The Kings River Water District held its board of directors meeting at Centerville on Thursday, December 20, 2018. It’s getting close to Christmas. About half the meetings have cancelled and the other half are shorter than usual.Speaking of shorter; tomorrow is Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The talk before the meeting varied widely. One man said with a top of the line I Phone costing $1,000 you can only buy the kids one gift a decade. But the good news is they can get on You Tube and watch other kids play with real toys.
KRWD Chairman Jack Paxton called the meeting to order about 8:00 am. The minutes were approved, as was the agenda and there were no conflicts of interest. The audit was scheduled as the next item but the CPA was driving up from Visalia I believe. General Manager Nick Keller came from that direction and said the fog was so thick on High Ways 196 and 99 the Highway Patrol was passing the traffic flow. The older I get the more I appreciate that service. Nothing like having a kid in a grey, souped up Honda weaving in and out of the lanes doing 20-mph faster than everyone else. Anyway, Keller presented the board with the treasurer’s report. There were five directors, two staff members, a manager, a CPA and myself in the room and I counted at least seven cross talk conversations at the end of the treasurer’s report, which was approved. Things lighten up a little this time of year.
Kent Jensen, M. Green & Company of Tulare was the auditor and he gave the financial statements a clean opinion again this year. That will be passed on to the county and the state officials who care deeply about this matter. The KRWD cash situation would have been better had there been more folks paying on time to make it into the fiscal year, but they came in late and will have to count for the next year’s figures. Jensen said the district is in pretty good shape overall. The board accepted the audit and the entire presentation was less than about 10-minutes long. I appreciate an auditor who can get in and get out. Bless Mr. Jensen.
Keller had no administrative matters to speak of. Superintendent Mike Sullivan gave his report. KRWD has more than 15,000 a/f at Pine Flat. Water levels in wells further from the river have dropped up to three-feet. However, as the wet season continues and there is less pumping over the winter these levels are expected to rise.
Kings River Report
Paxton gave his report and said the Kings River Water Authority had a meeting and the Army Corps of Engineers spoke. There are several O&M projects like $2 million paint jobs on Pine Flat Dam that will add an additional $8 million to the annual O&M rate. If I understood correctly that will increase KRWD’s share by $8,000. Somehow this turned into a discussion on what tax breaks come with ag credits. Anyhow, Paxton said there’s a new guy at KRWA who has really studied up on the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory. He can tell you surface yields based on the info very quickly and accurately. A storm’s coming in? It’ll put X amount of a/f into the reservoir or downstream or what not. This is going to be very helpful in making real time decisions for SGMA for instance. Paxton was very excited. Keller said getting DWR to buy into this will be helpful.
Paxton continued saying Consolidated Irrigation District held an election and Larry Cruff lost his seat to Mitch Ritchie. I didn’t realize how long Cruff had been on the board; 20-years I think. Earl Hudson is now the Chairman of CID.
Closed Session Stuff
Keller gave a report on some closed session matters from last September. KRWD voted OK on a legal estoppel in Kings County against another member of the KRWA, Reclamation District Number 761. All this means is KRWD voted as members of KRWA for KRWA to pursue legal action against RD 761. There are a lot of legal wrangling going on the Kings River. Of course there is always a lot of legal wrangling going on about water all the time. The Kings River has: this lawsuit, a fight over flood water being sent to Kern County and issue about riparian water being diverted too soon. I suspect that is a partial list at best. Well, the meeting was over, everyone wished each other a merry Christmas and that was that.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright
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.