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Tri County Water Authority November 4, 2021



Bermad irrigationThe Tri County Water Authority held its board meeting on Thursday, November 4, 2021 and it started off with a dud. The sound of one hand clapping. A nothing burger. It was scheduled to begin at 1:00pm but it started in closed session for a case of potential litigation and a property negotiation with Fresno Irrigation District but they didn’t give notice of that on the Zoom.Conterra

I don’t know what time they opened the meeting because I wandered away after 20 minutes of starting at a message that the host will let me in soon. After walking down to the gate and getting the mail I came back and tuned into a public hearing on delinquent fees that ended at 1:35pm. All I can tell you is there are folks who owe money. They have an opportunity to make things right and a board willing to work together. Attorney Jason Howard, McCormick Barstow was running things from a legal point of view. There was a motion that if the late fees are paid by the end of this month the interest and penalties will be waved. After that most likely the entire gob will have to be coughed up. The board agreed.

Next Stuff

Next the board considered a resolution approving the removal of delinquent account receivables. There is one parcel that owes $75, has been fallow for years and the owners can’t be found after the passing of the little old lady who was living there. The board agreed. General Manager Deanna Jackson said the CPA likes a nice, neat resolution each time an account is removed.

The Audit

            Fortunately for me after sitting through the San Luis Delta Mendota audit and a lengthy bonding discussion Mike Cuttone, CPA of Cuttone & Mastro gave the audit report for 2020. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary and TCWA will survive to fight again. Also Cuttone gave a quick report. Good for him.

Next was, oh joy, the Tri County 2022 budget. I just can’t get enough of reporting on spreadsheets and tiered amortization schedules. One thing Jackson said that made sense is the Land IQ reports are slightly delayed and therefore the fourth quarter will bounce over to the next year’s first quarter. She also said the subsidence monitoring costs for the Tule Subbasin was higher than expected. Mostly due to subsidence monitoring along the Friant Kern Canal.

One of the directors said he believes having a budget down to the penny and meeting it isn’t the goal. He said budgets are a guide to keep things from going off the rails. He told Jackson some fluctuation is going to happen whether it rains or not. Dan Vink used to say something similar and his projects penciled out. Chairman Cory VanderHam agreed and the proposed budget was accepted.

Back in the old days Steve Jackson used to be the TCWA representative to the Tule Subbasin Technical Advisory Committee. Jackson resigned and Director Mark Grewal is now officially the main man. Director Carlo Wilcox will be the alternate.

Next attorney Howard told the board about the need to adopt a resolution monthly to allow the board to meet with the option of online due to the VIRUS. The board approved.

Other Reports

There was no one from Cal Strategies attending so that report was skipped. GEO Syntec’s Amir Hussain wasn’t able to be present as he has a very ill relative. Prayers for the Hussain family. Jackson gave some reports for him. She’s nice like that. She said gathering data and processing it is the big push. She said DWR has indicated it will get back to TCWA with a review of the GSP by mid-December. Groundwater levels have dropped.

Howard said he’s got all the attorney reports out of his system in closed session.

Jackson said Atwell Island will partner with Tri County on some projects and consultant Kathy McLaughlin is working on this. She said she was working on the Deer Creek plan with Pixley ID and this new plan is at the western end of Deer Creek. She said NRCS suggested they apply for a grant for a feasibility study to find out what supplies could be realized. She said it is possible to bring 215 Water from the Friant Kern Canal down Deer Creek. She said the US Bureau of Reclamation has a Water Smart grant that would apply to this because of habitat. This project could benefit some of the wetlands and the additional surface water will reduce the need to pump groundwater.

That was that at 2:20pm. Jackson did add next month’s meeting will be delayed a week. Go be good to each other.

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944 Whitely Ave. Ste. E, Corcoran, CA 93212   Phone: 559/762-7240 DWR# 5-022.12

Tri-County Water Authority is a collaboration of Public Agencies, Water Suppliers, Communities, Cities, County, Environmental Groups, Government Representatives, and a variety of other interested parties. The goal is to identify and implement water management solutions on a regional scale that increase regional self-reliance, reduce conflict, and manage water to concurrently achieve social, environmental, and economic objectives.

Directors & Staff: Cory VanderHam – Chairman, Mark Grewal – Vice Chair, Carlo Wilcox, Wade Magden. Deanna Jackson – Executive Director, Amer Hussain – consulting engineer.

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