Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting.

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Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting.

A Needles Board of Public Utilities Meeting was held on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 inside the Needles City Council Chambers located on the 1700 block of J Street near the Needles Recreation Center and Bailey Avenue in Needles, California.

** Here is a summary and the voting results that occurred during the meeting: **

** Regular Items: **

– Agenda Items #1: E.E.S. Report on Church Rates and E.D.U.’s (Equivalent Dwelling Units).

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Background: The Utility Board adopted and the NPUA Board/City Council concurred with new water and wastewater rates in May 2016. Since that time churches have raised objections. The Utility Board has spent many meetings discussing this issue and searching for solutions that are both fair to the churches and fair to the remainder of the ratepayers.

At a NPUA Board meeting in October the City Manager was directed to Contact EES, the NPUA rate consultant to review the rates and meet with the churches in order for them to gain a better understanding as to how the rates were established.

The EES report analyzed the rates and edu structure for churches in context with all of the other user categories. EES concludes that the EDU consultant overestimated the effluent generation of the churches and has proposed a new edu of 0.0227 instead of the 0.03 based upon flow and revenue analysis.

The individual church rate Would be then determined by the number of seats multiplied by the $41.54 monthly rate and the edu.

The report contains what each church’s new rate would be in Comparison to the 2015 rate and the rate adopted in May 2016. The annual collective rate was $12,693 in 2015, was adjusted to $22,953 in May 2016, and is recommended to generate $17,362 going forward.

Recommendation: Adopt the EES Report on Church Rates and EDUs and direct that the City Manager implement it at the next billing cycle. The NPUA will rebate all overcharges paid under the old rate structure.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities unanimously voted to adopt the EES Report on Church Rates and EDUs and direct that the City Manager implement it at the next billing cycle. 

– Agenda Items #2: Needles Public Utility Authority and Certificate of Participation bond refunding status.

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Background: On December 13, 2016, City Council and the NPUA gave authorization to the City’s Finance Team and financial advisors to proceed with the refunding/refunding of the 1997 NPUA bonds and the 1998 Certificates of Participation bonds. At that time the savings over the next 16 years would be $4.7M.

Based upon the attached memo from the financial advisor, the savings can be increased to $6.1 M with an additional payment of $453,625 in February 2017 or a $5.9M savings with an additional payment of $55,000.

It is the opinion of the City Manager and Finance Director that the payment of $453,625 is too stressful to the short term cash flow of the NPUA, and we have instructed the financial advisor to lock in the $5.9M in interest savings with an additional payment of $55,000. This action was taken after consultation with Utility Board and City Council leadership. This agenda item affirms that action.

Both NPUA and C.O.P.S bonds will be refunded, and refinanced at a lower interest rate (approx.4%), with payments due in the same amounts for a shorter period of time.

Fiscal Impact: Overall savings increase from $4.7M to $5.9M.

Recommendation: Affirm the direction of the City Manager and appropriate accordingly.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities unanimously voted to affirm the direction of the City Manager and appropriate accordingly.

** Reports: **

– Agenda Items #3: EUSI, LLC operational support services relating to the wastewater treatment facility and collection system November 2016.

This was an information only agenda item. 

– Agenda Items #4: Needles present perfected rights (PPR) report – November 2016.

This was an information only agenda item. 

– Agenda Items #5: Monthly activity report for October 2016.

This was an information only agenda item. 

** Pending Board Requests: **

SB 1 solar rebate program (action/Board direction provided at the December 6, 2016 meeting-staff to follow up with a revised resolution) Estimated completion date: January 2017.

Discussed very briefly only.

** Manager’s Report: **

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.

** Board Requests: **

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles Board of Public Utilities Members.

**** You can view the full agenda at the following City of Needles website addresses: ****

http://cityofneedles.com/2016%20website%20file%20posting%20(Needlesserver)/3%20UTILITY%20BOARD/12%20DECEMBER/ub_122016-agendaLINKED2.pdf

**** You can view other City of Needles meetings agendas at the following City of Needles website address: ****

http://cityofneedles.com/Pages/Departments-Services/Boards/

For more information regarding the Needles Board of Public Utilities Meetings, please contact Cheryl K. Sallis at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 315.

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