Nearly $74,000 In Refunds Thrilled the AVEK Board



June 15, 2018


Contact: Dwayne Chisam, General Manager

Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency

Email:  =  Tel. (661) 943-3201


PALMDALE, CA: These days the money stream seems to flow outward more often than in, so when the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency Board of Directors received a giant check for $73,971 at their April 10, 2018 public meeting, wide smiles of pride spread across their faces.

That money came from the Rate Stabilization Fund of the Association of California Water Agencies’ Joint Powers Insurance Authority – a group of about 375 agencies that participate in the premium pool, according to Andy Sells, chief executive officer of the JPIA.

The JPIA formed in 1979 by water agencies throughout California that wanted to share the risks associated with supplying water, a group that considers employees an agency’s asset and realizes injuries and lost time have hidden costs related to loss of productivity and lowered morale.

Melody McDonald, vice president of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and an Executive Committee member of the ACWA JPIA, surprised AVEK board members with the check, explaining why AVEK became a refund recipient.

It boiled down to abiding by all safety standards and procedures on the job – a practice which AVEK’s entire staff closely follows, McDonald noted.

Basis for the refund reflects a combination of excess money in the premium pool and “AVEK’s employees reducing their exposure to risk and loss, with the board’s support,” Sells said.

“I’m pleased to see that out agency’s commitment to safety and training has produced this result,” Board President Keith Dyas said. “The operations management staff and every employee are to be commended for this significant achievement.”

A reduction in AVEK’s expenses for loss claims benefits the agency’s customers and taxpayers.

“Ultimately such savings are passed along to our customers by keeping water rates as low as possible,” Dyas said.

AVEK participates in the JPIA’s Liability, Property and Workers’ Compensation programs and has a good record, with few claims. AVEK boosts employee morale through extensive training.

“I really want to give credit to our management team for working with the employees on continuous safety awareness education,” Director Frank Donato said. “The board authorized a budget that enables the agency to bring in trainers. That helps minimize any Workers’ Comp claims.”

Of the roughly 375 members participating in the premium pool, only 195 or little more than half qualified for a refund, Sells noted. And the amounts of those refunds varied.

A total of $4.5 million came back to the refund recipients, McDonald said, with AVEK receiving a sizeable portion of those dollars.

“Not all water agencies are accepted into the JPIA,” Sells said. “They must demonstrate a commitment to effective risk management programs.”

Safety precautions that AVEK staff utilizes also ensures quality water supplies for its customers and the consumers.


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