The Fresno Irrigation District held its board of directors meeting at its Fresno headquarters on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Chairman Ryan Jacobsen called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm on the dot. The man is part chronometer. We all joined together and saluted our flag. We didn’t use the one unifying symbol of the ideal people have given their very lives for to protest anything. It was good to honor the ideal that is uniquely American. Also, staff performed an early release of the dinner food. We had taquitos, burritos and quesadillas with guacamole and salsa and I really was hungry. No tears but I had a hellish jury duty all day yesterday and part of today so getting some good food was nice. Director Jerry Prieto* wasn’t present and I didn’t hear why. My hope is all is OK.

The board cleaned up its housekeeping items; the minutes, consent calendar and conflicts of interest. Controller DeAnn Hailey reported on all things accounting. She reported the district needs a new computer program. The board told her to get some figures and continue. They board also granted her a multi-overnight stay to attend the Government Finance Officers Association. Good for her.

FID Engineer Adams Claes gave Watermaster Jim Irwin’s report. Irwin was also missing today. He said the long-term forecast is half and half for a warm winter and a wet El Nino. The City of Fresno is now getting enough water to run its south east surface plant.

Laurence Kimura gave the Chief Engineer’s report saying there are 13 developer projects. He said he and others are working on the High Speed Rail gorgonian knot. HSR has tore up Highway 99 and that has some impact on FID. General Manager Gary Serrato didn’t have much good to say about working with HSR. He said every time HSR comes into the room with attorneys something can be worked out. But the attorneys forget and by the time they write something things are changed. FID attorney Jeff Boswell said he’d be embarrassed. A good deal of FID’s construction is on hold due to HSR’s inefficiency.

Assistant Engineer Adam Claes showed photos of maintenance activities and repairs to the district’s equipment. Director Greg Berberian complemented whoever is the chief of the shop for keeping things clean. Police are still running homeless folks off the FID ditch banks.

Claes also talked about SGMA saying the coordination meetings are at a place where the rubber meets the road. Deminimus pumpers are pumping an estimates 25,000 a/f annually. These are homes with less than two-acres. They are paying the assessments and may not be aware of the SGMA. Moving on; so far SGMA in the Kings River Sub Basin has been paid for by the agencies – what happens in the future. Claes said Scott Redelf, City of Clovis will take over the chair of the advisory committee replacing Luke Serpa. Bill Stretch will be moving from the Technical Committee and Claes will take charge. The Kings Sub Basin was greatly helped out by moving the dates used to define a term of the baseline. They discovered they saved several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Assistant GM Bill Stretch reported he and Serrato met with the Friant folks working on subsidence. He said they’re looking for money to fix the canal and hopes that money comes from Prop Three. Director George Porter state he believes Prop Three will pass. Serrato said he received a draft of a Temperance Flat study that had references to the Kings River and he has been assured it will be removed. That hasn’t happened yet and he said it could become a big problem if it isn’t. Stretch said the Friant Water Authority hosts breakfast Q&A sessions where FWA Executive Officer Jason Phillips gets up and speaks. Stretch said if there are any growers who would like some bacon and BS contact him. I’m sorry, if there are any growers who would like some eggs and issues to contact him. He also said the Friant North Authority met for the first time in a very long time to discuss winding down the group. Berberian asked if there could be a way to keep that structure on the back burner. Stretch said there could be the possibility but the question asked was is such a formal organization needed. The participating entities do have a lot in common. Jacobsen expressed his opinion it would be good to keep it. Hailey said the skeleton crew would cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to keep it open.

Stretch said the FID Water Resource Strategy Plan is almost ready but there is some closed session pillow talk needed to before showing this to the public later this year. He also said the trials along FID canals through Fresno has one again bogged down. He said it is probably time for Serrato and Fresno City Manager to get together and talk some more.

Serrato gave his GM report saying thankyou for the end of the year BBQ and presentation to FID employee Rick Karculla who was retiring after many years of service. He said the Kings River Water Association is planting another 50,000 pounds of live fish in addition to the 25,000 pounds of live fish by California Fish & Wildlife into the Kings River. We don’t know when yet. Stretch pointed out Serrato just received the Agriculturist of the Year Award from the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. Good for him.

Under directors’ reports Beberian said he went to an October fest in Washington state and had a good time looking at salmon in the rivers. The meeting then went into closed session.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. *He did show up and looked good. He said he has to take care of his grandkids.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright

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