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Fresno Irrigation District June 19, 2018

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The Fresno Irrigation District held its board of directors meeting at its Fresno headquarters on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. They first met as the board of equalization and after saluting the flag they equalized and adjourned until 4:10 pm when Chairman and easily one of the most punctual people I know, Ryan Jacobsen called the regular meeting to order. Jacobsen advised everyone the night’s agenda was full and he wanted to shoot for a 6:00 pm start of closed session. Of course, he was completely clear this is a public meeting and the conversation won’t be cut short but he asked for minimum meandering you might say. That’s how you set up a meeting.

The agenda, future meetings and public presentations were dealt with and there were no conflicts of interest. The consent calendar – a wonderful invention – was passed.

Money Stuff

Controller DeAnn Hailey gave her report and covered paying the bills and financial statements and such. The board approved and she then asked them to act on Resolution 2018-08, a line of credit reimbursement. She explained how this involved some land used for recharge basins and the board approved the resolution.

Weather Prophet Stuff

Water Master Jim Irwin said he gave his report at last nights board of equalization meeting to save time tonight. Irwin said there has been an update since then. The Kings River Water Association declared a few thousand acre feet less which won’t hurt FID that much. But due to heavier runoffs earlier than usual FID won’t run past August if I understood correctly.* Engineer Adam Claes continued the report saying there could possibly be 14,000 a/f of carryover this year. It all depends on the weather. Irwin announced CVP south of Delta allocations were bumped up five percent to a total of 50 percent.

Engineering & Stuff

Chief Engineer Lawrence Kimura gave his report and said there are more than a dozen developer and in-house projects under review. He had a multipage update of bullet points involving High Speed Rail. General Manager Gary Serrato said you don’t know the extra hard work staff has put into trying to keep HSR on the tracks in dealing with FID. Kimura then asked the board for more money in the form of an Engineering Action Request. He and his department came up with a list of maintenance needs and prioritized them as well as developed cost estimates.

Claes began the Assistant GM report talking about the maintenance and construction projects on going. He said there a lot of older pipelines sitting too shallow and need to be replaced. Moving on to recharge he said the district and James ID have completed their first co-banking project and JID wants to do more. It was implied FID does too. FID and Met Flood Control teamed up also for more recharge projects. HSR is supposed to dig out some basins. Much of this work is paid for by grants. The project out by Easton is a $4.8 million project. Grants will pay for at least half of this. The board went along with this. Claes reported escrow closed on the Wagner Basin Project this very afternoon. He said this is 60 acres west of Fresno that HSR could help out with.


Claes gave the board an update on the SGMA process for the Kings River Sub Basin. There are seven GSAs in the sub basin and they have come up with an MOU for conflict resolution plan and an agreement of how to split common grant money. There is a 206,000 a/f overdraft to be divided between the seven GSAs. They have to all agree to the methodology used to make this division. Sam Bolen-Brien of the State Board has been invited to come down from Sacotomatoes to review the plans. Serrato said there has to be developed a confined aquifer, a data collection effort and get down to business on the water budget. He said about half the tasks to get the GSPs together have been completed. He also said the North Kings GSA will be developing some management areas within its boundaries. There are enough diverse areas in the NKGSA to warrant this. There is a commitment to get the draft GSPs together within six months from now.

Friant Subsidence

Serrato then spoke about the capacity loss on the Friant Kern Canal due to subsidence. FID has taken the position it shouldn’t have to pay for this as it is a third-party issue. He said the district’s growers should have to pay for. Director George Porter represents FID on the Friant Water Authority board. He wanted to know the best way to deal with this. Serrato said he believes to be consistent FID should oppose having to pay. He expects to be supported in this position by the City of Fresno. He suggested at the Friant meeting Porter oppose FID paying for a consultant and ask to make the subsidence repairs a special activities item. The board passed a motion to have Porter make such a motion at the upcoming Friant meeting. One hopes the November Water Bond passes.

Happy trails along FID canals have long been a desire of the City of Fresno. Assistant GM Bill Stretch said he’s been meeting with Fresno officials who are now willing to take on all liability, clean up trash and homeless folks, weed abatement and maintenance. So, things are going along  

GM Report   

Serrato said the legislation to get groundwater recharge declared beneficial is in trouble. He said the State Board staff high jacked the bill written by local assemblyman Joaquin Arambula. Also, State Board fees are going up five percent or more this year. Since the State Board doesn’t provide a real service FID and many other entities pay under protest.

Admin Matters

Attorney Jeff Boswell presented the board with the new conflict of interest code. He said it’s changed – not much – but enough to adopt a revised code to stay current with both the county and the state. What goes into Form 700; elected officials’ conflict of financial interests which have to be stated stays the same if I understand. But the appendixes have changed. The board followed Boswell’s suggestions and updated the code for FID.

Other matters under discussion were: a property damage claim and permission to allow the HR director to charge the expenses of attending an annual training conference. The claim will be brought back and the HR director gets to go to Monterey in September.

Serrato told the board seats up for election (Jacobsen, Porter and Jerry Prieto) have to comply with a resolution consolidating FID elections with the November elections. The resolution passed.

Directors Reports

Director Chris Woolf said he may be harvesting tomatoes at next month’s meeting time. After this the meeting went into closed session for eight items.

DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY; Waterwrights strives to provide 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. *I’ve used the phrase “if I understood correctly” many times when I’m not sure what was said. So far, no one has ever told me I didn’t understand correctly.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2018 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.

Fresno Irrigation District – The Fresno Irrigation District is located at 2907 So. Maple Avenue, Fresno CA 93725 phone 559/233-7161 and meets at 4:00pm on the third Tuesday of the month at district headquarters. FID is part of the Kings River North GSA

Board Ryan Jacobsen – President, Jerry Prieto – Vice President, Greg Beberian, Christopher Woolf & George Porter

Staff Gary Serrato – General Manager
Bill Stretch – Assistant General Manager
DeAnn Hailey – Controller
Laurence Kimura – Engineer    Jeff Boswell – Attorney