The Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency met on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at the Dinuba City Council Chambers. Chairman Steve Worthley called the meeting at 2:00pm sharp. We all saluted the flags and the board determined there was no conflicts of interest but for the need for Worthley to abstain from something to do with Tulare County where he is a supervisor.
Public comment was next and a Ken Becker from Tulare County own but when told he could speak with Alta ID General Manager and KREGSA default GM Chad Wegley or attorney Lauren Layne he calmed down. This is an example of why the public outreach component of SGMA is so needed. While you can’t reach everyone having the outreach in place before the billing starts makes for a smoother transition for the impacted clients.
An engineer from Tulare County Resource Management Agency, Randy Weatherspoon spoke to the board about some Prop One funding coming in for Storm Water Resources Plan. He shared this plan with the board in his own outreach efforts. Next the board paid its bills and approved the financial report. There was nothing under communications or directors’ reports. KREGSA sent out an RFQ for an auditor and the only one available and qualified was our old friend Joe Mastro CPA. He’s got the gig.
Wegley reported Mr. Becker is the only one to make a public comment but there is a process to check if his billing is accurate. I expect they come to a mutually agreeable solution. The question is whether the assessment applies to land in farming or land being farmed. Director Jack Paxton said this problem will go away once the GSP is funded through a 218 election and then is someone so chooses they can swap out this gripe for that. Controller Marc Limas said more than two thirds of the bills from
Layne gave her report saying a case from the California Supreme Court that involved the City of Redding. Redding had a power utility and transferred some of that money collected for power back to the city. The plaintiffs claimed this was tax and the court said nay. SB 929 is on the desk of Goobernor Jerry Brown that will require special districts to have a website that must have a notice of the agenda posted. There is a provision for districts that can’t afford it and Layne said if they were having trouble and were in KREGSA boundaries might use a link to the GSA’s site. She also told the board the bill to classify groundwater recharge as a beneficial use failed. SB 998 is a bill sitting on the desk that will prohibit shutting off drinking water for non-payment. As she said this is a nightmare for domestic water providers and there is a push to have it vetoed. If the bill gets too big it could be added to the tax bill and if that isn’t paid they could lose their home. Thanks Sacramento, always there for us.The meeting adjourned.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright
SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.
Kings River East GSA Board – Chair Steven Worthley Tulare County, Vice Chair Mary Fast, Buddy Mendes Fresno County, Fernando Rubalcaba Special Districts Drinking Water, Loren Booth Special Districts Irrigation Water, Jack Brandt Alta Irrigation District and Steve Boos Ag Production. General Manager Chad Wegley, Attorney Lauren Layne