LAVERKIN CITY WATER BOARD MINUTES
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 4:00 p.m.
435 North Main Street, LaVerkin, UT
Present: Anna Andregg, Virgil Bice, Mayor Kerry Gubler, Kyle Gubler, Christy Ballard, Derek Imlay, and Mark Mangum.
Victor Iverson and Doug Gubler were not present.
I. Call to Order by Chair Virgil Bice at 4:00pm. Invocation by Derek Imlay.
II. Approval of Minutes: November 27, 2013 minutes
Motion was made by Anna Andregg to approve the November 27, 2013 minutes as written, second by Kyle Gubler. Motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Gubler welcomed Mark Mangum to the Water Board.
A. Water Contracts-Kyle Gubler
Kyle passed out the list of people who have water wanting to sell and the list of people who have been notified they’re delinquent on their bill. The delinquent bills have 180 days to be paid in full including additional charges and penalties. The first of December another letter will be sent informing the customer the bill needs to be paid in full or the City will take the shares.
If anyone knows of anyone who is interested in purchasing water, Kyle does give them the list of people wanting to sell. The City does not broker the water; he only gives them contact information.
When the City gets the water shares back due to nonpayment, according to Kevin, the City is not allowed to resale it.
The water the City gets back is usually from people who have lost their homes and don’t realize the water shares are not part of the home. The City does try to make contact with them to let them know but the attempts are often unsuccessful.
In the past, Mayor Wilson wanted to keep a good mix of City owned shares and citizen owned shares.
Mayor Gubler agrees pointing out it takes away from the Canal Company’s original idea and the buyout if the City owns all the water. We do need to encourage people to purchase the water shares.
Kyle said there is not a set amount for purchasing water shares. It is between the seller and buyer. In the past shares have averaged about $2,000 per share.
Mark asked about his mother in laws 12 shares. They have no record of it but wondered if the City had anyway of finding out if indeed they have those shares.
Kyle replied the City has all of the records the Canal Company gave them during the buyout. Jennifer could find out for Mark.
Kyle reported each year the City ends up with 1-2 shares of water due to lack of payment.
B. Water Usage-Derek Imlay
Derek passed out a packet for both topics he has been assigned.
This report will focus mainly on irrigation.
March is when the water is put into the system and the end of November, first of December is when it is taken out.
Derek went over the first page of his packet.
The water was taken out today and will be out for the next couple of days.
Augusts’ usage was down quite a bit from July’s. It may have a lot to do with the weather but he also feels educating the citizens helped with conserving the water. We have not hit the half way mark of water usage and have only three months left.
Mayor Gubler mentioned when he was on the Canal Board if water didn’t get used the State could take it. Now he understands that communities can take water if it’s not getting used. So it’s a double edged sword, you don’t want to lose any of the water but we do still need to conserve water.
Derek said it is harder for the State to take the water once cities have taken ownership of it but it can still happen. He will be discussing this topic further in item D. With the adjudication the State will check our records to make sure we are using what we should be and that we legally have the rights to what we claim we have. But the call on the River states we need to back off on water usage, so one is telling us to use what we have while the other one is telling us to quit using but they both are coming from the same source.
Mayor Gubler feels we need to caution on the side of conserving our resources.
Mark asked who assigns the allocations.
Mayor Gubler replied it is based on water rights and when they were purchased.
We need to keep conserving our water and stay on top of it.
Mark mentioned with the new water schedule he feels people could be using more water because they will turn the water on in the evening and let it run all night.
Mayor Gubler replied it is still a better use of the water.
Virgil pointed out La Verkin has never gone over. We have come close but have never gone over.
Derek said that with the SCADA system you can see when people are watering.
The water pressure has stayed good and we haven’t had any complaints.
Derek pointed out on the chart the Cycles column. He explained the filter system and that it flushes automatically every 4 hours unless there is a six pound difference of what is coming in and what is going out, then they will flush. In July it cycled 433 times instead of the normal180 times. Derek watches that because he doesn’t want the pump motor to overheat and shut down.
The WCWCD’s project at the diversion dam has cleared up a lot of the debris and sand which is what was clogging up our filters. We haven’t faulted one time this year.
The last page shows the downward turn of water usage.
The SCADA is a great system with a lot of information, if anyone would like to look at it just let Derek know.
Mark asked when the water will go out for the year.
Derek replied the contract is until November 15th but usually at the first freeze.
C. Water Conservation-Mayor Gubler
Mayor Gubler stated we need to push the watering schedule from the very beginning in 2015.
