Thursday, September 5, 2019

AWA releases response to 2018-2019 Grand Jury Report

SUTTER CREEK, CA - The Amador Water Agency Board of Directors approved the Agency’s detailed response to the 2018 – 2019 Amador County Civil Grand Jury report at a special board meeting today.

The almost 50-page response addresses in detail the findings and recommendations made by the Grand Jury. While AWA directors and Agency staff disagreed with many of the Grand Jury findings, the Agency has taken steps to amplify transparency and accessibility of complex information, one of the recommendations of the Grand Jury.

 “AWA Directors and staff are always looking for ways to improve. The Agency takes seriously its many responsibilities to its ratepayers and the general public and appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Grand Jury’s Findings and Recommendation,” said AWA Board of Directors President Paul Molinelli, Jr. in the response document.

Recent extensive work has gone into reorganizing the Agency’s budget reports and creating a user-friendly Budget-in-Brief brochure that will be mailed to all AWA customers. The Agency has improved the format of its website with the assistance of a website consultant to enhance its use by the public and Board of Directors meeting recordings are now available online (previously available by request).

“Stepping back for a hard look at our policies and procedures is productive for any organization,” said Molinelli. “We were gratified to see that most of the concerns in the Grand Jury report were unfounded, but the process was helpful in finding areas where we can make improvements.”

At a presentation to the board in August, Ingrid Sheipline, CPA and founding partner of Richardson and Company, confirmed that the Agency’s accounting and financial reporting practices are fully in compliance with state requirements. A consulting team has completed integration of the Agency’s maintenance management software with its financial software. Full implementation of state-of-the-art financial software has been a multi-year project.

AWA directors and staff have put in place improved tracking and reporting of capital projects, recently completed additional management training, and are beginning development of a formal water and wastewater facilities Master Plan for the Agency.

At the meeting, Molinelli thanked AWA staff and the Board Ad Hoc Committee of Board Vice President and District 3 Director Rich Farrington and District 4 Director Susan Peters for their months of work with the Grand Jury.

The response includes additional documents for further background and will be available on the Agency website and at the Agency office early next week.

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