LAVERKIN CITY WATER BOARD MINUTES

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:00 p.m.

435 North Main Street, LaVerkin, UT

 

Present:  Mayor Karl Wilson, Kyle Gubler, Derek Imlay, Anna Andregg, Norman Gubler, Doug Gubler, Kerry Gubler, and Christy Ballard

 

Victor Iverson and Virgil Bice were not present.

 

I.                    Call to Order by Mayor Karl Wilson at 5:03pm. Invocation by Kyle Gubler.

 

II.                 Reports: 

A.     Financials – Karl Wilson

Mayor Wilson commented that the financials are for July. 

 

B.     Culinary Water Management Update

Mayor Wilson reported that he and Councilman Richard Hirschi attended a Division of Drinking Water presentation.  He discussed the letter and power point presentation from that meeting; it is in the packet the Mayor passed out.

The Federal EPA gives our EPA and the State EPA a certain amount of funding each year.  Because of sequestration the funding has been cut so the State is going after the water users to make up the difference.

The Mayor doesn’t like the State passing fees unto us but it is necessary to maintain our primacy.

If the State doesn’t maintain their primacy the Federal EPA will step in and run the program.

La Verkin will be required to pay about $1500 annually.       

 

Norman Gubler arrived at 5:08pm

 

The power point presentation tells what the Utah Division of Drinking Water programs are. 

The schedule mentioned in the presentation is the old schedule, there is a new one. 

Mayor Wilson said that his position is to support the States position in charging each water user a small amount.  The main reason is to maintain our primacy.

 

Water Meter Program:

Derek handed out a copy of a map of La Verkin.

 

III.               Approval of Minutes:  May 22, 2013 minutes

 

Motion was made by Norman Gubler to approve the May 22, 2013 minutes as written, second by Anna Andregg.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Derek explained that the areas on the map that are highlighted with a month attached to it are the areas completed under the Water Meter Grant.

This was a two year grant that allowed the City to replace the meter, back flow devices if needed and raise or lower the meter barrels if needed.  168 new meters were anticipated for the first year of the grant, the crew was able to install 245.  The second year of the grant 207 new meters were expected to be replaced, actual number of meters replaced were 357. 

That puts the city only 255 meters short of being exclusively electronic read meters.  

 

Kyle suggested trying to get another grant like this to replace those 255 meters so the city can be entirely electronic read.  It would save money just on the man power it takes to read the meters.

 

Mayor Wilson would like support from the Water Board to take to the City Council in pursuing another grant from the Bureau of Reclamation if there is money available.

 

Motion was made by Anna Andregg to recommend to the City Council allowing staff to pursue another Water Meter Grant if one is available, second by Norman Gubler.  Motion carried.

 

Derek reported it takes about 4 hours to read the manual meters and another 3 hours to read the electronic.

It has also saved money in the slippage.  The new meters are much better at reading the correct amount of water being used.  The goal is be under 10% slippage; we are at about 20% right now.

 

Mayor Wilson gave a presentation.

In the packet handed out earlier there is a fact sheet and a Western Resources sheet.

The Mayor is a committee member of CIRPAC.  This presentation was given at that meeting.  The Mayor has given it to the City Council and now to the Water Board to help educate them.

It is more for Washington County than La Verkin but what happens in Washington County with the Regional Supply Agreement affects La Verkin.

The Mayor feels that La Verkin is setting better than most other communities in Washington County as far as having excess water rights.  He figured with a 4% growth rate we will need to buy more water rights in 5-15 years.  That makes the Regional Supply Agreement and the discussion of the Lake Powell Pipe Line very relevant for La Verkin, whether we support it or not.

After Mayor Wilson’s involvement he feels that we should pursue the Lake Powell Pipe Line.

There is a lot of conjecture as to when and why so that is what this presentation is for.

The fact sheet is from the WCWCD’s website.  They also have all of the CIRPAC meetings minutes and presentations given during the meetings available under information.

Mayor Wilson quickly went over that sheet pointing out that Washington County is in a much better position from a bonding stand point than we were for the Quail Lake Project.

Those against the pipe line have said that Lake Powell is not a reliable water source.  The State has determined Lake Powell is a reliable water source based on tree ring studies since the year 750.

The second page is a graph from 1910 to present showing the Annual Yield of the Virgin River.

Most of the cities as well as the WCWCD position is to develop enough water that we don’t have to take any risks.  With water systems you need to have enough storage, delivery system, and sizing for the peak demand which only comes one day a year.  This chart helps work through some of that, on deciding where we want to develop to.

Mayor Wilson briefly discussed the cost of conservation. 

            Western Resource Advocates is the author of the next report.  They are against the Lake Powell Pipeline.  In their presentation one of the scenarios presented was a 1% reduction of water use per year from now until 2060.  In the report they didn’t clarify the 1% until after the meeting, they meant 1% per year from the previous year. 

