The Kings River Water District held its board of directors meeting on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in Centerville. Chairman Jack Paxton called the meeting to order at 8:00 am. He seemed motivated to get things going. The minutes were approved, I was the only member of the public and I just came up blank when invited to make a comment, there were no additions to the agenda and I’m pleased to report the board and staff was conflict of interest proof. So, the warm up was pretty smooth.
General Manager Nick Keller gave the financial reports. The board paid its bills and Keller presented the proposed 2018-19 budget. KRWD runs on a fiscal calendar from July to June. It’s only $390,000 and there is $50,000 worth of fees owed the district hanging out there. Some names were mentioned but due to possible filing problems at the county it would be premature to heat up the branding irons at this time. Attorney Lauren Layne will take a look at the situation. I usually glaze over during budget talks but KRWD is small enough to follow the impact of the figures mentioned. One thing that frosted the board’s cookies was the Kings River Water Association fees. KRWA has hired two employees at $500,000 which didn’t sit well due to the increase membership dues increasing. The price of gasoline has hit us all as has electricity rates spiraling ever upward. The board went ahead and approved the budget. Keller announced he’ll be on vacation in July. Sounded like a fun trip to British Columbia. Good for him.
Superintendent Mike Sullivan said the weeds are bad this year and that brought up the discussion of blue/green algae. It was mentioned there is no swimming allowed in Pine Flat Lake. Layne said it sounds like someone from the Army Corps of Engineers got their protocol confused. It’s a serious situation when it’s serious but not so good for calling wolf. I’m not sure how this applied to the item but come to find out Alta Irrigation District owns Sherwood Golf Course.
Paxton gave his report saying the State Board wants to double the fees to the Coalition for the Irrigated Lands Program. He said the rest of it would be in closed session. Layne gave her report saying there are plans to add another generator to Pine Flat Dam. It will take low flow water but it isn’t yet clear if there is a financial gain to this. Here’s a bomb shell, Eric Osterling left the Kings River Conservation District to head the Greater Kaweah GSA. Eric has been a thoughtful, knowledgeable source of information and a great source for me. Good for him and good for Kaweah Delta. A lady from Westland Water District will replace him. Wow. Layne said the bill to make recharge a beneficial use is still spinning around Sacramento. SB 998 is a bill to make it almost impossible to shut off water in urban areas and it was called ridiculous. ACWA is fighting this hard.
Layne also said the Kings River East GSA has sent out bills and should start receiving income. Coordination between the other GSAs in the sub basin. The KRWA voted to share data with the GSAs. Layne has prepared a new agreement with the Wildwood property water service contract. Keller and Paxton were authorized by the board to sign. The meeting then went into closed session for four items.
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Kings River Water District
The Kings River Water District meets at 8:00am on the third Thursday of the month at the Gerawan Farms Offices on Smith Avenue in Centerville California. KRWD is a member of the East Kings GSA and receives supplies from the Kings River. President Jack Paxton, Curtis Taylor, Danny Van Ruiten, Steve Boos & Mike Hacker.
General Manager/Engineer Nick Keller, Attorney Loraine Layne, Superintendent Mike Sullivan, Ditch Tender Ken Domoto. KRWD has about 19,000 acres of tree fruit, grapes and nuts along the Kings River bottom land on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley.