CCWD approves plan to improve services

June 13, 2003 12:00 am

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

After four workshops and five drafts, Calaveras County Water District's first strategic plan was unanimously adopted by the board Wednesday.

Describing seven major objectives and strategies to achieve them, the 10-page document provides the district guidance it has not had in the past, according to Board President Jeff Davidson.

"This is a blueprint for our future," he said after the board meeting. "It basically tells us that these are the items we need to focus on.

"Historically the district has not planned well for its future, (but has) practiced a lot of crisis management. This is about long-term planning and that's really a good thing," he said.

The objectives include:

• Improving the district's relationship with the public through public outreach, an improved Web site, a quarterly newsletter, town hall meetings and neighborhood focus groups.

• Clearly defining the district's mission, including defining levels of service and examining whether the district wants to continue its wastewater services.

• Achieve a high degree of reliability and efficiency in the operation of the district's water and wastewater facilities, including upgrading and modernizing the district's aging infrastructure.

• Ensuring that the district's decisions, policies, initiatives and plans respond to social and economic trends in the county as well as changing federal and state regulations.

• Optimizing water resources management by inventorying the district's resources and rights to develop an accurate picture of the agency's assets.

• Protecting the environment.

• Improving administrative effectiveness and efficiency.

Each objective in the strategic plan includes a number of recommended actions, and a timeline.

The workshops were Feb. 5, Feb. 26, March 13 and May 13, and included members of the public as well as CCWD staff.

During the workshops, Director Don Deem took exception to the plan's direction.

"In the beginning, I was not happy with the workshop, the facilitator or the plan because it seemed like they were all coming up with fluff," he said after Wednesday's unanimous plan approval of the plan.

"But over time, the important stuff came together and I'm happy with how it worked out. It's not perfection, but we haven't had one before and this gives us direction. It will help the district stay focused."

The board agreed that the new plan needs to be reviewed and updated every three or four years.