Jan Sweigert, State Water Resources Control Board
October 10, 2017
Annual Shareholder's Meeting
The following questions were asked during the annual shareholder's meeting. Jan Sweigert's comments and responses are as follows:
- Can we "sell" BRMWC to the state of California?
- It's possible to be sold, or ownership transferred. Generally the state does not want to take over and operate mutual water companies, but if proven to be abandoned by shareholders, a receiver can be put in place. Abandonment is established as: no monitoring, delinquent or non-payment, lack of improvements, continuous non-compliance. The receiver operates until a new operator can be found. The receiver hire's resources until the system can be put into compliance, but is not a permanent solution. All charges associated with the receiver and managing / running the water company will be billed back to the homeowners. When the water company is sold, the court approves, not the homeowners.
- What certifications do we need to maintain status as a legitimate mutual water company?
- Board members need to be willing and interested to manage the "business"
- Required training for the board members
- An Operator (for us Dougherty)
- D1T2 certifications, distribution operation
- What would it take to get Sunnyslope Water to take over BRMWC
- Zone 6 is where surface water can be used, which runs down the middle of Best Road. Water can't be provided outside Zone 6. Heatherwood is not in Zone 6.
- How can zone 6 be changed?
- San Benito County Water District needs to decide to make the change. Infrastructure has been paid by the users in Zone 6 over time, so the challenge would be how to add new users.
- In order to sell, does it have to go to a court master?
- No. Options are either a transfer of ownership, but staty a distinct entity. Or a consoliation, which is to connect to other water resources. To sell, the water company must be in good shape, must have good financials, and in compliance with regulations.
- Are there limitations on how much can be charged for water/services, should the water company be sold?
- It depends on who and how it's taken over. Rates are governed by the PUC for profit investors
- Is there any push from the state level for consolidations?
- When there is a compliance issue and if the water company exists in a disadvantaged community.
- What do our bylaws state regarding changing ownership?
- BRMWC bylaws require > 50% homeowners approval for change of ownership.
- Are there incentives or leverage to water companies to engage in consolidations with mutual water companies?
- There are not a lot of incentives. General thought is that management is better handled in larger companies.
- What is you (Jan's) overall impression of BRMWC
- Generally responsive to issues and asks questions when needed. There are compliance issues, which we are trying to address. We are financially solvent, generally doing a good job. But the compliance issues do need to be addressed.