought that LPMWC was in good financial shape, with operational and long term capital improvement accounts in a reasonable balance. She also indicated that she saw no need to adjust our billing structure and that no customers were far behind in payments. She noted that this was despite considerable expense in the past year due to the replacement of the old well. It was moved and seconded to approve the financial report. The vote to approve was unanimous.
Shareholders asked about the plan for obtaining and testing a few water meters. Jeff indicated that 4 different types of meters had been purchased but had yet to be tested and installed due to activities with installing new equipment in the current well. Testing should be carried out in the coming year.
It was also noted that the cleaning of the old well casing during pump relacement may help reduce the excessive manganese problem in our water. Testing of mineral levels was not required this year so measurements after well cleaning have not been done.
A comparison of water costs was then presented by Dan Higgins. He first showed a chart indicating how our average water usage per parcel had declined a bit from the previous year. As was done in the past few years, published water rates from the Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Hope Ranch water districts were obtained from the Internet and used to calculate what water costs would be for a daily usage of 800 gallons a day per parcel over a 3 month period. As seen last year, the LPMWC cost for our levels of water usage are far below what they would be under nearby wate systems.
Layne Wheeler talked briefly about the continued need to conserve our water despite the fairly wet winter this past year. Leaking pipes, toilets, or faucets should be fixed. Lawns and other plants should not be overwatered, allowing water to run down streets. If you see a water leak at a neighbors, let them know!
Rick Donovan then called for nominations for the election of members of the Board of Directors. It was then moved that the current Board be re-elected. No other nominations were received, and the current Board members (Jeff Childers, Dan Higgins, John Holehouse, Rick Donovan, and Layne Wheeler) were re-elected unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.