They also proposed converting half of the Ag water to make this work.  The Mayor explained that the State Law is such that you can only convert Ag water to the amount of property you are developing. 

 

La Verkin is doing pretty good on our culinary water usage.  There are areas we could improve but when you add the secondary and Ag water, we use a lot of water per capita. That is part of our culture.  A lot of the secondary water is used on the back yard gardens and we do still have a lot of Ag in our area that other cities may not have. 

Over the years La Verkin has made great strides in improving the system and educating its citizens on how to use the water.

 

At the last meeting Amelia Nuding was asked if the fact that when converting Ag water to culinary water the State of Utah takes some of it from the community was factored in when creating this report.  Amelia had no idea what he was talking about. 

When the environmental advocates do these reports they need to address current State Laws.

To do all of the things they would like to do with Lake Powell they would have to change the 1922 Colorado Compact, a couple agreements of The Law of The River, and they would have to change some State Laws.             

 

Doug said that the State requires the City to supply 800 gallons of water a day to everyone in the City.  If you have irrigation that number is cut in half.

 

Mayor Wilson commented in water planning you need to plan 50 years out and have the infrastructure in 20 years before you need it.

There is a chart Jeremy Aguero has put together for the District that takes the projected numbers from the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning for Washington County and combined it with different percentages of conservation to estimate when the County would need more water.  That chart estimates the soonest we could need more water is 9 years, the latest is 31 years.

            Mayor Wilson does not think we should convert Ag water.  The Planned Ag graph is what the District is proposing right now and according to the graph we would be out of water in 2043 which includes Ag conversion and re-use.

 

C.                 Irrigation Management Update

Mayor Wilson reported that there have been several different people who have asked that the City let the bad water come through and just let the citizens know so they can choose to leave their system on or turn it off, so he has set up a Facebook page to help inform the citizens the condition of the River.

The new filters filter to 500 micron and that can pass through most systems.  More people are using the irrigation water now and the water seems to be on more than in the past.  The silt can still get through and has caused some problems for the citizens.  We have been educating the citizens and we have put in several clean out valves to help with this issue.

If the filters can handle the water we leave it in, when the filters start shutting down that is when we take the water out.  There have been new motors installed that seem to be handling the bad water better.

Mayor Wilson explained that the diversion dam was put in to replace the sand traps but once the 1973 Endangered Species Act started to be enforced the gate could only be open under certain conditions.  Monday was the first time in at least two years the gate was opened.

Mayor Wilson explained the conditions they chart and monitor when the gate is open.

The gate is failing so it will be replaced this winter.  They are going to replace it with a heavy duty gate that should last 50-90 years.  There will also be a smaller gate in it to allow the required 3cfs out.  It should also allow the sand to roll over and down the gate instead of into the pipe.  There will be a 15cfs gate installed so when conditions are right but there is not enough flow to open the flood gate they can still let things out.  These new gates should allow them to manage the sand better. 

    

                  D.  Water usage

                        1.  Culinary Water

                        2.  Secondary Water

Both reports have been included in the packet from the Mayor.

Mayor Wilson pointed out the average slippage for the culinary water through July is 20.04% and for the Regional Pipeline, since it has been upgraded, is .36%

The secondary water we have used almost 56% of our water right from the Virgin River as of the end of July.

                  E.  Water Contracts – Kyle Gubler

Kyle passed out a list of people who would like to sell their water shares and a list of past due accounts.

Kyle explained Jan McConkie was having a problem with her water.  Derek and his crew went to her home and realized she had taken the filters completely out and let it go.  Kyle will be sending her a letter letting her know it is not a city issue.  Councilman Hirschi went with Derek and has arranged for a service project to be done at her home to clean it up.

 

Kyle left the meeting at 5:57pm

 

IV.     Public Concerns for Board Consideration:

None

 

V.        Board members concerns:

Derek gave the board members a handout with pictures of Jan McConkie’s irrigation issue.  He explained the claim and what he found when he went to her property.

 

Mayor Wilson said that this is a good example of the need to educate people on maintenance of their systems. 

 

Derek mentioned that the City is getting fewer complaints from the citizens for both plugged filters and mud staining their house.

 

Mayor Wilson discussed the Ash Creek Project.  He would like to be able to bank some water in the new Ash Creek Reservoir for extreme emergencies. 

 

Norman Gubler is concerned with the lack of maintenance to the inlets for the drainage system. 

He suggested using the court ordered work hours to help with this issue.

 

VI.     Adjourn

 

Motion was made by Norm Gubler to adjourn the meeting, second by Anna Andregg.  Motion carried unanimously at 6:12pm.

 

 

Minutes were done by Christy Ballard.

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