Tag Archives: Vallecitos

Press Release-Vallecitos Water District Customers Launch New Website: Political Favoritism to Developers Cost Ratepayers $42 Million

Press Release

Friendship of Vallecitos Customers
San Marcos businesses and residents ‐ We pay for water, not politics

Vallecitos Water District Customers Launch New Website: Political Favoritism to Developers Cost Ratepayers $42 Million

They are the Friendship of Vallecitos Customers and want to grow to thousands of members and send a message to Vallecitos Water District (VWD) elected officials. “San Marcos businesses and residents – we pay for water, not politics.” That’s the tag line seen on the home page of their newly released website.

At a VWD Board meeting in 2013, elected officials were deliberating on allowing more time for developers to pay fees. “The District’s interest has to do with providing basic services, sewer, and water, at the best price. That’s all it is. It has nothing to do with helping out developers,” said Former Board Member Jim Poltl. In response, then newly elected Board Member Hal Martin retorted, “I look at the bigger picture – economic stimulus. Smaller governmental agencies … make that happen.”

Since then, the VWD Board gave several breaks to developers that cost ratepayers more than $42 million, according to Former VWD CFO Tom Scaglione. “From July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018, Vallecitos ratepayers paid $42.2 million, more than 15% of their water and sewer bill, to amass cash reserves, fund developer deficits, and continue to finance developer obligations with ratepayers’ cash rather than issue bonds. Vallecitos accumulated more ratepayer money than any other water district in San Diego County, and is the only district in the County with a deficit in developer funds.”

While building activity in San Marcos soared in 2013, money paid into VWD by developers plummeted to record deficits.

According to Scaglione, since 2013, water and sewer rates have increased 5.9% on average annually, while developer fees have increased just 2.6% on average annually for inflation.

“It all started in 2012 with a sewer density impact fee that I voted in favor of for developers to pay their impacts,” said Former Board Member Tim Shell. “We all [Board Members] voted for it, and we all had targets on

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our backs ‐ management too. The developer‐backed politicians that unseated us were not from the water industry. I knew this would happen.”

One of the most egregious breaks is the current delay in implementing long‐awaited adjustments to developer fees. When the Board suspended and refunded the sewer density impact fee in 2015, they minimized the impacts by saying a study that is needed to raise developer fees and includes the sewer density impact, would be done that same year. Vallecitos has scheduled a Public Hearing to consider adjustments to developer fees for August 7 at 5 pm – four years late. According to the website, the delay alone saved developers $11 million.

The website, friendshipvallecitoswater.org, details the breaks given to developers, the impacts to ratepayers, and how the situation can be remedied.

“All the numbers on the website are from audited financial statements, board reports, meeting minutes, and budgets,” said Scaglione. “They’re all numbers generated by Vallecitos. You just need to know how to read the financials.”

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The Friendship of Vallecitos Customers (FVC), a group of Vallecitos Water District (VWD) customers, potential

political candidates, past board members, and community leaders, formed to have a unified voice to influence the

VWD Board of Directors (the Board) to maintain a ratepayer focus. Since the 2012 elections, the development

community has had majority control of the Board. Developer influence and financial mismanagement have

resulted in ratepayers paying $42.2 million towards developer obligations. Ratepayers have not had either the will

or ability to financially contribute and therefore win favor, to the extent that developers have financially

contributed to the Board. Visit friedshipvallecitoswater.org

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Traffic alert/water main break in San Elijo Hills

Update: Crews just opened up one lane going north-East in San Elijo Road, so traffic is flowing. The other side of San Elijo Road has both lanes open.

Traffic alert / water main break: Just in…this afternoon there was a water main break near intersection of San Elijo Rd & Stephanie Ct. in #SanElijoHills. The eastbound lanes on San Elijo Rd. are currently closed at Schoolhouse. Details will be posted as they come in.

Traffic alert/water main break: Just in…this afternoon there was a water main break near the intersection of San Elijo Rd & Stephanie Ct. in #SanElijoHills. The eastbound lanes on San Elijo Rd. are currently closed at Schoolhouse. Details will be posted as they come in. Follow Vallecitos on Facebook for updates.

San Marcos carrying water for developers | San Diego Reader

Tom Scaglione was assistant general manager and CFO at San Marcos’ Vallecitos Water District. He retired in May and now teaches at Palomar College in their water/wastewater technology program. He’s become a critic on a huge rip off to district ratepayers. Tom Scaglione: “San Marcos is run by develop.

Tom Scaglione was assistant general manager and CFO at San Marcos’ Vallecitos Water District. He retired in May and now teaches at Palomar College in their water/wastewater technology program. He’s become a critic on a huge rip off to district ratepayers.

In 2012, the board of directors of the district tried to increase the sewer impact fees charged to developers wanting to build in the district, which covers San Marcos, plus small parts of Carlsbad, Vista, and unincorporated areas including Lake San Marcos.

“The developers didn’t want to pay it,” said Scaglione. “They took over the board in the 2012 election, ousting longtime members. It’s now a four-to-one majority for the developers. At their very first meeting, they started making accommodations to developers.”

