Engineering firm hired to review alternative sites for Well #7.

MKN, an engineering firm, has been selected to evaluate potential sites for Well #7. By February, MKN will do an independent evaluation of sites previously reviewed by the Board and deliver a ranked-order report focusing on feasibility and hydrogeology. To make this a “blind study,” MKN will not receive site-specific information or opinions Crestview has previously developed. After Board review and decision, MKN will develop complete cost estimates for the surviving sites.  Presumably, this second report will guide the Board in making a final site selection.  All this was reported in the November 28 Board meeting.

Crestview’s process for committing to a location for a Well #7 to supply the upper pressure zone has been slow and lurching ever since the Board of Supervisors denied a permit for 191 Alviso in September 2021.  There was a little flurry of activity in the spring of 2022 and then nothing until August 2022 when President Chooljian appointed Director Alma Quezada and General Manager Robert Eranio as an Ad Hoc Committee (“AHC”) to propose a site selection process to the Board.  On October 27, 2022, the Board approved their proposal, which involved a Shareholder Advisory Committee (“SAC”) and $20,000 for hydrogeological and/or engineering consultants.  The committees began to function in December 2022. By March 12, 2023, the Ad Hoc Committee proposed that the Board revise the process to eliminate inputs from experts and to reduce inputs from the SAC and other shareholders.  The Ad Hoc Committee’s final report nominating six sites was approved by the Board on May 25, 2023.  More details here.

Since then, there has been no work done except in executive sessions of the Board.  We do not know which sites will be considered by MKN or even how many there are.  If there are no further delays, it appears it will be well into spring 2023 before the Board will be making any decisions about a site for Well #7.  Meanwhile, there are grumblings amongst shareholders.  One group is insisting that Crestview stop the well site review process and immediately reapply for a permit at 191 Alviso.  Another group, including Crestview Watch, is dissatisfied with the secrecy that has prevailed since the transparent process approved in October 2022 was ended in March 2023 without achieving its objectives.  That process had been intended to identify objections to the sites and to resolve as many of those objections as possible before selecting a site and to have independent estimates of relative costs.  Perhaps by March 2024, there will be credible independent cost estimates, but we are not aware of any plan to seek inputs from neighbors and other shareholders.  On the plus side, it is likely all Board members are now more knowledgeable about how to go about selecting a site.

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