TID Board of Director President Michael Frantz shares his views on 2011, 2012:
Journal: What successes did TID have in 2011?
Frantz: We hired a new general manager with extensive knowledge of district operations; we were blessed with a great water year; and we have made substantial progress on building our power plant expansion, Almond Plant #2. This large project has been ongoing for several years, and is on budget and on schedule.
Journal: If you could change one thing from 2011, what would it be?
Frantz: Despite our significant efforts, we were unsuccessful in convincing Sacramento that large hydro (Don Pedro) should be considered renewable. We will continue our lobbying in 2012.
Journal: What major projects await TID in 2012?
Frantz: We anticipate completing our Almond Power Plant expansion and bringing the plant online summer of 2012. This will be a major addition to our generation mix, with its fast start technology the new Almond plant will back up our required green energy when the wind stops blowing.
Journal: If you could accomplish one realistic objective in 2012, what would it be?
Frantz: We all recognize that our current pension structure is not sustainable. While our pension fund is in better shape than many local and state governments, it is my hope that in 2012 we will be successful in reforming our pension structure, and embarking on a more viable long term plan for both our employees and ratepayers.
Journal: What significant hurdles do you see TID facing in 2012?
Frantz: The regulatory environment continues to be very challenging. Federal and state compliance is increasingly expensive and difficult to manage. Both pension and health care cost continue to escalate, and are a source of considerable focus by both the Board of Directors and senior management.
Journal: Do you anticipate budget cuts in 2012?
Frantz: The budget adopted for 2012 has 17 less positions, and has been carefully reviewed at every level looking for savings where possible. Our challenge is to balancing cutting cost without decreasing customer service or reliability.
Journal: In one sentence, summarize your outlook for 2012.
Frantz: TID looks forward to continuing its 125-year legacy of providing reliable and affordable water and power.