Board amends and advances the Well Site Review Process at March 22 meeting.

The Board approved the Ad Hoc Committee’s “Working Document” directing it to prepare a Preliminary Report on six well site options without spending any of the $20,000 budgeted for consultants to develop comparative costs and/or hydrogeological assessments.  The AHC wants to reduce the sites under consideration from six to three before spending any money.

We argued here that this and reduction of Shareholder Advisory Committee inputs are unfortunate changes in the process approved by the Board October 27, 2022.  AHC members Alma Quesada and Robert Eranio and President Frank Mezzatesta denied they were making any changes at all, but Crestview Watch stands by its analysis.

In the Preliminary Report–

The AdHoc Committee will develop a matrix showing rough costs for each of the criteria listed below.  Due to the cost of retaining a hydrogeologist and civil engineer to evaluate 6 sites, the AdHoc Committe recommends refining construction costs for only the most promising sites.”

The listed criteria the Ad Hoc Committee will address do not include any of the following significant cost items:

  • Site acquisition,
  • Permit acquisition,
  • Water treatment costs (if the Water Treatment Plant has to be restarted),
  • Noise abatement, or
  • Professional services.

Furthermore, the AHC will not be offering a plan and cost estimates to deal with the septic system issue.  Nevertheless, the Board will be asked to exclude three sites based on the same incomplete and “rough” cost estimates and qualitative comments by the same General Manager who did the previous site comparisons.  The Board found in October those comparisons were an inadequate basis for decision, and a large number of shareholders thought they were biased in favor of a decision already made.

One shareholder commented in the meeting that, having spent $900,000 on failed efforts to get a permit for Well #7 at the Alviso site, it would be wise to spend $9,000 on each of the remaining sites to make sure we select the best site.  There was no discussion among Board members before it voted 4-0 to adopt the resolution.  (Director Sol Chooljian was absent.)

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