Montecito Water District’s Special Board Meeting 1-30-18

(Montecito, California, February 1, 2018)

Montecito Water District’s Special Meeting of the Board of Directors held on Tuesday, January 30, had a dramatic opening as community member Bob Hazard initiated a standing ovation for General Manager Nick Turner during the Public Forum portion of the agenda. The gesture recognized Turner’s outstanding leadership and management during the past two months. Since early December, the District has been fully deployed in response to serial emergencies: the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows.

The meeting was held in its regular location, the District Office, which itself provided some longed-for familiarity in a much-changed landscape. For more than two weeks in December and three full weeks in January, the office was under Mandatory Evacuation status, accessible only to staff who worked round-the-clock through both emergencies. On Tuesday, traffic flowed steadily through the parking lot as Red Cross volunteers loaded customers with emergency supplies, good cheer, and bottled water supplied by the District.

At the meeting, General Manager Nick Turner and Engineering Manager Adam Kanold provided a recovery update and reported on District Operations pertinent to both incidents. The PowerPoint presentation given during the meeting is available for review on the District’s web site:

Click here to view a PDF version of the Powerpoint presentation.

Following the presentation, the Board ratified consultant and construction contracts for emergency procurement of supplies and services in response to the January 9, 2018 Thomas Flood/Mudslide incident. It was reported that FEMA and State of California assistance funding is expected to offset expenses incurred by the District.

The Board also gave staff direction regarding modification of customer billing processes in response to the recent flooding incident. The processing of customer bills for January will be postponed until the end of February. At that time, customer bills will cover the period of January through February, and late charges will not apply to any outstanding balances during this time period. In preparation for the billing that will occur in February, staff will be reconciling accounts and making adjustments for services that were damaged or destroyed. Staff will also be discussing with the Board how to address the monthly service charge during the mandatory evacuation.

Since January 9, 2018, District staff, with the assistance of many mutual aid agencies, have worked diligently to rapidly repair damages incurred to the water system during the unprecedented flooding. At the time of this release, a few isolated areas of the District remain under a Boil Water Notice. Before the Boil Water Notice can be lifted for these isolated areas of the District, favorable test results must be received, which the District anticipates within the next five to seven days.

Montecito Water District's mission is to provide an adequate and reliable supply of high quality water to the residents of Montecito and Summerland, at the most reasonable cost. In carrying out this mission, the District places particular emphasis on providing outstanding customer service, conducting its operations in an environmentally sensitive manner, and working cooperatively with other agencies. For additional information visit, like Montecito Water District on Facebook, and follow on twitter @MontecitoWater.