Welding at the Second Lower Feeder. Photo by Kevin Mapp.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
February 24, 2020
Building a Two Billion Dollar Budget
Calling it a ‘maintenance budget,’ Chief Financial Officer Katano Kasaine has presented Metropolitan’s Board with a proposed biennial budget of nearly $2 billion for each of the two years that funds strategic priorities while maintaining the district’s strong fiscal integrity.

“It takes a village to do a budget,” said Katano . “I want to thank CFO staff who put a tremendous amount of effort day-in and day-out, executive management for their guidance and oversight, and the group managers and staff throughout the organization who worked hard to develop this sound spending plan.”

The budget would appropriate $1.934 billion for FY 2020/21 and $1.978 billion for FY 2021/22. It also proposes a 5% overall rate increase for each of the two years with annual water transactions estimated at 1.6 million acre-feet.

The number of full-time Met positions would remain at 1,907. The budget includes all negotiated labor increases and allowable merit adjustments, as well as increased employee benefit costs such as pension and medical. It also supports succession planning including recruitment, apprenticeship and internship programs.

Funding is included for the capital program - nearly 400 projects that address seismic issues, meet regulatory requirements, and support the replacement and refurbishment of aging infrastructure.

The budget also includes funding for Metropolitan’s planned contribution to Delta conveyance planning, a programmatic EIR for the potential Regional Recycled Water Program, and conservation programs. 

The Board is continuing its review of the proposed budget, with a final vote scheduled at the April 14 board meeting. 
Partnering with the Smithsonian Museum
Metropolitan’s Colorado River Aqueduct is one of the highlights of a Smithsonian traveling exhibit called “Water/Ways" that is at the Lake Havasu City Museum of History through March 22.
Several large display boards are helping to enlighten Lake Havasu residents and the area's many winter visitors about nearby Metropolitan, Parker Dam and the journey of water from Lake Havasu down the Colorado River Aqueduct to Southern California.

The goal of the exhibit is to explore the relationships between water and people, as well as the environment, agriculture, culture and spirituality with the kind of impressive storytelling, imagery, videos, interactive displays that the Smithsonian is known for.
“Metropolitan is now a big part of that story, thanks to this exhibit,” said Kevin McLaughlin , who worked on the project and attended the grand opening event a few weeks ago.

“That’s especially important for audiences in this region who have a strong connection to the Colorado River, but might not know very much about Metropolitan, its mission, and its history. We are proud to be here.”
Before arriving at the Havasu Museum, the exhibit has traveled through several Arizona communities since June 2018. It started at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, then hit the small towns of Dragoon (pop. 209) and Winkelman (pop. 443), and passed through the Glen Canyon Dam visitor center in Page, Arizona. 

“We are thrilled to have this water resources exhibit come through Lake Havasu City,” says the museum's executive director, June Waters Goff. “Both the locals and snowbirds have been very supportive. In fact, we saw a record crowd for opening day.”
Representing Metropolitan in the Inland Empire
The Inland Empire is home to about four million people. So the job of representing Metropolitan to the people, communities and leaders in the region is a daunting task.

But it’s one that Patti Arlt loves. She is one of Metropolitan's Government and Regional Affairs Reps (there are six) and spends her days - and many weekends and evenings – working with elected officials, community leaders, other water agencies, business groups and the public.

Patti has worked for Metropolitan for 30 years, starting as an Office Assistant at LaVerne. Over the years, she has participated in many milestone events, including the groundbreaking and opening day dedication ceremonies for Diamond Valley Lake. She is proud to have visited every Met-owned facility at least once, and has great memories of the time she drove a boat on Lake Mathews to help water quality divers collect samples. 

Patti also remembers being at Headquarters on Sept. 11, 2001. “It was a board meeting day and we continued working, even though it was a bit scary for all of us,” says Patti . “Looking back, we knew our job was to continue to serve the public. And we did.”

Part of Patti’s job now is building strong working relationships in the Inland Empire.  "Educating officials and their staff on the challenges and benefits facing Metropolitan and other water agencies helps underscore for me that we need to work together to ensure reliable, safe and affordable water supplies," she says. It's a message that resonates every day.

Outside of her job, family is the most important ' why' in Patti’s life. "My husband and our two boys are my favorite people to hang out with,” she says. “I’m always there to cheer them on, whether it’s sporting events, traveling or just spending time together.” 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
NEXT LIST: March 2
Do you like this newsletter? Do you have any ideas for an employee profile? A great photo?
Email your thoughts and ideas to Jannine Rojo.
Stay Connected