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Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, October 1, 2020

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Ger Bennett BannerBy Michael Young

On October 1st, the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) held its monthly board of directors meeting over teleconference, pursuant to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20. Board President, Donald R. Bransford welcomed everyone and began the meeting, only minutes after 9:00 a.m. With no one slotted for public participation, the meeting went directly to approving the Consent Agenda (consisting only of the minutes from September 17th). After being unanimously approved, the consent agenda was dispensed with and the meeting moved to regular orders of business.

Known as the largest irrigation district in the Sacramento Valley, GCID covers roughly 175,000 acres of which eighty percent of the land is regularly farmed. The five-member board carries significant responsibility operating a $15 million annual budget, while governing the districts’ 65-mile long main canal conveying water into a system of nearly 1,000 miles of canals, laterals, and drains, much of it constructed in the early 1900s. GCID board meetings are certainly packed with great information and updates on the status of the industry.

The next agenda item was included GCID department reports ranging from maintenance to water resources. While there wasn’t much to report on the maintenance side of things, the Water Operations Superintendent, Jered Shipley provided a general overview of inflow performance. According to data collected, GCID total inflows peaked just 740,000-acre feet short of 4 million-acre feet total. While Jered felt accomplished making it past the 3.2 m/s threshold, the next goal is to definitely achieve the 4 million mark.

After a short engineering report from Zac Dickens, GCID’s District Engineer, reports were wrapped up with discussion from Holly Dawley the Water Resources Manager. Holly provided a comprehensive report on flood-up results and how they’ve continuously been working on gaining access to infrastructure models at Sites Reservoir.

The bulk of the meeting covered discussion and dispensing with four different board resolutions. The first resolution covered topics relating to assessment rates for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Followed by the assessment rates resolution, the second required approving the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District State of Investment policy and Delegating Investment Authority for FY 2020-21. While this resolution’s purpose was to improve the statement investment policy for the year, there was one substantive amendment from the prior year’s resolution. This substantial change would would allow district staff to divest specific sources of funding for the purposes of investment to be approved without GCID board approval. The thought behind this was to expedite traditional bureaucratic processes that normally get approved anyway. Finally, the last resolution covered easement agreement petitions for the purposes of GCID to assume operation and maintenance of certain private laterals within the district.

The meeting then went into closed session with GCID’s legal counsel. According to the agenda, discussion topics were likely related to existing litigation (Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association v. Ross, as well as California Natural Resources Agency v. Ross) both of which were related to the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife protection statutes.

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Michael Young brings a professional portfolio of public policy and government relations with an agri-marketing and communications foundational background.

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