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, January 3rd, 2017 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: **

** Consent Calendar: **

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed. The Chairman or any Member of the Board may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Board action, a member of the public may address the Board on matters scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A 3 minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve Items 1 through 2 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Items #1: Minutes of regular meeting held November 1st, 2016.

– Agenda Items #2: Resolution No. 1-3-17 BPU rescinding Resolution No. 9-20-16 BPU in its entirety and reducing the equivalent dwelling unit (E.D.U.) for the wastewater religious organizations customer class.

Background: At the December 20, 2016 meeting, the Board considered the EES Consulting report which analyzed the rates and EDU structure for churches in context with all of the other user categories and which concluded that the original EDU consultant overestimated the effluent generation of the churches. EES proposed a new EDU of 0.0227 instead of the 0.03 based upon flow and revenue analysis and based on a per seat basis, a recommendation that was approved by the Board.

This Resolution will implement the reduced EDU of 0.0227
based on a per seat basis and will further provide for a Credit for any Overcharges back to the initial effective date of the new wastewater rates (June 1, 2016).

Fiscal Impact: A loss in revenue to the wastewater utility

Recommendation: Adopt Resolution No. 1-3-17 BPU rescinding Resolution No. 9-20-16 BPU in its entirety and reducing the equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) for the wastewater religious Organizations Customer class.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities 3 “Yes” to 1 “Abstain” on Consent Calendar Agenda Item #1 and an unanimously voted to approved Consent Calendar Agenda Items #2.

 

** Regular Items: **

– Agenda Items #3: Selection of a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the ensuing year of 2017.

Background: Currently Bruce Pocock serves as Chair and Terry Campbell as Vice Chair.

Fiscal impact:

Environmental impact:

Recommended Action: Appoint ____________ as Chairman for the ensuing year of 2017. Appoint ____________ as Vice Chairman for the ensuing year of 2017.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to approve Bruce Pocock serves as Chair and Terry Campbell as Vice Chair.

 

– Agenda Items #4: Direction to proceed with a request for proposals/qualifications to solicit design/built and finance proposals to upgrade the regional electric system to allow a power allocation beyond 60MW per day.

Background: The City of Needles’ electric utility is experiencing a large increase in requested demand for electric service. The NPUA petitioned and has started the consultation process with Western Area Power Association (W.A.P.A.) to identify the method in delivering increased electrical power (120 MW/d) from the Topock Substation in Arizona to the City of Needles’ electric grid at Firehouse beyond the existing 35MW/d allocation. Their initial report is that they can increase the power allocation to 65 MW/d on the existing regional system.

In the Scoping meeting with WAPA, held recently, it was determined that the existing 69 KV Topock to Firehouse line will not be able to accommodate the projected increased load. Their long range power planners are preparing plans to allocate the additional 55 MW/d. These options will likely require physical improvements to the regional system such as rebuild of the Topock to Firehouse as a 230 KV transmission line.

The maximum load capacity on the existing Needles lines is about 70 MW, and to get to this number, the City’s electric grid must be split into two pieces: one feed from Davis Dam Switch yard for 20 MW of power, and 2) the second feed receiving 40MW of power from the Topock Switch yard.

This split system was referred to as a “temporary solution” to our increased electric demands. This would eliminate any ability of the electric utility to switch to an alternate feed during emergencies and would certainly lead to long power outages.

The only reasonable solution is to build a 230 KV steel transmission line to Needles from the Topock Switch yard or the South Point power plant, and then build a 230 KV to 69KV substation in Needles to supply the electrical demand.

This $25M – $35M project is expected to take three years to complete with the permitting being the most time Consuming aspect, taking two years to complete.

At the load allocation that WAPA is expected to approve without any physical improvements to the System the City can approve 20-25 new facilities. 7 have been approved and 20 are in application with an additional 50 in some form of pre-application discussion.

There exists adequate power to serve those approved and in application. Any additional will require new regional transmission lines. The City will not permit new facilities unless there is an adequate power allocation from WAPA including any physical upgrades to the regional system.

Planning for the system improvements should be undertaken Soon in order to keep pace with the potential demand. The NPUA should not over commit to System improvements without the commensurate private commitments to use the power. Construction of a project of this magnitude will require outsourcing to a private firm.

The NPUA has been approached by a couple of such firms with proposals to design/build and finance the Topock to Firehouse regional transmission line. Rather than respond to unsolicited proposals Staff will undertake a Request for Oualifications/Proposals for this project and present the responses to the Utility Board and the NPUA Board for consideration. At that time the NPUA decision makers can select the most beneficial contractor, but withhold final design, permitting, and/or construction authorization until such time as the demand commitments unfold. Pre-Construction design and permitting will require an outlay of between $500,000 and $1 million dollars by the NPUA, over a two-year period.

Staff is prepared to start an RFO/P process to determine the interests of private transmission Companies to provide design/build, financial services for the project. This could mean that a private company would pay for all of the upfront costs as well as constructions costs of the project.

Failure of the electric utility to respond soon to the projected load demands may inhibit the City’s ability to grow and respond to the needs of its customers. At the same time the electric utility must avoid costly system improvements too far in advance of demand. A measured approach that is structured properly would allow the City to stop the project until proof of – Concept and demand is verified. Delay in starting the process could completely halt any new construction for three years from the start date of the process.

Fiscal Impact: Potential shared risk of $500,000 – $1M of design and permitting Cost. Potential significant increase in revenues, valuation, and jobs.

Environmental impact: None

Recommended Action: Direction to proceed with an RFP/O to solicit design/build, and finance proposals to upgrade the regional system to allow a power allocation beyond 60 MW/d.

Members of the Needles Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to approve.

 

** Reports: **

– Agenda Items #5: Delinquency amounts ending November 30, 2016.

Background: Every month delinquency notices are mailed to customers delinquent on their utility bills. Attached is a list of the delinquent amounts ending November 30, 2016.

Environmental impact: None

Recommended Action: Information Only

Information Only and No Vote Taken.

 

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

http://cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/3%20UTILITY%20BOARD/01%20JANUARY/Mtg%201/ub_010317-agendaLINKED.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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