“In 2012, Vallecitos had a $3 million deficit in the developer infrastructure fund,” said Scaglione.

On October 24, as part of the local multi-college campus symposium, Political Economy Days, he presented his scathing report at Palomar College on the State of Water Rates for ratepayers in the Vallecitos District. He reported that since 2012, customer’s rates went up 5.7 percent annually. The developer fund went up only 2.9 percent.

In the most recently adopted district budget,

$84.4 million in ratepayer’s funds will be accelerated to $96 million over the next five years. The developer fund will have a deficit of $44 million. Scaglione points out the district is using ratepayer funds to pay for new infrastructure caused by new development. The 21,000 district customers will pay an additional $552.38 each.

Scaglione says Vallecitos directors Mike Sannella and Hal Martin are in the developer’s pockets. “The development industry is spending $50,000 to get Sannella elected to the city council in the upcoming Nov 6 election.

The only ratepayer-focused person left on the board is Betty Evans,” said Scaglione.

In a telephone interview October 27, I asked what could ratepayers do to change the direction of ratepayer vs. developers? “San Marcos is run by developers,” he responded, pointing out that the Vallecitos Water District has the largest undeveloped boundary in the county.

While Scaglione’s report had several ideas for changing course in the district, he acknowledged there is no political will in the city to do that. “The developers come in here with a bunch of money and create a deception, and the ratepayers don’t stand a chance.”

READ MORE via Source: San Marcos carrying water for developers | San Diego Reader

S. Twin Oaks Valley closed at Cal State San Marcos due to water main break- 07/19/2018 5:00 PM

Due to an unexpected water leak, S. Twin Oaks Valley Road near California State University San Marcos is closed in both directions as crews work to assess the situation and complete repairs. Expect delays and detours for several days.

Motorists are urged to drive with caution, follow all traffic control measures, look for alternate routes and avoid the area if possible.  Updates will be posted as they become available at www.san-marcos.net/roadwork.

For more information about the main break, water quality or other water issues, contact Vallecitos Water District at (760) 744-0460 or www.vwd.org.

Vallecitos Water District receives Re-accreditation as a “District of Distinction”

Vallecitos Water District receives Re-accreditation as a “District of Distinction”

San Marcos, CA – On April 4, 2018, the Vallecitos Water District (Vallecitos) was honored for achieving re-accreditation as a “District of Distinction” by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF). This accreditation is designed as a way for districts to highlight their prudent fiscal practices along with other areas important to effectively operate and govern a special district. California SDLF Public Affairs Field Coordinator, Chris Palmer, was on hand to recognize Vallecitos for completing the essential governance requirements. This is the second time Vallecitos has received this biannual accreditation.

“SDLF provides an independent audit review of the last three years of the District’s operations to ensure prudent fiscal practices,” said Neil McCormick, SDLF Chief Executive Officer. The committee members who review the audits are volunteers from the special district community, including district controllers, directors of finance and general managers. SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.

To receive the recognition, Vallecitos’ website must include posting of transparency requirements, including: election procedures and deadlines, posted board meeting schedules and agendas, current District budget, most recent financial audit, and a list of compensation of Board members and staff or a link to the State Controller’s webpage with the data. Vallecitos’ Board of Directors and executive staff must also show proof of educational training in public governance, as well as compliance with ethics and harassment prevention training.

“This award is proof of the District’s commitment to good government,” said Vallecitos Board President Jim Hernandez. “The Board of Directors, along with District staff, are to be commended for their efforts to highlight our prudent fiscal practices and sound policies in the areas of governance, board conduct and transparency.”

HEAVY RAINS CAUSE WASTEWATER OVERFLOW IN CARLSBAD

HEAVY RAINS CAUSE WASTEWATER OVERFLOW IN CARLSBAD

Carlsbad, CA – Earlier today, the Vallecitos Water District experienced a wastewater overflow near Carillo Way and Melrose Drive in Carlsbad.

Vallecitos crews were first notified of the spill at around 9:00 a.m. this morning. A customer discovered the spill and contacted the City of Carlsbad, which then notified Vallecitos. Upon arrival at the site, Vallecitos crews immediately worked to repair the pipe and divert the wastewater to a nearby wastewater manhole. The use of portable pumps and strategically placed sandbags helped to reduce the amount of wastewater that flowed to an adjacent seasonal creek.

When the spill first occurred this morning, an estimated 300 gallons per minute of wastewater spilled out of the pipe. By 1:10 p.m., crews had stopped all flow to the creek to protect the environment. Due to the excessive amount of groundwater in the area making the repairs difficult, the estimated time to complete the repairs is unknown at this time.

The cause of the spill was a broken 16-inch gravity fed wastewater line, which is believed to have failed due to excessive flows from the recent storm which released 3.24* inches of rain in Carlsbad. During large rain events, rainwater can flow into the sewer system in various ways, including:

  • Illegal sewer connections, such as rain gutters that are plumbed to sewer cleanouts instead of into the gutter;
  • Saturated soils that can seep groundwater into the sewer system;
  • Entry holes and/or seals around manhole covers.Although the broken pipe is normally fed by gravity, it was under some pressure as it is connected to the main pressurized wastewater outfall pipe that leads to the regional wastewater treatment plant in Carlsbad. Vallecitos crews are researching why the section of pipe failed.

