At year‐end 2021, it is with great pride and gratification to claim the achievement of another major BLSMWC/LRPC goal earlier in the year, the successful completion of our 32 month long USDA Infrastructure Improvement Project in January 2021. This goal was initially established at the inception of the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC). Looking back at our history, the LRPC was proposed and approved by the Board of Directors (BODs) at the July 2013 BOD Meeting. The first LRPC meeting was held on August 5, 2013. The first LRPC presentation at our August 10, 2013 BOD Meeting provided details of the initial strategy and commitments to meeting our long term goals as follows:
The long‐range plan strategy of this Committee and the Board of Directors will be to seek and fund a dependable long range water supply. This shall include a detailed, time‐phased multi‐year budget plan segregating Operations from Capital Improvement funding to provide the most cost‐effective approach possible.
To achieve this, the LRPC and BLSMWC:
- Has decided to become a self‐sufficient water company by developing and owning its own supply and delivery of water via additional wells to our members within the next two years
- Will continue to investigate options for an emergency supply of water in case of catastrophic system failure
- Will make recommendations for decisive action to upgrade existing equipment and infrastructure on an accelerated basis
- Will pursue wells from different sources to assure long term supply for the next 20 years
- Will continue to seek sources of water as back up for possible long term drought conditions
- Will consider the option to fund capital improvements through long term financing so as not to disproportionately impact short‐term financing
- Will develop and maintain cordial relationships with all parties in the sourcing and delivery of water to our shareholders
- Will provide frequent communication updates on the progress to achieve our goals
Over the past 8+ years, the LRPC and BLSMWC management & staff have remained consistently focused and committed to meeting our goals, many of which were long term, involved teaming with multiple outside agencies, and spanned several years to complete. These included increasing our water supply through the development of additional wells, reaching a wholesale water agreement with CCWD, completing the USDA Infrastructure Improvement Project with long‐term government financing, and formally implementing a Reserves Fund Policy and Asset Management Plan. With all the above goal accomplishments, our financials are in great shape, and it is notable that our current reserve accounts at $2.2M+ are significantly greater than our total bank account balances were back in September 2013.
As we move forward, there will be changes forthcoming with the LRPC structure. In the next few months, Tom Schneider will be stepping down from the Chair position, and a reorganization of the committee will take place. The final structure and responsibilities are currently being worked and should be finalized in the next couple months. In the meantime, LRPC support will continue to focus on assisting BLSMWC management & staff with rate structure recommendations, cash flow & reserves analysis, asset management planning oversight, and performing cost benefit analysis of water source options (i.e., CCWD, additional wells) should future water usage indicate the need for an increased supply.