Would the Board like the schedule to be from 6pm-10am like it is currently or 8pm-8am like surrounding communities?
The Board recommends 6pm-10am.
Derek suggested putting a flyer out before the irrigation water goes in reminding the citizens to clean out their systems and to please follow the watering schedule.
Kyle reported once a year a water report has to go out, we could include it with that.
Mark suggested a monthly or quarterly newsletter.
Kyle mentioned there has been discussion on that. He will be taking it to the City Council.
D. Adjudication-Derek Imlay
Derek explained the two issues are first, the Call on the River. The map in his packet represents the Virgin River and the tributaries that feed into it. The second page is the official letter sent to the City by the State. The fourth paragraph down states anyone whose water rights were purchased after December 31, 1900 must stop using the water.
There was concern at all of the meetings he and Kyle attended that the WCWCD owned the majority of the water shares and that would leave nothing for “the little guys”. In all actuality holding facilities, such as the Diversion Dam, are not part of the Call on the River as long as they are releasing the same amount as they are putting in.
Page 3 states this has to do with surface water. Ash Creek Springs and Toquerville Springs are underground so they are not part of the Call on the River. That is where we get our drinking water. The only thing that will affect us is the water we use from the Virgin River.
The State controls all of the water so if they choose to change either the dates or the type of water affected they could and that may affect us.
The following page is a breakdown of water rights on the Virgin River and Ash Creek tributaries. La Verkin is the 7th and 8th in line with another set further down the list. So basically if the State chooses to do a steeper cut we are still pretty close to the top of the list and hold a substantial amount of our water rights on position 7 and should be okay.
The last packet deals with the second issue and that is the adjudication. The State is going to visit every one that has any water rights to confirm the priority date that it was recorded and verify the water usage that was allotted and to make sure people are only using the amount allowed. It will take 2-3 years for them to complete it. La Verkin has kept good enough records and has worked with our Engineers to make sure we have had the correct studies done so we should be okay. We can verify our rights are correct and we are not using over our allotment.
Virgil said that when the water was put in the pipes they adjudicated and the Canal Company ended up selling some of the rights they were going to lose to the City. Then put that money back into the pipes.
A. Discussion and possible action on frequency and time of Water Board meetings.
Mayor Gubler asked the Board how often they feel this Board needs to meet.
Anna stated she feels that as a Board they need to be more involved in everything that is going on in the Water Conservancy District and anything else relating to water, culinary, irrigation or drainage. In the past they haven’t been asked to be involved in anything more than approving money transfers. She would like to be notified of meetings in not just the City but the County as well and if they do start attending those meetings she feels the Board would need to meet more often to discuss what is learned.
Virgil feels the Board should meet before the water goes in the system in the spring and then again before it goes out.
Kyle reminded the Board that additional meetings can always be called.
Mayor Gubler doesn’t have a problem with letting the Board know about meetings in the County.
He feels the Water Board should officially meet 3 times a year. When the water goes in, right before the water is going out, and once in between those times. After that the meetings would be on an as needed basis.
Anna mentioned when she and her husband were first put on the Water Board it was under Mayor Tom Stocks and they were invited to everything. They learned more about the water in those four years than they have attending these meetings.
These meetings discuss mainly irrigation, not much on the culinary.
Mayor Gubler explained this Committee is for the secondary water, not the culinary.
Anna replied she understood that, but items have come before the Water Board asking to give the City Council a recommendation on culinary water issues.
Mayor Gubler asked if 3:00pm on the 4th Wednesday of February, June, and October would work.
That will be the new set meeting times starting now. The Board can still meet as needed.
Anna would like to have financials.
They will be at the first and last meeting of the year.
B. Discussion and possible action on Water Board Committee.
Mayor Gubler stated that Victor Iverson is now a County Commissioner and has not been able to attend very many meetings. Kyle has talked to Victor and he is okay with being replaced so if anyone has any ideas for someone let Kyle know. They do need to hold water shares.
C. Discussion and possible action on the City owning shares
Kyle will find out how many water shares the City owns and how many shares there are total.
V. Public Concerns for Board Consideration:
VI. Board members concerns:
If there are any items the Board members would like to see on the agenda, contact Christy.
Mark Mangum has replaced Norman Gubler.
Mayor Gubler explained the Water Board is a four year term.
Motion was made by Kyle Gubler to adjourn, second by Derek Imlay. Motion carried at 4:55pm.
Minutes were done by Christy Ballard.