No Vallecitos customers were affected by the spill. The proper agencies have been notified by the District. Vallecitos crews have posted signs from the spill site at the creek to the beach in Carlsbad, where the Batiquitos Lagoon releases to the ocean and where human contact may be possible.

* Data obtained from NOAA – National Weather Service San Diego

Vallecitos Board of Directors Declares Drought Over

Vallecitos Board of Directors Declares Drought Over

Last night, the Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors voted to rescind the voluntary drought restrictions under its “Level 1 – Drought Watch.” Vallecitos customers may irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes for as many minutes as needed. However, the Board continued to express their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life. Vallecitos’ ordinance permanently prohibits wasteful practices, such as:

  •   Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  •   Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
  •   Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
  •   Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
  •   Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery
  •   Restaurants only serving water on request

Vallecitos’ resolution was taken in response to the San Diego County Water Authority’s action on January 26, 2017, declaring the drought over in San Diego County. Neither the Water Authority nor Vallecitos are experiencing supply shortages due to drought. The San Diego region has invested approximately $3.5

billion over the past three decades to increase regional water supply reliability, including upgraded conveyance systems, additional water storage capacity and seawater desalination. Vallecitos has a direct connection to the desalination plant in Carlsbad and obtains more than a quarter of its annual supplies from this drought proof source.

Vallecitos met its mandatory savings target after the state imposed emergency regulations in 2015 to achieve the governor’s goal of an overall 25 percent cut in urban water use. In May 2016, the state updated its emergency regulation to a water supply “stress test” methodology that took actual levels of local supply reliability into account. Under that system, Vallecitos has sufficient supplies to avoid shortages even if it experiences three more dry years.

“Due to the record-setting winter precipitation in the Northern Sierra, coupled with heavy local rainfall and a significant snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin, we are able to rescind Drought Response Level 1 – Drought Watch,” said Vallecitos Board President, Craig Elitharp. “We applaud our customers’ efforts to conserve water and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.

 

About Vallecitos Water District: As an independent, special district, Vallecitos is dedicated to providing water, wastewater and reclamation services to approximately 97,000 people in a 45- square-mile area that includes San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; portions of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista; and other surrounding unincorporated areas. The public is invited to Board meetings, taking place at 5 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at Vallecitos’ Administration Building – 201 Vallecitos de Oro, San Marcos. Board meetings are also televised on San Marcos TV. Visit www.san-marcos.net/smtv for a complete programming schedule.

SAN ELIJO HILLS RESIDENT RUNNING FOR VALLECITOS WATER BOARD

wayne

Wayne Ludwig and his wife Cindy have lived in the San Elijo Hills area of San Marcos since 2002, both working for the Department of the Navy. Wayne currently serves the Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) Region Safety and Health Program Director, providing myriad opportunities to serve the interests of federal, state and local government personnel and taxpayers.

Wayne is running for a seat on the Vallecitos Water Board, Division 5 this November. His 33 years working for the Department of the Defense and Department of Navy have led to an extensive amount of training and education in many disciplines and areas of Public Works operations.

If elected, Wayne’s intentions are to unify the Water Board, provide proactive leadership and reestablish trust and accountability to the board, Vallecitos employees and all rate payers. His plan is to arrest all favoritism, bias and unfair practices that currently plague the board and rate payers. “I am running for election because as a rate payer, and given the present fractious nature of the Board, there are myriad problems I can help fix,” he stated. “Furthermore, the present Board has granted unnecessary and very questionable favors to developers, which only serve to degrade and diminish the future of the Vallecitos Water District.”

You can find out more by visiting his website at wayneludwig.com or via email at Ludwigfw@gmail.com

*San Elijo Life Editors note-This is not an endorsement and we welcome campaign statements from all candidates.

Vallecitos Water District to Host Blood Drive

vwd

Vallecitos Water District to Host Blood Drive 

San Marcos, CA — To help combat summer blood shortages, Vallecitos Water District is hosting a community blood drive on Thursday, August 11, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The blood drive will be held in the District’s parking lot located at 201 Vallecitos De Oro in San Marcos.

The need for blood in San Diego and around the country remains constant. In San Diego alone, nearly 400 pints per day are needed for area hospitals.  However, during summer months, inventories often decrease when regular donors take vacation and schools are on break.  This is why Vallecitos Water District is reaching out to their staff and the community, asking for donors to come forward during this critical time.

To schedule an appointment, call the San Diego Blood Bank at 1-800-469-7322 or schedule online at http://www.sandiegobloodbank.org/, using the sponsor code: VWDT.

Blood donors must be at least 17 year’s old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health.  Donors are encouraged to eat a meal prior to giving blood and drink plenty of water.  Photo ID is required at donation time.

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