Category Archives: Burney Water Board

Ellen Songer joins Burney Water District Board

BWD Manager Willei Rodriguez with new Board Member Ellen Songer

Ellen Songer became a Board Member of the Burney Water District (BWD) at their monthly meeting on Thursday evening December 13 at the Burney Water District Office. BWD Manager Willie Rodriguez administered the oath of office.

Ms. Songer will replace Tanya Taylor. The Board passed a resolution commending Ms. Taylor for distinguished devotion and service.

Ms. Songer became a Burney resident 44 years ago. She raised her son and daughter in Burney. She is a former Manager of US Bank. Before working for US Bank she also worked for three years at Tri Counties Bank.

Ms. Songer said, “I have always been part of the community. This is my home and I want to do whatever I can to serve.”

Ms. Songer will be a member of the Finance Standing Committee and the Public Relations Standing Committee.

The Board also elected Jim Hamlin to serve as Board President and Britta Rogers to serve as Vice President.

Amongst other business:

The Board passed a motion to change the Swimming Pool Oversight Committee to the Swimming Pool and Parks Oversight Committee.

The Board also passed a motion to pass a $250 allocation for writing and publication of a history of the Burney Water District and a statement of future projects and goals to better inform customers of the District’s work and vision for the future.

Manager Rodriguez also informed Board members of several upcoming California Service District Association training meetings and asked them to check their calendars and let him know what meetings they could attend. BWD member attendance at these meeting helps to reduce insurance costs for the District. The cost for attendance can be funded by grants.

Mr. Rodriguez also reported that the new billing and payment system is now operational. Customers can now make credit card, debit card, and online payments. There will be a $2 processing fee for electronic transactions.

For more information please visit or call BWD at 335-3582.


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Hope dawns for Burney Parks

The Burney Water Board held their monthly meeting on October 25 at the district office in Burney.

Jim Hamlin reported that there has been progress on the park situation in Burney. The community clean-up for Washburn Park on September 8 trimmed and cleaned up the grounds. The Soroptomist International of Burney-Fall River is raising money for the parks. In addition there will be a meeting at the Tri Counties Community Center on November 1 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. in the upstairs board meeting to discuss issues related to Washburn, Lions Civic, and Bailey parks. The meeting will be facilitated by Lisa Barry from Shasta County Health and Human Services. All stakeholders and members of the public are invited to attend.

Stephanie McQuade said that the solar panels at the pool were approved in September and have been operational for one month. The cost of the panels was $87,450 of which $50,000 was paid for by a grant from the McConnel Foundation. The Board approved transfer of $37,500 from Reserves Account #495 Water Swim Pool Admin to Tri Counties Bank for payment of the project.

In her Pool Manager’s Report, Ms. McQuade also said that the pool had received a grant for more that $7000 from the Burney Regional Community Fund for new shade structures to be installed in 2019.

Ms. McQuade also informed the Board that customers should be able to make payment by credit or debit card by December. Customers will also be able to pay bills online and will be offered the option for automatic electronic payment.

For more information visit or call  (530) 335-3582

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WOLA organizes community clean-up for Washburn Park

Photos courtesy of Kathy Newton and WOLA

Pastor Ken Frazier and Jim Hamlin from Word of Life Assembly of God (WOLA) organized a group of community volunteers on Saturday September 8 to help trim and clean-up Washburn Park.

Fixing up the field

The park is owned by the Burney Water District (BWD). Hamlin, a BWD Board Member, who is also the community service leader for WOLA helped to recruit and organize volunteers. Church members were joined by public-minded neighbors and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Burney Lions Club. The new Office Manager for the Chamber, Jessica Sharp lent a hand.

Raking up debree

Lisa Barry cares about parks

Lisa Barry, community organizer for Shasta County Health and Human Services also came out to help. Ms. Barry has been helping to facilitate discussions amongst BWD, the Burney Lions, Tri County Community Network, The Fall River Joint Unified School District (FRJUSD), the Burney Chamber of Commerce, Little League and other interested parties to address ongoing concerns about maintenance of the three parks in Burney and to explore ways to expand activities and increase public use. Lisa’s husband Dave Barry, manager of the local Les Schwab, also came on Saturday morning to assist the clean-up.

BWD owns Washburn Park and the Lions (Civic) Park on Hwy 299. FRJUSD owns the Bailey Park property. Tri County Network operates Bailey Park. The Burney Lions maintain Lions Park. Little League also uses the parks.

