The water company Board received a really insightful report from NewGen Strategies at its Aug. 27 Board meeting. NewGen helps utility companies like ours understand their financial health. You can view their report here.
In my next few posts, I will offer some observations about their report.
For example, the table below tracks “Days Cash on Hand.” DCOH is money our company had available to meet short-term operating expenses as if not another dollar would come in from customers. Most companies try to have 90 days of cash on hand.
The company had no problem maintaining much more than 90 days of cash on hand in 2017 and 2018.
But in 2019 the DCOH fell to 79 days. Last year was extraordinary in these respects:
PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS. We also incurred legal expenses related to fulfilling 46 Public Information Act requests, most from the allies of plaintiffs and the plaintiffs themselves.
NEW GENERATOR. After attempting to buy generators in previous years, the company finally purchased one in order to comply with regulations.
At least by this measure, the volunteer Boards of the water company have done a good, conservative job of cash management for regular operations.
As a side note, the Supreme Court brought the first “TOMA” case to final conclusion on February 14, 2020 — St. Valentine’s Day — in favor of the corporation. St. Valentine is remembered for miraculously healing, on the day of his execution, his jailer’s blind daughter and leaving a note for her, signed “Your Valentine.” We should pray for St. Valentine’s intercession on behalf of our neighborhood, so that those who are blind may see.
Our water company manager and Corix Utilities have focused on fixing leaks and valves around the neighborhood. The chart below says it all. A fantastic reduction in the amount of water lost in August compared to water lost in August of last year.
Utilities produce water using chemicals, processes, and pumping equipment. So any leaks that take water out of the system before reaching paying customers’ homes cause real financial loss to the water company.
Windermere water customers and the utility itself used 2.35 million gallons in August. They used 1.8 million gallons in August 2019. That’s a 30 percent increase. Our community is growing and this may be one of the highest monthly usage reports in our history.
I’m glad the Board committed to applying for an LCRA grant for conservation projects last year. Read about it here. We received $14,000 last month from LCRA and I’ve heard that we are close to finishing some projects that will have meaningful impact in lowering the water company’s own use of water.
Here’s a sentence from the Judge’s final ruling: “…the court finds that good cause exists for the entry of this Protective Order governing the use of deposition videos in this case…These postings have led to the Director Defendants being harassed and even threatened with bodily harm.”
Please take a moment to download and read why the volunteer members of the Windermere water company Board sought protection from cyber-bullying and threats of bodily harm.
The plaintiffs tried to deny the current and former directors protection from threats and cyber-bullying.
Ultimately, the Judge sided with the water company’s current and former directors, ordering the plaintiffs to move full deposition videos to a private hosting site for water company members. It is what the directors wanted!
You can see the ENTIRE order by the court here . A previous image posted by another person on NextDoor failed to show the first page of the Judge’s order:
It has been my great pleasure and a distinct honor to serve as the Board Chairman for the Windermere Oaks Water Supply Corporation since March 2019 when I was elected.
Since then I have come to find out many things about this water company and how well it has been run over several decades.
I will endeavor to share my experience and new-found knowledge about the system with all my NextDoor neighbors and on this website, www.spicewoodnews.com.
Sadly, I know that my contributions to the community discussion will be greeted with all the usual misinformed and misleading narratives by the opponents of the water company, the people who want to sell it to an outside company.
To further serve my neighbors, I hope to provide you with information you can verify yourself. The infowars tactics of the water company’s detractors have confused too many people out here. Their spin machines work overtime, all the time, while we on the Board are busy trying to run the neighborhood water company and spend our time responding to their lawsuits and ratecase appeals. It has been very taxing of a great deal of personal time for me and many others.
Nevertheless, I look forward to sharing more information with you all in the weeks and months ahead. You really should know this information so that we keep control of the neighborhood water company, a great jewel of Windermere Oaks.