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Consolidated Irrigation District October 9, 2019

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The board of directors of the Consolidated Irrigation District met at its Selma headquarters on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Chairman Earl Hudson called the meeting to order at about 1:10pm. CID General Manager Phil Desatoff answered a couple of SGMA questions. As it turns out there are rural schools on individual wells and there is some question as to their contribution to the GSA.

There was not public comment or conflicts of interest and the consent calendar was passed. Director Thomas Benzler was reminded to turn in some form or other required by the government. Desatoff gave his report and there was a spill on a ditch that damaged a portion of a raising crop. Under dark humor it was estimated the claim could cost upwards of $3.75 depending on how many tons were ruined. Director Mitch Ritchie said there was a break on his almonds a few years ago and it floated all the nuts over to the high side of the orchard where they dried out and there was no loss. So, the moral of this is story is almonds float, raisins don’t. Superintendent Walt Frost had nothing to ad to the system report but his water report was deferred to Desatoff. CID has 90,000 a/f in storage at this late a date but it owes 41,000 a/f for Exhibit D flows on the Kings River. There are several Blue Books in existence; Kelly has no, AA has one and in the Kings River Water Association there is a Blue Book with Exhibit D in it. Exhibit D is a cold water fisheries management flow from Pine Flat Dam to the Fresno Weir provided by CID and Fresno ID. That still lives plenty of water to run a least a week into November. There’s almost 500,000 a/f behind Pine Flat Dam. A grower asked about why the slow down in deliveries in some portions of the district. There are so many raisins during drying season there isn’t much demand. The district will help growers needing water but that’s one of the big reasons during a year with good supply there is a break this time of year.

Next Desatoff spoke about a parcel near the Kings River on the eastern side of the district that could be a good recharge location. They are making the due diligence to be sure there isn’t a underground plume of nasties or some such. The price in the area has been pegged at $30,000-40,000 an acre. Everyone feels that is a bit high at this time. The board is telling CID staff to get as much recharge going as soon as possible. However, the board said to spend table grape prices and not almonds land prices.

There are other projects taking place in CID. Hudson said there is catwalk over one of the ditches built in the 1930s. He said you can see through it with the problem being it’s made of concrete. There’s a canal that runs under Jensen Avenue in the City of Sanger near the old Kmart that had a panel slip. This was due to work the city did on the roadway. Sanger is looking at expanding its sphere of influence and wanting to deal with CID facilities and right of ways. Desatoff also said the district is looking to expand its SCADA systems.

One of the folks present asked about using certain ponds in and around Selma. Desatoff said it depends on how much it costs, what kind of homeless headaches and such. Attorney Lauren Layne said there is an agreement with the South Kings GSA about their usage of the ponds for recharge and that may have an impact. There was someone from the City of Selma in attendance. There was some talk about the ongoing problem of theft of SCADA and other trinkets of value. There is apparently new blood at City Hall in Selma. The old city manager had to take a legal vacation for a couple of years.  The meeting then went into closed session.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2019 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