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At its meeting Wednesday, the Community Services District board authorized spending $56,700 to update the district’s capital improvement and water augmentation fees and rejected a developer’s claim for reimbursement.  Directors acknowledged the change in the board that will occur next month when two directors depart and newly elected directors take their seats.

Study for fee update approved

The board approved a proposal from Coastland Engineering to review and update the district’s capital and water augmentation fees at a cost not to exceed $56,700.

The fees are one-time charges that come due when a water permit is issued. The board granted a permit but held the fees in abeyance after developer John Sullivan objected to the charges for the hotel project as calculated under current district code.

The new fee structure is expected to be ready for adoption at the June 2017 board meeting.

Board rejects claim from Fairways developer's successor

The board voted unanimously to instruct district counsel to send a claim rejection letter to M&R Investment One Company Inc., which says it is the successor to the developer of the Fairways.

M&R sought a 19-year extension of the 1995 reimbursement agreement developer SHF Acquisition Corporation entered into with the CSD for a portion of the cost of improvements SHF constructed when it built the Fairways homes in the 1990s that benefited later development. The board authorized a one-year extension in 2015 and approved a pay-out of $32,018 from the developer deposit for the Retreats project now being built on the North, but turned down the M&R request for a 19-year extension at its August meeting.

M&R is claiming damages “in excess of $1.1 million” due to the CSD’s refusal, according to a letter to the district dated Oct. 19.

In a memo to the board, General Manager Darlene Thiel recommended the rejection, saying the district’s attorneys had reviewed the claim and “it appears that portions of M&R’s claim may be barred by the one-year claim presentation under the Government Claims Act.”

Groundwater membership approved

The board approved spending $10,511 for a membership in Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority. Director Mike Martel abstained from the vote.

The purpose of the authority is to manage a central basin commonly referred to as the South American Basin that underlies its service area, and to implement the Groundwater Management Plan developed by the Sacramento County Groundwater Forum. According to the authority, a sub-basin “basically cuts from north to south through the western portion of Rancho Murieta.”

General Manager Darlene Thiel said in her opinion it was critical to stay involved in the authority and have a voice as implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Act proceeds since it’s not clear yet what role groundwater may play in the district.

Preparing to leave

At the end of the meeting, CSD directors and staff have the opportunity to comment, and Director Betty Ferraro used her turn to acknowledge staff and her fellow board members for their work and their help during her two terms in office. Staff and directors responded with their own words of thanks and praise for Ferraro and Director Mike Martel, who is leaving after one term. Newly elected directors Les Clark and John Merchant were seated in the audience.

The official changing of the board takes place at the December meeting.

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