The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors asked to hold off on voting to remove $2.42 million of uncollectible energy accounts receivable in order to go through the more than 500 pages of accounts.
Hanks asked that district staff present information afterward about the public benefit programs because if the district can write off all the funds, there has to be something that can be done to benefit those in need.
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“These people are struggling at the same time as we’re talking about writing off these,” he said. “It’s time for us to take a look at our ratepayers who are struggling.”
The item had originally been presented at last week’s board meeting by Chief Financial Officer Greg Broeking and Manager of Energy Operations and Infrastructure Mario Escalera.
Uncollectable accounts are written off every year to present its energy receivables fairly, Broeking said last week. It’s an acceptable accounting principle.
Last year the district wrote off $2.4 million and the year before it was $1.98 million, according to the memo to the board from Broeking.
Every year the district writes off accounts from two years ago, Escalera said Tuesday. Once those accounts are written off, the district still pursues collecting the money owed.
About $45,000 was collected last year from the accounts written off last year, he said.
The board will continue to study the long list of uncollectable accounts in preparation of voting on the item next week. Hanks said he appreciates the opportunity to look through the list to see if he can find any patterns.
That’s what staff are doing as well, Escalera said. It’s a way the district can look at how to lessen the amount having to be written off next year.
Here are five things that came out of Tuesday’s IID Board of Directors meeting
1 — Staff reported on a proposed legislative platform for 2012, a priority list for the district and a way to contract lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, said Antonio Ortega, governmental affairs specialist. A list for state and federal governments allows for a unified voice about issues the district foresees coming up, including solar energy zones, the Quantification Settlement Agreement and Salton Sea restoration.
2 — The IID is set to take its first step toward fund accounting as district staff presented a major work authorization to buy software and update its financing program. It’s something the board needs to do to improve accuracy in the budget process, which starts in April for the following calendar year budget.
3 — The board voted 4-1 to approve a service agreement with KEMA Inc. for professional consulting services related to the Sept. 8 power outage. The group will advise on making changes to the energy management system. Hanks was the sole no vote.
4 — A test fire of the gas turbine at El Centro Unit 3 occurred Tuesday and it was successful, reported interim Energy Manager Joel Ivy. The district’s energy department is also working on an economic-based wheeling rate that will be presented next week before going to stakeholders in the renewable energy industry.
5 — The board approved a new electronic information resources policy to establish the proper use of district electronic information resources and ensure the system is used appropriately.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at email@example.com or 760-337-3441.