Steve Paine Leaves WCCSD After 15 Years
By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune
Long-time Willow Creek Community Services District (WCCSD) Manager Steve Paine stepped down on Thursday, September 26, and Lonnie Danel was hired by the Board as his replacement.
Paine served as a WCCSD Director from 1999 to 2004, and was the District’s Manager from 2004 until his last day official workday on Monday, September 30.
He emphasized that he wasn’t retiring. “I plan to stay involved in the community and I’ll still be out there doing something. If anybody wants a hand with anything, I’ll still be here.”
Paine’s first order of business, however, will be spending the month of October hunting and fishing.
Ron James, of Tolowa Woodworks, presented Paine with a nicely carved wooden bench made from wood taken from Director Tom O’Gorman’s Trinity Valley Farms.
Danel, who previously supervised the WCCSD’s Water Department, said, “I’d like to thank Steve Paine for all of his hard work. He’s been a friend and mentor to all of us.”
After a brief ceremony involving cake, Danel reported to the Board on the latest happenings with the Water Department and the Wastewater Advisory Committee.
“We’re down from an average of 1.2 million gallons a day to 1 million, and since the storm we’ve gone down to 500,000. Everything is going good at the treatment plant,” Danel said.
He also announced that the department was replacing water meters, and that the replacement process would continue over the next few years.
The fire hydrant near the Post Office had to be repaired after it was damaged from heavy use by refilling tankers for the nearby fire camp.
“They wore the hydrant out,” Danel said. “The threads had to be redone.”
The Board was informed that the Wastewater Advisory Committee has identified five possible locations in and around Willow Creek for a new wastewater treatment plant.
“We’ll approach the land owners to do tests on water percolation and so on,” Danel said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Before the meeting came to a close, several Directors discussed the ongoing problem of travelers camping in the parks and other non-campsite areas in and around Willow Creek.
Director Judy Gower said, “The mountain up there is full of them. You can see the campfires at night.”
Danel nodded. “We’ve had people wandering down to Creekside Park at night to camp, and we’ve also had some issues at Veteran’s Park.”
There were much fewer homeless travelers in Willow Creek in 2013 than there were in 2012.
They seemed to be scared off by the large number of firefighters, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers, and various other people with the nearby helicopter camps and fire camps connected with the efforts to fight the Corral Fire.
“We’re doing better than we were doing last year,” Dannel said.