In recent years, we have been subject to “Public Safety Power Shutoffs” and to huge long-lasting local wildfires. Neither of Crestview’s wells can pump when the power is off. In a summer power outage, we could be totally out of water in about two days—without fire protection, bathing, or toilet flushing.
Crestview’s plan has been to equip Well #7 with an emergency gas-powered generator and Well #8 with switch gear to connect a portable diesel-powered generator. However, no work is being done on Well #7 or an alternative site for Well #7, and the Well #8 project is just beginning the permit process. Neither of those projects could possibly come online in less than two years. Should we be doing something in the meantime?
Perhaps Well #4 and Well #6 should be equipped now with switch gear to connect rental generators. We have found that a rental generator probably costs less than $10,000 per month. (That is about $4 per share.) However, availability is chancy. In a regional emergency, every generator within a reasonable distance would probably be rented out, and shipping in from a remote state could be expensive and slow. One possibility would be to rent generators before an emergency occurs and keep them for the entire fire season—or all year with an appropriate rent reduction.
Would we also need emergency generators for other equipment? We do have an emergency generator to get water from Reservoir 3 up to the highest zone in our system, but it will be of no use if we cannot pump water to Reservoir 3.
Shareholders and even public officials have highlighted this problem on numerous occasions, and it is time to raise it again.
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