The Consolidated Irrigation District’s board of directors met at its Selma headquarters on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. We had a lot of fun just before the meeting started. The video projector in the boardroom projected everything upside down. General Manager Phil Desatoff fiddled with it for some time until Director Earl Hudson suggested he turn the remote-control upside down and push the buttons. I couldn’t see from where I was sitting but right Hudson said that everyone cheered. There were still other problems and it looked like we might have to use paper. The projector was mounted on the wall and had been removed for some public function. Hudson also suggested finding an eight year old child to fix it and Desatoff said if they ever move the projector again the district will have to buy a new one. In the meantime, Mitch Ritchie was sworn in as the newest director at CID. Former Chairman Larry Cruff has moved on and will have to find other ways to drive oneself crazy than just sitting on an irrigation district board. We wish him the best.
Current Vice Chair Hudson called the Central Kings GSA meeting to order at 1:05pm. There were no public comments and the minutes were approved. There were no directors’ reports and Desatoff talked about coordination in the Kings Sub Basin and the cooperating agreement is close to being signed. The 122,000 or so a/f annual overdraft has been agreed on by all seven of the Kings Sub Basin GSAs. That was a 100,000 a/f reduction from the original estimate. If I recall the CKGSA is on the hook for about 7,000 a/f of overdraft. However, the South Kings GSA is comprised of four cities within the CID boundaries that are pumping about 5,000 a/f of overdraft, reducing CKGSA’s share by 5,000 a/f. We’ll see if the cities agree to this. Desatoff said after speaking with the Mayor of Selma recently and there is talk of the cities rejoining the CKGSA and working cooperatively with CID on building more recharge ponds. There are real estate agents looking around for sandy ground. There are a variety of financing options for these purchases. Desatoff advocated getting a recharge basin plan together. The board authorized Desatoff to enter into an agreement with the North Kings GSA for spending grant money on GSP development. The meeting was adjourned.
The CID meeting started at 1:42pm and the first action was to reorganize the board. Hudson was elected president and Director Ray Moles was elected vice-president. Desatoff will continue as treasurer and Gail Hoffman will be board secretary. Hudson will now be on the Kings River Water Association as an alternate representative of CID. Desatoff will be the representative for a while as Hudson gets up to speed on KRWA matters. That seat is an important one s it determines a lot of what happens in regards to sharing Kings River water nicely as opposed to the alternatives. Hudson is also the ACWA/JPIA representative with Desatoff actually attending the meetings. Same set up for the Upper Kings Basin IRWMP and the Kings River Watershed Coalition Authority.
The agenda was accepted as is, Hudson said he’ll abstain from the item on dealing with California Farm Water Coalition request for dues and the consent calendar was approved. There was some question about Semitropic Water Storage District’s application before the State Board for Kings River flood water. A special counsel has been retained and that explained the accounts payable item in question. The California Farm Water Coalition asked CID for some money but the board said since it already pays into the Kings River Conservation District that also pays into the CFWC it will make a donation instead to avoid double paying. The board paid into the Kings Basin Water Authority and the Fresno County Farm Bureau.
Superintendent Walt Frost gave the water report but before he got far. . . Sandridge Farms has an agreement with CID as did Fresno ID and Alta ID to give CID some water in exchange CID will give it back “two for one” on years when CID has plenty of water.
The SGMA update was next and Hudson asked since everyone in the room was present for the SGMA meeting the report was severely truncated. There were some questions about removing this item from the agenda but under advice from attorney Lauren Layne it will stay on the agenda.
The last item before closed session was the money coming into the district and how it will be spent. Desatoff said he expects the financial condition of CID will remain healthy enough to operate, do improvements and afford SGMA for yet another year even if the district sells no water this season. The board wants someone to rent a van so they can tour the district to see what maintenance and improvement is needed. There is always work to be done when it comes to providing farmers with water but staff is putting together a prioritized list. In the Kings Sub Basin underground flows are being looked at. CID is losing water underground to Westlands WD and south to the Kaweah Sub Basin. CID doesn’t have a much of a clay layer so its flows are considered shallow. CKGSA has white areas within its boundaries. It also has schools and the GSA needs to figure out how to get the bucks from those folks. Alta and Fresno ID are both interested in banking in CID. That was about it for the meeting.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright
CONSOLIDATED IRRIGATION DISTRICT – 2255 Chandler St, Selma, CA 93662 Telephone; 559/896-1660
CID covers 145,000 acres mostly in South Central Fresno County. Surface water supplies: Kings River CID is its own GSA
General Manager – Phil Desatoff, Attorney – Doug Jensen, Water Master – Walt Frost, Controller – Gail Hoffman
Board of Directors – President Earl Hudson, Thomas Benzler, Tony Lewis, Ray Moles, Mitch Ritchie