The North Kings GSA Advisory Committee met on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the City of Clovis police department conference room in the palatial City Hall campus in Clovis. There’s nothing as good as a Friday afternoon meeting. Everyone is in a good mood and they don’t last long. Luke Serpa, Clovis City Manager called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm and the committee approved the minutes. He had to juggle the agenda because Bill Stretch, Fresno Irrigation District and chair of the technical committee was caught in the downtown Clovis traffic and could be up to three or four minutes late. Or, so said Serpa. Sure enough Stretch and Gary Serrato, GM of FID slipped in at 1:35 pm.
Lisa Koehn, Chair of the administrative/finance committee reported to the board what she’d has been happening with the budget. Serrato will be retiring from FID at the end of the year and he’s the GM of the NKGSA also. So far FID hasn’t charged the GSA for Serrato’s time. He will stay with FID as a consultant on Kings River issues and that board wants him to continue with the GSA until the GSP is completed and accepted. He said the GSA needs to start considering a replacement for him. Tim Bakman, Bakman Water Company asked what contention is taking place in the Kings River Sub Basin. NKGSA is one of seven GSAs in the sub basin. Serrato said they have determined there is 206,000 a/f of overdraft in the sub basin but the North Kings GSA is actually bringing more water than it’s pumping and not all of the other GSAs agree with this assessment.
Serpa said it will be very important to have someone very qualified to step in at crunch time. Sarge Green, Fresno State University suggested making sure the search is more than just a job description. He said flexibility is surely going to be needed. Some of the GSAs have hired GMs and the cost is running at $150,000-$200,000 per year.
Stretch apologize for being late. He said he, “. . . got hung up in a meeting with Gary Spicoli and pizza is on its way”; referring to Serrato who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt. By far the best film reference I’ve heard in the more than 17-years I’ve been covering water meetings. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in case you were wondering.
Adam Claes, FID spoke for Dwight Miller Chair of the Membership/Outreach/Communications Committee and said newsletters are being prepared. The list is being generated by hits on the GSA’s website. Miller will no longer be able to serve as chair and in a prime example of why you don’t want to miss meetings, Brandy Swisher of Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control was appointed chair of that committee. Amanda Monaco represents a NGO, I believe the Leadership League of Justice. She asked to join the outreach committee and that sounded doable. Monaco’s organization performs contact work with disadvantaged communities. Another lady was in attendance from the League of Women Who Vote. She’s wants one of her members to join some sub-committee but wasn’t sure which one.
Koehn said there is the possibility of ACWA JPIA not carrying O&E insurance for GSAs. That’s probably another entire report unto itself. Koehn went over the proposed budget. The sub basin received a DWR grant for $1.5 million to help GSA setup costs. This is a little more than $200,000 for NKGSA. The advisory committee voted to recommend the proposed budget to the GSA board.
The next item deal with a resolution for all seven GSAs to share the grant money and dispute resolution. Serrato said the coordination agreement recognized early on the need for dispute resolutions. He said basically: if two GSAs can not resolve a disagreement they can hire a mediator. Paul Landis, former executive officer of the California Water Commission and DWR satrap and Bill Luce, former US Bureau of Reclamation and Friant consultant are the approved mediators. The right to litigate after mediation isn’t waived but the disputing GSAs must pay for Landis or Luce. Another provision is – if a GSA won’t sign the dispute resolution it isn’t eligible for grants. Ron Samuelian, Provost & Pritchard, said three of the seven GSAs have signed and it appears the choice to sign will be unanimous. The committee voted to recommend this to the board. Serpa asked if there was a dispute resolution needed form a dispute resolution and Samuelian said it was pretty smooth sailing to get this.
Under public comment the League of Women Voters lady (Mary Savala?) asked if the GSA is planning on getting property for recharge and if that will be made public. Serpa told her as individual agencies everyone is already doing so. Serrato and Samuelian said this will almost certainly be made public in the GSP. Monaco asked if the projects and programs of the GSP will be vetted with public input and if they will be vetted in one chunk or individually and if the projects will go before the Adv Committee or the GSA Board. Serrato said that hasn’t been determined as there are CEQA considerations and other things that must be thought through. If there USBR grants you’ve got NEPA to go through as well. The meeting then adjourned.
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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.
MEMBERS: Bakman Water Company, Cities of Kerman, Fresno and Clovis, Fresno County, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, Garfield Water District and Fresno ID