Drought topic of TUD discussions this week

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

The Tuolumne Utilities District board will consider taking a couple drought-related actions Tuesday afternoon, as well as an agreement to regrade a gravel road in order to avoid a lawsuit from a homeowners association.

Directors are scheduled to consider adopting a resolution from the Association of California Water Agencies urging the organization's 430 member agencies to ask for heightened water conservation from customers, in response to Gov. Jerry Brown's executive order late last month that called for all Californians to redouble their efforts due to the drought.

The resolution does not contain any further requirements, but asks for other agencies to conserve water as well. TUD currently has some of the toughest restrictions in the state, with district customers urged to cut water use in half.

The board is also scheduled to consider authorizing TUD staff to rehire recently retired TUD water treatment plant operator Jeff Meyer on a part-time basis for 180 days to train staff and help open a new water treatment plant next month.

TUD Human Resources Director Sheri Fleming stated in a formal request that Meyer's 22 years of experience would be "invaluable" during the current drought crisis, which has required district staff to reactivate several wells that may provide unreliable water quality.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, General Manager Tom Scesa will ask the board to approve a settlement agreement between TUD and the Sonora Vista Tuolumne County Homeowners Association.

The association alleges that a gravel road used by TUD staff to access a nearby water tank is collecting water and directing that water into some homeowners' backyards.

The memo to the board states that TUD staff does not agree with the association's allegations, but has negotiated a settlement in which the district will re-grade the gravel road to avoid the expenses of a lawsuit.

The meeting documents do not specify how much the project will cost.

For the complete story, see the May 12, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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