Water levels are doing well, but residents need to work on water conservation in this dry year

TEMPLETON — The Templeton Community Services District (TCSD) met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m.

The meeting started with a special report from Lieutenant Chandler Stewart from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). For the month of April, they investigated 16 crashes specific to the Templeton area, which is only one more than last year. DUI collisions are up 175 percent countywide over last year, but only two in the Templeton area.

President Debra Logan inquired about the staffing of the CHP and if it would increase as the activity has been increasing.

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Lieutenant Stewart responded that they’re looking to hire on more as they’ve lost officers to retirement, but currently, there are 21-24 officers when they should have around 29, so he’s still working to work on fixing that deficit.

Director Wayne Peterson asked about how the numbers compare to 2019, to which Stewart said it is probably roughly a 17 to 20 percent increase from 2019.

Next was a special report from Commander Michael Mainelli for the month of April. There were 1674 calls for service, of which Templeton was 368. Last year there were 963 calls, of which Templeton was 368, which is a 77 percent increase over last year. In April, there was only one report of a burglary which was a wallet stolen from a locked car, four cases of vandalism, and six calls for trespassing.

The consent agenda was up next, which had the meeting minutes from the last meeting, as well as some small adjustments to clarify the Water Buffer Policy. The consent agenda was passed 5-0.

General Manager Jeff Briltz gave the COVID-19 update, which was mainly that the county moved from the Red to Orange Tier. The biggest difference of this is that there is more capacity allowed in the softball bleachers.

Next, Briltz discussed the technology in the board room, which has had shortcomings long before COVID. The discussion to update the room was put on hold due to COVID and the lack of in-person meetings. Currently, the district has a quote from Bill Gaines Audio, who recommended some acoustic improvements as well as new projectors, static cameras, and a microphone for the room. The system suggested is simple in order to keep it easy to operate without hiring an additional person to run the technology.

Director Pam Jardini inquired about the new system and if the recordings of meetings would be able to be stored on the site instead of meeting minutes. Briltz clarified that the issue with that is the current site storage, as well as being an ADA violation unless a full transcript is also typed for each meeting.

Jardini also asked about the possibility of others using the system, to which it was deemed that it would only be available for presentations to other groups who use the room.

The motion to approve the modernization of the board room with a budget not to exceed $52,000 was approved with a 5-0 vote.

The last item of business was the well-depth update from Frank Sprague, who said that while “we need to be cautious,” the water levels are doing fairly well for the lack of rain Templeton has seen this year. The recommendation is to engage the public with educational materials on water conservation and to utilize more modern technology in these education efforts. The motion passed 5-0.

The next meeting of the TCSD is set for May 18, and the agenda can be found on the district’s website when it becomes available: templetoncsd.org