Wednesday, March 28, 2018

AWA Safety Program benefits from big insurance refund, Hazardous Tree Removal to begin this Spring

SUTTER CREEK, CA Amador Water Agency Directors received a very pleasant surprise Thursday in the form of a refund check for $148,760.00 from the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority. The windfall was a refund on insurance payments based on the Water Agency’s excellent safety record and infrequent insurance losses.

“This refund is the result of efforts on the part of all the staff here at the Water Agency,” said General Manager Gene Mancebo.

The AWA Board approved reinvesting the refund in staff training and safety programs over the next three years.

Also at their regular Board meeting on Thursday, AWA Directors approved contract for a tree service to begin removing as many as 450 hazardous trees that threaten water or wastewater facilities throughout the county.

AWA has received a California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and California Disaster Assistance Act-funded grant for Hazard Tree Removal in Amador County. AWA's plan is to remove approximately 450 dead or dying trees which, should they fall, would directly and negatively impact AWA water and wastewater infrastructure in Amador County.

The CalOES grant covers 75 percent of tree removal costs. AWA has applied for and received a Cal Fire "Local Assistance for Tree Mortality Grant" grant to cover 25 percent of the remaining cost of Phase I of this project. The two grants total $27,000.00 for tree removal this season.
The contract for tree removal was awarded to Richard M. Stevens Co. of Sutter Creek.

AWA Directors received a clean bill of health after the annual Agency financial audit conducted by the independent accounting firm of Leaf and Cole.  Auditor Michael Zizzi summarized the 2016-2017 audit report atThursday’s AWA Board meeting and noted that Agency financial policies and procedures were in good order. During the audit review, Directors discussed state requirements for funding the Agency’s long-term pension liability, a challenge for government agencies throughout the country. Zizzi also encouraged the Directors to work to build up the Agency’s cash reserves, described as “on the cusp of being sufficient,” which have been reduced over the past several years by the Great Recession and recent mandatory water conservation.

Amador Water Agency Directors received a refund check for $148,760.00 from the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority, due to AWA’s excellent safety record. From left: Sandra Smith (ACWA-JPIA); AWA Directors Paul Molinelli, Jr., Robert Manassero, Art Toy, Rich Farrington, Gary Thomas; AWA Human Resources Manager Karen Gish, AWA General Manager Gene Mancebo, Andy Sells (ACWA-JPIA).

A stand of dead pine trees slated for removal by AWA near Ranch House Estates. AWA contractors will remove up to 450 dead or dying trees this summer that threaten water or wastewater infrastructure.

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