CONSIDER EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS to Contract with IDIAS Consulting for Water Resources Division Technical Assistance


Meeting Date:

April 21, 2008





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:

Joe Oliver

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee recommendation:   The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on April 14, 2008 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A



SUMMARY:   The recent appointment in March 2008 of Darby Fuerst from Water Resources Division Manager to Interim General Manager has accelerated the need and planning for additional technical support for existing programs within the Water Resources Division.  Accordingly, as an interim measure until a more comprehensive approach is developed for augmenting existing staff resources within the Water Resources Division, staff proposes to retain the services of Mark Dias, principal of IDIAS Consulting, to assist with certain technical functions within the division.  Mr. Dias would be retained under a professional services contract agreement with the District through the end of the current 2007-2008 Fiscal Year (FY), which ends on June 30, 2008.  Planning and budgeting for Water Resources assistance beyond June 30, 2008 is being conducted as part of the FY 2008-2009 budget process, which is currently underway.  It is anticipated that this interim assistance will entail an approximately 25 hours per week effort.  The scope for the proposed contract is included as Exhibit 8-A.    


RECOMMENDATION:  Authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with IDIAS Consulting for a not-to-exceed amount of $25,000 for technical assistance within the Water Resources Division until June 30, 2008.


BACKGROUND:  District management and staff have been discussing the need for staffing within the Water Resources Division over approximately the last one and a half years.  This need has been driven by: (a) the desire to provide a “succession plan” for eventual replacement of existing hydrologic and hydrogeologic staff expertise in the Division, and (b) significant new technical tasks that have been added for Division staff, including recent contract work with the Seaside Basin Watermaster.  The recent assignment of the former Water Resources Division Manager to Interim General Manager has accelerated the need to augment the Division’s staff resources.   It is proposed that interim assistance from IDIAS Consulting be provided until a more comprehensive plan can be developed for securing the needed staff resources.  Mark Dias is well suited for this interim assistance as he is already familiar with many of the Water Resources Division programs through previous employment in the 1990’s with the Monterey County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health.  More recently, Mr. Dias was retained by the District in 2005 to provide technical assistance to staff on implementation of the District’s new regulations governing the creation and amendment of Water Distribution Systems (WDS).


IMPACT TO STAFF / RESOURCES:  The proposed contract with IDIAS Consulting will provide interim relief to existing staff in the Water Resources Division, by helping to spread out and more effectively execute the current workload.  It is estimated that 25 to 30% of the assigned tasks will be reimbursable through existing contracts between the MPWMD and the Seaside Basin Watermaster.  Funds for the remaining 70 to 75 % will be from unencumbered funds that were already budgeted when Interim General Manager Darby Fuerst was occupying the Water Resources Manager position.



8-A      IDIAS Consulting Scope for Technical Assistance to MPWMD