The East Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency held its board of directors meeting on Monday, December 5, 2017 at the Wellness Center in Lindsay. I like to get off the main roads now and then and came in from the north end of town running parallel to the mountains. It’s nice to see where the orchards and croplands stop and the range land begins. I also noticed some of the small, unheard of communities and in my opinion Tonyville makes Tooleville look sophisticated. I also heard from EKGSA Vice-Chairman Joe Ferrara they were both encampments for the dust bowl migrants. One of Tooleville’s former residents became governor of Nevada. Good for him. And also, Ed Milanesio, Director from Lindmore Irrigation District is now Chairman.
The meeting began at 3:00 pm with General Manager Michael Hagman introducing Kathy Bennet as the new staff member. Bennet has been with Friant Water Authority for many years and should hit the ground running. There was no public comment and the minutes were approved. Pedro Hernandez from the Leadership Council for Justice & Accountability said Tooleville is going to be an area of concern for the GSA due to contamination of the groundwater by hexa-chromium something. Hernandez’s outfit is already working in Tooleville and hasn’t sued or harassed any of the EKGSA members so the board voted to send a letter of support for a Prop One grant application by LCJA.
Next attorney Ravi Patel explained to the board the proposed agreement between the Lindmore Irrigation District (of which Hagman is also GM) and the EKGSA for providing services to the EKGSA. The GSA will indemnify LID for all kinds of stuff. But the trade off is hiring a consulting firm would be far more expensive. The board also hired the same CPA, Dennis Hylton, LID uses for auditing. This should be a pretty easy audit as the GSA hasn’t made 50 transactions all year. The board approved Hylton after checking with Patel to see there was no legal conflict.
Oh boy – the budget was next. The 2017 budget was $100,000 but it looks like it’s going to total up at $124,439. Hagman said the costs for starting up and chasing down the needed GSA formation documents caused the overrun. The proposed 2018 budget is $200,000 with all entities paying an equal share spread out over four calls for funds. Also there is a call for funds of $24,439 on the table today. That will cover 2017’s governance activities. Patel had the board open a public hearing and it did so. There were no comments received. Developing the GSP was considered. Costs were to be divided by acreage. The Plan Development Activity has engineer and consulting expenses estimated at $495,000 and the revenue between grants and calls for funds is estimated at $675,410. So, the EKGSA should meet its expenses. I heard Hagman said it figures out to about $4 per acre for the GSA. The board agreed to the budget. Director Kim Brown asked what would happen if the Prop One grant didn’t come through and Hagman said they’d probably blame GEI and the Mid Kaweah GSA. Besides having a good wit Hagman said that because as a critical sub basin no one can conceive not having the grant awarded. He also said the California Supreme Court recently ruled GSAs can hold 218 elections and raise money. The board approved the budget and the call for funds to close out the $24,000 on the books for 2017 governance expenses.
The next meeting will be December 18th at 10:00am here in Lindsay. The meeting then adjourned.
DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY; Waterwrights strives to provide his 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. *As fine a facility as the Wellness Center is, it could be even better if the weight room wasn’t directly over the conferance room. There’s a lot of banging.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 by Don A. Wright No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of DAW.
SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.
EAST KAWEAH GSA 315 E. Lindmore Street, Lindsay, CA 93247. Telephone 559/562-2534. Mailing address PO Box 908 Lindsay, CA 93247 Meetings are generally the 4th Monday of the month at the Lindsay Wellness Center at 3:00 pm.
Members: County of Tulare, City of Lindsay, Exeter ID, Ivanhoe ID, Lindsay Strathmore ID, Lindmore ID and Stone Corral ID
Staff: Michael Hagman – Executive Director, Ravi Patel – Attorney