The clean-up began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 12:30 p.m. As the work was ending Burney Fire Chief Monte Keady came to ensure that all the work was done safely and there was no fire hazard.

Many hands make light work. When a community unites, good things happen.

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BWD approves Solar Electric Installation Contract

On June 28, the Burney Water District approved a contract with Top Hat Energy, Inc. for the installation of a solar system at the Raymond H. Berry Pool to generate electricity. The Board also authorized BWD District Manager Willie Rodriguez to accept a 50,000 grant from the McConnell Foundation to help pay for the project.

Board President Fred Ryness, and Board Members Jim Hamlin and Britta Rogers were present at the meeting and voted unanimously to approve both agenda items.

The system will be installed by the pool where the horseshoe pits presently are. To install the system will cost $87,450. The grant from McConnell Foundation will cover $50,000. The remaining $37,450 will be paid from reserve funds. Reserve funds will be paid back as savings accrue.

The annual PG&E bill for pool operation, including both gas and electric, is currently about $10,000. Most of that cost is for electricity to run the pool pumps.  To insure that the water is clean and safe, the pumps at the pool run 24 hours a day 7 days a week from pool opening in May until closing ins September.

Electricity generated by the solar panels is returned to the grid and will be credited to BWD’s account. It is expected that the electricity generated will offset most of the electric cost resulting in thousands of dollars of savings per year. Thus, funds from the reserve should be reimbursed within four years.

The McConnell grant came with several conditions. One of the conditions is that the savings provide benefit to the community. One of the benefits is that the pool will be able to maintain and increase activities without increasing rates.

Labor costs are expected to rise in 2020 when the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour. Increased labor costs could result in cutting hours of employees or limiting hours of operation of the pool. Savings on electricity will help to offset these rising labor expenses.

Pool manager Stephanie McQuade said that she hopes that rather than decreasing activities, the pool will now be able to add new programs.

The grant also stipulated that the project include some volunteerism. Before installation can occur, the horseshoe pits need to be removed and several trees need to be cleared. Several people have expressed interest in the pits. McQuade is looking for a tree faller who will volunteer services to take down the trees.

In addition, she is planning to have volunteers split, chop, and sell the wood as a fundraiser for the Swim Club.

Now, that the contract is approved, installation of the grid will begin as soon as the area is cleared. Top Hat Energy will be responsible for obtaining permits, installation, and providing interface with the PG&E grid.

Rodriguez said the new system could be operational as soon as August this summer. The life of the panels are 20 to 25 years and will be under warranty. Cameras will be installed to deter vandalism to the solar panels.


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Burney Water Board Passes Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018

The Burney Water Board unanimously passed the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 at its regular board meeting on July 20. The final budget will be voted on at it’s next regular meeting on August 17. Board members Jim Hamlin, Britta Rogers, and Fred Ryness were present for the meeting.

There is no proposed rate hike for this fiscal year. There may be a need for rate hikes in the future but District Manager Willie Rodriguez said that before any such rate hike were proposed he would like to educate the public more on the work that the Burney Water District is doing and to addresss any concerns that Burney Water District customers may have.

The budget is divided into three areas: water, sewage and the community pool. The Board went over 8 pages examining revenues, labor expenses, and general expenses. Line by line, they compared last year’s budget to last years actual expenses in relation to this year’s proposed budget.

The budget is available for the public to review at the Burney Water District office.

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Burney Water District accepting lifeguard and water safety instructor applications

The Burney Water District (BWD) is now accepting applications for life guards and water safety instructors for the summer of 2017. Applicants must be 15 years of age. Applications are due by March 31.

The Burney Water District will be holding lifeguard and water safety instructor training in May.

For more information about applying or the training, call Stephanie McQuade at the Burney Water District, 335-3582

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Water Districts to test public school water for lead

The Fall River Unified School District has requested that water be tested for lead at the schools under their jurisdiction. Schools in Burney will be tested within the next three months by the Burney Water District. Schools in Fall River will be tested by the Fall River Valley Community Services District.

The testing is being done as a proactive state measure mandated by the California State Water Resources Board to insure that our children have safe drinking water and to avoid incidents such as have occurred in Flint Michigan.

For more details you can call the Burney Water District office at 335-3582

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