All of us at Helix Water District wish you happy holidays and all the best in the new year!
At tonight’s meeting, Helix’s board of directors unanimously elected Director Dan McMillan to serve as board president in 2019 and Director Mark Gracyk to serve as the board’s vice president.
McMillan was appointed to Helix’s board in 2017 and elected to his seat in 2018. He represents the district’s division 1 customers, most of whom live north of the I-8 freeway in El Cajon. The division extends from Fletcher Hills eastward to Bostonia.
Gracyk was elected to the board in 2016 and represents Helix’s division 3 customers in La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley.
The board thanked outgoing president Kathleen Hedberg for her leadership and commitment to customers in 2018, a year defined by Helix’s investments in infrastructure, energy efficiency and technology. For more information on the district’s investments and performance, read our 2017-18 Annual Report.
The first task for McMillan is determining committee assignments for the year ahead. Helix’s board members represent the district and our customers on the San Diego County Water Authority board; in planning, policy-making and funding decisions on regional and statewide committees; and in lobbying initiatives in Sacramento. McMillan will announce assignments at the board’s January 2, 2019 meeting.
For more information on Helix’s board go to hwd.com/board-of-directors.
Today, we launched our 2019 High School Photo Contest and 2019 Scholarship Contest.
This year’s photo contest challenges high school students to highlight the importance and beauty of water in our everyday lives. We’re looking for photos that show how we use water in our homes and landscapes, in local businesses, for irrigating public spaces, street cleaning and firefighting.
Helix’s photo contest is open to any high school student living or attending school within Helix’s service area, which includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Spring Valley and areas of Lakeside. Entries are due by February 15, 2019 and we are offering a $200 prize to the winner. See the contest guidelines and entry form below.
Our scholarship contest is for high school seniors who will graduate in spring 2019 and attend a four-year college or university in fall 2019. Our Lillian M. Childs Scholarship and Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship are each worth $1,000 and applications are due by February 28, 2019. See the flyer and application form below.
At their December 5, 2018 meeting, Helix’s board approved an agreement with Jeff Katz Architecture to study the feasibility of a Lake Jennings event center for hosting community, school and business events. San Diego Union Tribune Reporter Karen Pearlman looked into the event center and published her story today.
Congratulations to Roman Daniel Cruz, a fourth-grader at Monterey Heights Elementary School in Lemon Grove, who was recognized last week at Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s 30th annual Water Is Life Art Reception and Exhibit. Roman’s poster was one of 36 selected to be featured in MWD’s 2019 Water Is Life calendar.
The Water Is Life poster contest was developed by MWD to showcase student artwork with imaginative messages of water conservation and stewardship. Students in grades K-12 submit artwork through their local water providers each spring. Roman’s poster received first place in Helix Water District’s K-3 category and was forwarded to MWD for consideration in their annual Water Is Life calendar. MWD selects 36 student art pieces for its printed calendar each year, and the calendars are distributed to over 11,000 recipients throughout southern California.
A limited number of calendars featuring Roman’s artwork are available in the lobby at Helix’s administration office located at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. His poster will also be on display in Helix’s lobby later in 2019 as part of MWD’s rotating Student Art Exhibit, which displays student art throughout MWD’s six-county service area over six months.
Photo: Roman Daniel Cruz and his parents at Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Helix Water District has awarded Warren-Walker School a $250 mini-grant for a water bottle filling station at their La Mesa campus. Helix Board President Kathleen Coates Hedberg presented the mini-grant check to Ryan Carpenter, Campus Dean, on December 10, 2018. Warren Walker School serves students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
Unlike traditional drinking fountains, water bottle filling stations dispense water downwards and can be used to conveniently fill personal water bottles. The fill stations make tap water easily accessible to students and staff, encouraging healthy habits. They are also a sustainable alternative to bottled water.
“We have high-quality water,” said Carlos Lugo, Helix Water District’s general manger. “Drinking tap water costs a small fraction of purchasing bottled water and it reduces trash from plastic bottles.”
As part of its school education program, Helix awards up to three $250 mini-grants each year to schools within its service area for water-related projects or programs. Applications are sent out each fall to all schools within district boundaries.
Helix Board Secretary Sandy Janzen swore in three returning board members at the district’s December 5, 2018 board meeting.
Division 1 Director Dan McMillan, Division 2 Director DeAna Verbeke and Division 4 Director Kathleen Coates Hedberg were presented with certificates of election following the administration of oath of office at the meeting. Director McMillan’s term will expire in December of 2020. Director Verbeke’s and Hedberg’s terms will expire in December of 2022.
Helix is governed by a five-member Board of Directors. Each director is elected by their community to oversee policies and represent the district on regional water boards and committees. Members of the board serve four-year terms.
The board of directors will elect its board officers for 2019 at the December 19, 2018 board meeting.
Helix Board Divisions
Helix Water District is once again proudly participating in the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, collecting donated toys through 10 a.m. on Monday, December 17, 2018.
Each holiday season, the Marine Corps partners with local non-profits and businesses which serve as toy drop sites and then distributes collected toys to less fortunate children throughout our community.
Helix is providing two convenient drop-off locations in East County for new, unwrapped toys for our customers, employees and the community. Thank you, in advance, to all of those who donate.
Q: Should I gift wrap my donated toy?
Toys must be new and unwrapped.
Q: Is there a list of toys available to guide me with my donation?
Toys for Tots does not publish a list of appropriate toys to donate. If such a list were created, most would follow it, resulting in a limited selection of items to distribute in each community. We would rather our donors consider what might be an appropriate gift for their own child/relative, purchase the item and donate to Toys for Tots.
Q: Pre-teen/teens are groups for which shopping is especially difficult. Do you have any ideas?
The foundation does purchase supplemental toys/gifts for our campaign sites and focuses on these age groups. In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to: sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers.
Q: Are there toys or gifts that are not accepted?
Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic looking weapons and gifts with food.
“President George H.W. Bush’s legacy was his lifelong commitment to public service and effective government,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo.
Helix Water District’s Administration Office in La Mesa will be open on Wednesday, December 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The flags at each of Helix’s facilities have been lowered to half-staff to honor the president’s memory.