BWD Suspends Water Cutoffs, Late Payments
Last updated 4/3/2020 at 1:03pm
It was a scene that will be repeated in the months ahead when it comes to getting information out to the public while maintaining the ultimate in social distancing.
The Borrego Water District held its monthly Board meeting online, with Directors and staff separated by home and office computer screens that allowed discussion and voting, while the public was able to tune in and observe the proceedings.
Here are a few highlights:
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications, BWD suspended both cutting off water to customers for those experiencing financial hardship for non-payment, and late payment penalties until June 1. BWD has a financial cushion of about $1.5 million for revenue shortfalls, according to Director Lyle Brecht; but they need to keep current with bond payments. The Board will be looking to the State for financial backup when the need arises.
All discussions and decisions related to rate increases will be delayed until the Fall. General Manager Geoff Poole said the Board needs flexibility in their decision making to determine future needs, plus close coordination with the State to address possible funding sources for customers requiring financial assistance with utility bills.
Considering it was the first time the Board has used the internet for public meetings, the session went rather well, despite a few audio glitches. Several topics of discussion were omitted, such as matters related to the Water Master Board and a postponed Town Hall meeting, but all pertinent information is and will be available online at borregowd.org.