The Buena Vista Water Storage District held its board of directors meeting on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 remotely from its Buttonwillow headquarters on Zoom. BVWSD’s agenda places asterisks next to items slated as part of the consent calendar. I like a good consent calendar. For those of us who hadn’t been deeply exposed to parliamentarian procedure as children the consent calendar is a way for meetings to move forward without bogging down on minutia. Buena Vista usually has a pretty quick meeting. To a great degree that’s due to Board President John Vidovich’s driven personality or ants in his pants or dislike of long meetings. So, the consent calendar is a handy tool. All the items that are routine in nature can be placed on the consent calendar. Let’s take minutes for example – if whoever it is taking minutes of meetings does a good job and no one usually has to change anything it can be placed on the consent calendar. Maybe certain committees aren’t active and instead of treating them as individual items they go on the consent calendar. All these items a lumped together and approved by one vote separating the grease from the gummy. If any board member or member of the public wishes to have an item removed from the consent calendar for discussion the board is obligated to do so.
Anyway, I was poking around the packet and saw agenda item 7(b)i that was on the consent calendar. This agenda item has to do with some property known as the Lee Parcel. The property has been in escrow and ready to close. All that was needed was a signature on the deed by the seller. However, he or she is in Australia and a US notary or perhaps a notary approved by the US was needed. Due to severe virus restrictions it took several months for a notary to travel to the US Embassy with the signature and it has finally arrived in the US. For all the benefits of time savings from the consent calendar this item adds color and would have been missed if ignored.
Buena Vista is a good meeting to attend in person because they supply a breakfast buffet. It’s above average with excellent pastries and fresh fruit. I don’t know why but some of the best food is served in Kern County. Semitropic Water Storage District has good lunches and North Kings WSD also has a good breakfast sample. But the Mac Daddy King of them all is Arvin Edison. You can’t get a job there if you don’t know how to barbeque and their lunches are worth getting there early. One of these days we’ll be meeting in person again.
For the first time in my experience Vidovich wasn’t present. I’ve heard he’s in a trial somewhere. Vice Chair Terry Chicca ran the meeting and the first item after roll call (starting promptly at 8:30am) was the election of officers. Vidovich and Chicca retained their chair and vice chair. Julien Parsons is now the board secretary. Larry Ritchie didn’t run to retain his seat at this last election and now Craig Andrew is a new board member. The minutes were approved and there were no public statements. There were also no items pulled from the consent calendar.
General Manager Tim Ashlock told the board bore samples have been taken from the Jerry Slough property.
Ashlock also had a special recognition of employee Adam Sevier. He’s put in miles of pipeline throughout the district and both farmers, managers and board members praised him for his conscientious and innovative work and leadership.
Director Parsons had asked to enroll 25 acres in the fallowed land program. He stepped out of the room for the item to avoid any conflicts or even the perception of improprieties. The board agreed to include Parsons’ land into the program.
The next item was water supply. Ashlock said the Shafter Wasco Irrigation District General Manager Dana Munn has resigned. I’ve spent a lot of time with Munn over the years and he’s always been very smart of course – there are no intellectually dull GMs – but also he’s one of the first to be friendly with me. Munn is also the Kern River Water Master and is resigning from this position as well. He will be very difficult to replace and let’s all keep him in our prayers.
Engineer Andrew Bell gave the water supply report saying the district is looking at between 65,000 a/f and up to 77,000 a/f of surface supplies this year, if I understood correctly. Ashlock gave the board a very brief update on what’s happening on the Friant Kern Canal. He said BV does exchanges with some of the Friant users. With the FKC in need of repairs the capacity is lower than usual and Kern County is losing out on surplus recharge opportunities.
Ashlock said BV is looking to sale 3,000 a/f at $1,000 per a/f. Director Jeof Wyrick said water from the State Water Project is going for $2,500 per a/f. The board’s water committee may be looking at resetting the price. Wyrick said there’s not much extra water to sell at any price.
The board then looked at a purchase order for PVC pipe for $89,000 from our old friends at Gar Bennett. The board approved. Pipe costs have gone up dramatically since the big freeze hit earlier this year. BV was either brilliant or possessed of great foresight as it bought its pipe before the price increase. The meeting then went into closed session.
DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY; Waterwrights strives to provide its clients with the most complete, up-to-date, and accurate information available. Nevertheless, Waterwrights does not serve as a guarantor of the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, and specifically disclaims any and all responsibility for information that is not accurate, up-to-date, or complete. Waterwrights’ clients therefore rely on the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of information from Waterwrights entirely at their own risk. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not represent any advertisers or third parties.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2021 by WaterWrights.net/DAW
Buena Vista Water Storage District was organized in 1924 to manage the irrigation, drainage systems and water rights originally held by Miller & Lux. The district controls an average 130,000 a/f of Kern River water and approximately 21,000 a/f of supplies from the State Water Project. BVWSD is its own GSA. Board of Directors meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of the month at district headquarters located at: 525 North Main Street, Buttonwillow, CA 93206. Phone: 661/324-1101 www.bvh20.com
Staff: General Manager/Engineer: Tim Ashlock, Engineer Andrew Bell, Controller: Marybeth Brooks, Attorney: Robert Hartsock or Isaac St. Lawrence
Board-President: John Vidovich, VP: Terry Chicca, Secretary: Jeof Wyrick, Julien Parsons, Craig Andrew