The Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District discussed several items at its regular board meeting Sept 27.
Attorney for the district, Evan Ela, presented information regarding a contract to purchase non-tributary water near the district’s North Guthrie wells. The contract is a joint-purchase agreement with Meridian Ranch Metro District, he said.
The purchase amount is $256,500 from both the WHMD and the MRMD to purchase 228-acre-feet of water, which will be split equally between the districts, said Keith Moulton, board president. “It’s a good buy to purchase it today,” he said. “It’s possibly easier and cheaper since we can tie into the pipes at the North Guthrie wells easily.”
Moulton said the cost for drilling any wells in that area would be split evenly between WHMD and MRMD. “This is an investment in the future of Woodmen Hills,” he said. “To drill a well, we would spend about $1.35 million per site, with two wells on each site, but this cost will be split with Meridian Ranch.”
No drilling will happen in the near future, said John McGinn, district engineer. The district would be looking at several years in the future, he said. Ela said that any drilling would have to be coordinated with MRMD.
Community member Lynn Bliss asked about the source of the money for the purchase. Al Kreps, board secretary, said, “It’s a cash purchase coming from our reserve funds. We currently have about $1.3 million in that fund.”
Ela said this agreement will play out like a real estate deal, and he anticipates closing on the contract at the end of October.
“I think it’s pertinent that we continue to add to our supply,” said Robert Lovato, board vice president. “That price was great and that value is something we need to get.”
The board unanimously approved the purchase, pending formalization of the contract.
Eddie Avedikian, parks and recreation manager, and Kendal Zimmerman, program and activities director, presented information on a proposed rate change for activities at the Recreation Center East.
The increase would fund certified instructors and the Child Watch program, Avedikian said. “Since 2004, we’ve been able to maintain our old rates,” he said. The problem is the district is losing money because there hasn’t been a rate increase since then, but several highly-trained instructors have been hired, Avedikian said.
Currently, the system allows residents to purchase a Child Watch punch card, a fitness class punch card, a fitness/Child Watch combination punch card or a water aerobics punch card, Zimmerman said. The proposal would do away with punch cards and go to a flat monthly rate for unlimited usage, she said.
The new system would combine fitness and water aerobics into one monthly fee of $29 for residents and $39 for non-residents, Zimmerman said. “We don’t want to tie in Child Watch with fitness anymore because we’re losing money,” she said. Instead, the monthly fee for the Child Watch program would be $49 per month for up to two hours per day, with a discounted rate for additional children added, she said.
“Under the old system, some people were paying 25 cents for us to watch their kids,” said Jan Pizzi, board treasurer. “We have good instructors now and we need to pay them.”
“Under this proposed system, people would still be paying under $1 per hour (for Child Watch) so it’s still a good deal,” Moulton said.
Avedikian said the proposed rate increases would allow for the programs to sustain themselves and for the district to break even in funding them, rather than losing money every month.
Moulton gave direction to Avedikian to announce the proposed 2013 rate changes, with the understanding that the board would make a decision on the proposal during its budget meeting in October.
Gene Cozzolino, acting district manager, presented information on the water usage issues brought before the board at the August board meeting. He said that all 12 affected residents that contacted him about the issue made appointments for district staff to check their systems. “Ten of the 12 residents had a leak that could be equated to the problem,” Cozzolino said.
In all cases, water usage has been cut in half, sometimes more, he said. The payment plans approved for those residents and suspended pending the district’s investigation will be reinstated, Cozzolino said.
McGinn updated the board on the progress of the repairs to the Theriot water tank. The tank sprang a leak in May and has been out of commission since then, awaiting a permanent fix. “The floor has been removed, but some of the replacement pieces were miscut, and need to be replaced,” he said. The insurance company the district uses for cases like this also denied the claim for the repairs; the district is working to remedy both issues, he said.
The next board meeting will be Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center West.