OWASA Board of Directors Meeting Summary for August 27

OWASA’s Board of Directors met virtually on Thursday, August 27, 2020, and considered an agenda that included an update on OWASA’s response to COVID-19, the preliminary financial report for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2020, and the semi-annual Capital Improvements Program (CIP) report.

The Board of Directors is currently meeting virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic Response

The Board received an update on OWASA’s response to COVID-19 and a phased plan for returning to normal operations. OWASA continues to take proactive measures to ensure we provide the community with high-quality and reliable water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services during the COVID-19 pandemic. OWASA field crews will be moving to a new phase of the Return to Normal Operations plan at the end of August that will allow for resumption of most preventative maintenance activities while also maintaining safety measures. We surveyed our employees regarding possible childcare challenges due to remote education and will do the best we can to work with those employees while meeting the essential nature of work. Orange County has extended its States of Emergency declaration until October 31, 2020, and OWASA has therefore extended its temporary suspension of disconnects for non-payment through the same time period.

Preliminary Financial Report

The Board received the preliminary financial report for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2020. Water volume demand has been down roughly 12% since March 2020 when compared with the prior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and water and sewer revenue for the year was about $2.3 million less than original projections. All but one financial performance measurement target was met for the year; as a result of lower revenue, the balance in the working capital reserve was about $1.4 million less than the target. The report is considered preliminary until the conclusion of the annual independent audit; a final report is scheduled to be presented to the Board in September.

Semi-Annual Capital Improvements Program Report

The Board received the semi-annual Capital Improvements Program (CIP) report summarizing project and program performance for OWASA’s CIP for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Approximately $25.6 million was invested in a total of 68 capital projects that were active during the reporting period. This CIP expenditure total was 97% of the FY 2020 budget, a percentage which falls within the Board-adopted target range for CIP execution. There has been an increase in outreach and participation from minority- and women-owned businesses since the Board update in December 2019.

Next Meeting

The Board will hold its next meeting remotely on Thursday, September 10, 2020, via Microsoft Teams at 6 p.m.; a link will be provided here.

OWASA’s administrative office is closed to the public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Customers in need of assistance can still contact OWASA from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling (919) 968-4421, emailing customerinquiries@owasa.org, or using the chat function available in the bottom-right corner of the web page. Please allow for additional time for OWASA staff to respond during this time. We appreciate your patience.