Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District Manager Lawrence Blood delivered a monthly report July 20 saying all departments are operating normally but with restrictions due to Covid-19.
“We have to actively manage our way through this crisis,” Blood said, stating that he is monitoring state health guidelines daily. “I will tell you, managing the district under Covid-19 is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. We have no idea, nobody has any idea, where this is taking us.”
The core elements that Blood is proactively managing are providing services to property owners; protecting HISID’s ability to provide services; and safeguarding employees. No staff has been laid off.
The golf course and recreation center are limiting guests to HI property owners and accompanied guests. The reduction of visitors took a toll on the June revenue as the golf course is down from $182,870 in 2019 to $127,914 in 2020. The recreation center revenue is down from $34,042 in 2019 to $19,367 in 2020.
While revenue for swimming and golf was down for the year, Blood said the restaurant has taken in more year-to-date than last year with a slight uptick from $80,944 to $81,680. He has worked with the restaurant manager to provide food delivery services to HI residents and to the general public by pick up. “Contactless service makes so much sense,” he said.
Aside from operational adjustments to HISID’s amenities, property tax assessments are providing steady revenue in line with the last two years’ stream. January through June for 2020 held on target with the original budget and shows growth in June from $862,000 in 2019 to $910,000 in 2020.
“Our revenue is not as bad as what we would expect,” Blood said. He squelched rumors of HISID spending reserve funds, as he reported major reserve balances show growth from $2.7 million in 2019 to $2.8 presently. “All three cash reserve accounts are continuing to grow,” he said, adding that current and long-term liabilities continue to decrease.
“Our water loss is something that has been a chronic problem for many, many, years,” Blood said. Twenty-eight water leak work orders were addressed in June. While those orders are high, he said that since March HISID has recorded an improved monthly water loss percentage from 83 percent to 74 percent.
Recognizing that 74 percent is still high, he was encouraged with the steady reduction. Leakage reduction is attributed primarily to ongoing PRV replacement. Pressure reducing values are being continually replaced, 16 replacements since its inception in June 2019.
Replacement has been focused to high pressure zones where 88 percent of leakage has been identified. Blood said that once a replacement is complete, blowouts can occur rapidly around the PRV because pressure becomes higher.
The process of plotting the leaks, mapping pressure zones, and making repairs is keeping water-main operators busy at an average of about five replacements per month. Since inception, monthly water-main repairs have dropped to three, a savings of $7,500 to $15,000 per month.
“As we stop new leaks from occurring and fix leaks that are occurring we are going to be moving in the right direction,” Blood said. “Hopefully that 74 percent will be a thing of the past.”
One of HISID’s larger water users is the wastewater treatment plant. Blood said it is just as susceptible to leaks as the other outlying areas.
“The fact is that we have very good quality and reliable water,” Blood said, describing 30 – 50-year-old water towers that have all been rehabilitated. Holiday Island also has back-up generators for water systems, has invested in lightning protection, and for the last five years has rehabilitated the lift stations.