The Kern Water Bank Authority held its board of directors meeting on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at its Bakersfield headquarters. Bill Phillimore is chair and he runs a tight meeting. We start on time and there very little messing around. I’ve grown to appreciate that. I used to feel short sheeted for driving down to Bakersfield to go to these meetings and not have much to write about but as experience . . . Got to go, Phillimore called the meeting to order at 3:00pm on the dot.
A couple of directors weren’t available but the alternates were. I’ll write this about that, Rob Yraceburu walked in just as Kim Brown had taken a seat at the table and she had to get up and come sit in the uncomfortable chairs with the rest of us. Like Greg Hammett, his name was included to help provide proof he was present if it ever comes up.
The minutes were approved and Danelle Lopez gave her treasurer’s report and with her usual grace talked the board into approving it. Good for her. Also, there wasn’t anything wrong wit the report. In fact Lopez’ good work gave the board the courage to pay its bills knowing the books were in order and they wouldn’t be bouncing checks.
Hammett gave his ad hoc report on the roundabouts recently constructed in the middle of nowhere on Taft Highway and the Stockdale Highway. He said they are completed and folks will just have to learn the difference between yield and stop.
KWB General Manager Jon Parker asked to get board clearance to tap into the revolving fund to help out with the all the money Superintendent Nick Torres has been spending on construction. It was a formality as all that would be required was an email to the bank and of course actions will be reported in the treasurer’s report monthly. Staff also made some recommendations on mitigation fund options. There are some pristine portions of the water bank that can be sold as habitat.
The Kern Groundwater Agency represents most of the Kern Sub Basin and Kim Brown will be representing the KWB with Yraceburu as alternative but most likely Parker will actually attend the meetings. The bank has a very low profile so this isn’t a big deal.
Parker showed some photos of tundra swan on the bank. It is a rare thing to see any this far south. They are majestic, beautiful examples of God’s handiwork. There is some questions about recharge and recovery. Phillimore said he’d rather cutoff recovery at the end of July and have some available later in the year. Semitropic WSD GM Jason Gianquinto asked to get a recovery estimate to help him determine capacity for his district’s banking activities.
Phillimore said all this depends upon the gorilla in the room to speak. Brown, who works for Wonderful Orchards, said a lot will depend on north of Delta considerations. She then asked Phillimore if he had just called her a gorilla. Come on Bill. She’s at least 700 lbs. shy of the minimum 800 and not at all hirsute. Turned out he meant her employer. Come on Bill, I’ve seen photos of Steward Resnick and he’s at least 700 lbs. shy and I don’t know about his hirsuteness.
Torres gave his report on bank projects and he has been busy spending money. And getting a lot of work completed. It is a long list as one would expect on as large a piece of property as the water bank. Fences, overcrossings, turnouts, painting pumps, it goes on and on. Wells are being rehabilitated and taken off the injured list to be ready for recovery. Budget wise KWB had $17 million in expenditures with $20 million in funding available. Ten percent of the needed money is in the form of grants.
Parker reported on the most recent KGA meeting saying the last meeting it was decided for the KGA to continue meeting monthly if for no other reason than to be able to get together and pay the bills. Just about everyone is engaged in preparing the annual report for the April 1st deadline. The meeting then went into closed session.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2020 by Don A. Wright
KERN WATER BANK AUTHORITY
1620 Mill Rock Way, Bakersfield, CA 93311 Office: 661/398-4900 www.kwb.org
Staff: Jon Parker-General Manager, Danelle Lopez-Accountant, Steve Torigiani-Attorney, Nick Torres-Superintendent
Board: William Phillimore-Chair Westside Mutual Water Company, William Taube-Vice Chair Wheeler Ridge Maricopa Water Storage District, Steve Jackson-Treasurer Dudley Ridge Water District, Dennis Atkinson Tejon Castac Water District, David Beard KCWA Improvement District 4, Wilmar Boschman Semitropic Water Storage District & Kim Brown Westside Mutual Water Company
Located on a large, undeveloped section of the Kern River’s sandy alluvial fan, the Kern Water Bank covers nearly 30 square miles over California’s southern San Joaquin Valley. Ideally situated, both for its unique geology and its proximity to water supply and delivery systems, the Kern Water Bank plays a dual role in California’s economically vital agricultural heartland.