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Tuesday, Nov 20 2012 05:00 AM

Bear Valley CSD tackles starthistle issue

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Clint Hilderbrand of Aqua Operations presents a proposal for waste water operations to the CSD Board of Directors. Photo by Ed Gordon

The Bear Valley Board of Directors voted 5-0 to approve a sponsorship agreement with the Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development for a yellow starthistle removal project at its November 8 meeting.

The project will map the yellow starthistle at a cost of $1,418 to the district.

"The current budget supports this collaborative effort," Finance Director Rudy Hernandez said.

The FIELD group will use the GPS on their smartphones to pinpoint the locations, take photos and write a description of the location. They will then upload that data to a regional map that shows the starthistle for the entire area, which could open up to future grant opportunities.

Mapping can be done this time of year so that next spring the CSD will know where to spray.

This could also reduce the required amount of herbicide used as the spraying can be more targeted.

In the past Donna Greer, who goes out and maps the old fashion way marking the areas on a map by hand, had provided the service.

Information will be disseminated to all the residents regarding the project, as now some young students will be going on to the property.

Wastewater personnel

In other action the board reviewed a contract for Aqua Operations, Inc. to provide a chief wastewater treatment plant operator and training for a period of six months at a cost of $51,000.

"We come into a facility and if were there for more than a year we're not doing our job," said Clint Hilderbrand, a principle in Aqua Operations.

"What we propose to Bear Valley is come in train your operator, while providing chief plant operator services within regulatory compliance and give the operators you have the training that they need to pass their examinations."

This type of service would be needed for some period as the current operator is retiring at the end December, noted acting General Manager Sandy Janzen.

"To date they have been unable to hire a replacement or have one of the current employees obtain the required class three license," she said. "We need to have an operator three to run our plant."

The board tabled the issue until next month and requested that staff look into additional bids for the service and the possibility of shortening the time required for the service to three months, with possible month-to-month extensions if needed.

A discussion regarding salary rate for the position was also discussed. The Bear Valley system has so few connections (471) that the salary is lower compared to that of larger systems. Staff agreed to look into both issues and come back to the board at the December meeting

Equestrian trails easement

There was a discussion regarding a request from the Bear Valley Springs Association that encroachments on Church Horse Trail be removed. There is no standard width for the trails within the valley and a standard needs to be set.

The board voted to leave the current fences in place. If the CSD ever needs the added room to maintain the drainage easement, the fences will be removed at the owner's expense at that time.

BVSA General Manager Kirk Wooldridge did not agree with the CSD's decision.

A conference call to determine if a community wide equestrian trails easement width can be agreed upon, was scheduled by legal counsel for both the BVSA and CSD on Thursday, Nov. 15.

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 13 at the CSD building, 28999 South Lower Valley Road in Bear Valley.

Clint Hilderbrand of Aqua Operations presents a proposal for waste water operations to the CSD Board of Directors

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