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Willdan Financial Services gets contract from Rainbow MWD

The Rainbow Municipal Water District has given Willdan Financial Services a professional services contract for a water and wastewater asset cost and capacity fee study.

A 4-0 Rainbow board vote March 22, with Dennis Sanford absent, authorized the $115,285 contract with the Temecula company.

“I think this is going to be a good process to go through so that our current ratepayers don't have any cost associated with new development,” said Rainbow general manager Tom Kennedy.

In January 2015, the Rainbow board awarded a professional services contract to Atkins to update Rainbow's water and wastewater master plans, which will serve as the basis for infrastructure decisions and capital fees and will also allow for a current analysis of capacity fees paid by developers to support the infrastructure the development requires.

The plans will consider both existing conditions and expected conditions through the year 2030 and will assess potential local water sources, including recycled water and local groundwater supply. The assessment will determine whether the district should build its own wastewater reclamation plant or continue to convey wastewater through the Oceanside Outfall. The master plans identify capital improvement projects with cost estimates for new water and wastewater facilities.

In May 2015, Rainbow's board awarded a contract to the Tamayo Group to help facilitate the district's strategic plan. The strategic plan will provide a long-range vision to guide Rainbow's board and staff through decisions which will be made in the near future and will help determine the best options for infrastructure investment to serve new development.

Tamayo's work will allow the district to develop goals and objectives for each strategic focus area. Those goals and objectives will allow Rainbow to monitor and measure its performance in meeting those objectives.

On Jan. 26, the Rainbow board adopted the district's strategic plan, which documents Rainbow's mission statement, core values, and key focus areas and includes goals and objectives for Rainbow staff to pursue. The adoption of the strategic plan also included formalizing a draft tracking sheet for goals and objectives, although input on elements of those objectives will be sought in the future. The development of Rainbow's fiscal year 2016-17 budget will be linked to objectives included in the strategic plan.

Potential development projects currently within the Rainbow district boundaries could add approximately 2,700 equivalent dwelling units to Rainbow's service demands, and proposed developments currently outside the district but which could potentially be annexed into Rainbow led to the scenario of approximately 4,300 new equivalent dwelling units.

“We're preparing for all the big development to come in,” Kennedy said.

The asset cost portion of the study will review the book value, which is defined as the cost minus the depreciated value of the district's water and wastewater assets. That process will update the fiscal values of existing facilities and will also add any facilities which have not been included in the asset model.

After the asset data base is updated, capacity fees will be developed which will be effective in cost recovery, equitable to current and future customers, straightforward to administer, and legally justifiable.

“It will be set at the appropriate rate,” said Kennedy. “One of our goals is to protect the current ratepayers so that new development won't get a discount.”

Rainbow staff along with consultant Don MacFarlane

prepared a request for proposals. Willdan Financial Services and Bartle Wells Associates responded, and after Rainbow staff reviewed the proposals, the staff recommended that the board award the contract to Willdan.

The scope of work calls for Willdan to provide a draft report to Rainbow staff in July and a final report in August before making a presentation at the September board meeting.


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