By Alex Groves
Staff Writer 

FPUD looks at agenda full of repairs and improvement projects


Last updated 2/5/2018 at 5:10pm

The Fallbrook Public Utility District approved several expenditures during its most recent meeting Jan. 23, most of them repairs or redesigns to various projects.

The board unanimously approved a professional services agreement not to exceed $60,000 with Platinum Consulting Group to review and improve its financial accounting system, which is in need of an overhaul, according to chief financial officer David Shank.

Shank wrote in a staff report that there were several fixes that needed to be made to the district’s financial accounting, one of which is that the current system requires unnecessary and multiple journal entries to show where cash and investment by fund are going.

The report notes that another issue with financial accounting is payroll services, which were said to take an “inordinate amount of time to process.”

Because the district was planning on bringing on new auditors to look at the district’s finances, Shank said the improvements to the accounting system would need to be improved and tested by April to ensure their functionality. That’s something he said would not be possible to do in-house with current staff resources.

The board also awarded $460,727 to Weka, Inc., to replace a 24-inch portion of pipeline on Old Highway 395. The project was already budgeted for in the district’s planned capital improvement projects, according to acting general manager Jack Bebee.

“This is our water line that provides us with most of our water from the San Diego County Water Authority and there’s a section of it that is structurally unsound, so this is replacing that section that is precariously suspended above ground and burying it in the ground,” Bebee said.

Weka, Inc. was the lowest of several bidders seeking to do the project, he said.

The board also awarded $252,842 to the Infrastructure Engineering Corporation to determine what mechanical and structural rehabilitation might be needed for the aging Overland Trail Lift Station, which pumps sewage to a nearby water reclamation plant.

Originally constructed as a satellite treatment center in 1966, the Overland Trail Lift Station was later reconfigured to pump sewage. In recent years things at the facility have been wearing out.

“There’s some ongoing maintenance issues and actually today, Kyle let me know that over the weekend one of the motors at this lift station blew out and so we’re trying to get an emergency repair,” Bebee said. “So it’s an ongoing issue of failure with this pump and motor setup and the parts have become obsolete so they’re very difficult to replace.”

In addition to identifying specific repairs, the Infrastructure Engineering Corporation will be looking at the possibility of combining the Overland Trail Lift Station and the Anthony’s Corner Lift Station into one facility at Overland Trail as a cost-saving method.

If operations are done out of one facility, the report says, there’s a possibility that the district could save on the cost of having to repair Anthony’s Corner Lift Station as it also starts to age.

The board also voted to share a wastewater outflow line with the City of Oceanside and stop using their own outflow line, which runs parallels to Oceanside’s.

“They have capacity in their outfall to put our flows,” Bebee said. “So instead of us having parallel lines, we can now transfer our capacity into their outfall near the boundary of Oceanside.”

Bebee said that’s good for a couple reasons; one is that the water district would no longer have to worry about sending people to do repairs in Oceanside for a line they no longer utilize and the City of Oceanside would be able to use Fallbrook’s line for their recycled water program.

The board lastly was asked to give direction on whether they would like to see their per diem compensation increase per meeting. Currently the board receives $100 per day per meeting attended.

Some board members said they were uninterested in considering the possibility for the time being, so no action was taken on the item.


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