The Kings River Water District held its Thursday, April 19, 2018 board of directors meeting in Centerville. Chairman Jack Paxton called the meeting to order at 8:00 am. General Manager Nick Keller greeted folks by saying the meeting was going into closed session right away. Before that the board approved the minutes, there was no public comment, additions to the agenda or potential conflicts of interest. So the board went into closed session. One of the items was titled Kings River Water Association, et al. v. James Verboon, et al. Relationships along the Kings River seem to often be in flux.

In just a few minutes the board started up again in open session with nothing to report from closed session. Keller is also the treasurer and gave the financial reports. KRWD has been wrestling with Cal Trans over many things related to redoing Highway 180. Cal Trans is very slow to pay its bills and reimburse the district for expenses. Other districts have High Speed Rail to contend with. If anyone who is lackadaisical about the state coming in with SGMA hasn’t dealt with the other agencies out of Sacramento. Dealing with Fresno County has its challenges also. Directors have to submit Form 700 showing their financial positions to ensure there isn’t a conflict of interest. This is an annual filing with the County and this year the County went nuts about it. Director Curtis Taylor said once the County got ahold of his email address he was getting four for five emails a day reminding him to file well after he’d completed the filing. Anyway, the board paid its bills.he Kings River Water District held its Thursday, April 19, 2018 board of directors meeting in Centerville. Chairman Jack Paxton called the meeting to order at 8:00 am. General Manager Nick Keller greeted folks by saying the meeting was going into closed session right away. Before that the board approved the minutes, there was no public comment, additions to the agenda or potential conflicts of interest. So the board went into closed session. One of the items was titled Kings River Water Association, et al. v. James Verboon, et al. Relationships along the Kings River seem to often be in flux.

Paxton reported crop advisers Gar Tootelian Inc. helped get the Kings River Watershed Coalition Authority and Irrigated Lands paper work caught up. He was very pleased. There is also a Swanson Hawk nesting near the Highway 180 construction which requires two, full-time men with binoculars to keep track.

Keller said the GSA coordination for the Kings River Sub Basin is behind schedule. The hick up is the 200,000 a/f of estimated overdraft. He said the Kings River flows all the time underground even if there aren’t surface flows. Where that water goes is also a big consideration and Dr. Ken Schmidt’s opinion is being sought. Back to Highway 180 – a culvert is needed to move water under the new freeway. The trash rack is critical. Too big and trash can get under the road; too small and it gums up and floods. KRWD’s position is that trash rack is Cal Trans’ problem. The district is ready to begin its run and told Cal Trans to watch out. The construction is behind schedule. There are also problems with beavers.

The Wildwood Landowners is a group of home owners within the district’s boundaries. It has a relationship to the district concerning of course, water. There have been some questions about this relationship and the district sent the landowners a legal document to clarify things. The landowners have responded to attorney Lauren Layne’s proposal on behalf of the district. The landowners want to prohibit the district from placing any liens on their property. Layne recommended cleaning up the document. There was a gentleman from the landowners. He said there are many names on the document that are no longer applicable. Evidently there is a pond shared by the folks living there. The flow to the pond impacts other users, ag water users with higher priority if I understand. So, Layne will clean up the documents and there appears to be a meeting of minds between Wildwood and the district.

The two employees and the directors said they’d all reviewed the new employee handbook. It has been found acceptable now that ties are no longer required in the dress code. The board approved the new handbook and that was that.

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Kings River Water District

The Kings River Water District meets at 8:00am on the third Thursday of the month at the Gerawan Farms Offices on Smith Avenue in Centerville California. KRWD is a member of the East Kings GSA and receives supplies from the Kings River. President Jack Paxton, Curtis Taylor, Danny Van Ruiten, Steve Boos & Mike Hacker.

General Manager/Engineer Nick Keller, Attorney Loraine Layne, Superintendent Mike Sullivan, Ditch Tender Ken Domoto. KRWD has about 19,000 acres of tree fruit, grapes and nuts along the Kings River bottom land on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley.