News Archive

6/28/2012 AWA Board Meeting Minutes

  • AWA Board Approves 2012-2013 Budget

    The AWA Board approved the 2012-2113 budget with only 10 days to review it. RPA raised several issues that were discussed but ultimately ignored. A critical issue is that the budget uses funds from accounts for which the balances are not known. RPA asked that the approval of the budget wait until proper accounting is available or that AWA leave off projects that require funds from accounts that do not have accurate balances. The Directors instead decided to incur costs that may have to be paid by ratepayers.

  • AWA Board Approves Loan to Wastewater ID#1

    Unknown to Amador Water System (AWS) ratepayers, the AWA Board loaned AWS funds to pay for operational deficits in the Wastewater ID#1 system. This is not a new loan, but replaces a loan that was supposed to be repaid in 2006. RPA member Bill Condrashoff warned the board that AWA does not know its restricted account balance, which could be negative. He also warned that because AWA does not know the AWS restricted reserve balance, the funds may be coming from another source, such as the AWS operational reserves. The Board unanimously approved the loan from the AWS restricted reserve account.

    AWS reserves, and reserves from the Martell Wastewater system, have been loaned to other systems, while ratepayers in the AWS and Martell systems were paying increased fees. No accounting for those loans was made until 2010, and the balances in the reserve accounts are not known. Although ratepayers have expressed concerns about accurately accounting for funds, the Directors are continuing the practices that have resulted in AWA’s current financial uncertainty.

  • AWA Board Suspends Wastewater Increase, Avoids Proposition 218

    The AWA Board voted to suspend, rather than eliminate, a 9% rate increase to Wastewater ID#1 customers. Suspending the rate increase allows the Board to simply increase the rate by up to 9% at any time without following the Proposition 218 process. If the board had chosen to eliminate the rate increase, AWA would be required to follow Prop 218 which gives ID#1 customers the right to protest any future rate increase.

    As part of our broader goal of making AWA accountable for the money they receive from ratepayers, RPA asked that the increase be eliminated (rather than suspended). Rates to ID#1 customers were increased by 28% over the last three years, even though costs have been reduced. Ratepayers in other systems not scheduled for rate increases are also paying substantially more in their bills than it actually costs to run their systems.