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OID Discusses Annexation Fee Hikes

POSTED May 19, 2009 4:06 p.m.
The Oakdale Irrigation District Board of Directors held a discussion at the May 19 regular meeting about making changes to the district’s annexation fee. Directors Tony Taro and Steve Webb were absent.
OID General Manager Steve Knell said that the value of coming into the district gets better as the district makes improvements. He also said that land value increases when someone goes from being out of the district to being in the district.
“It should be reflected in the annexation fee,” Knell said.
Director Jack Alpers stated that if OID was a public corporation, no one could afford to buy into it.
“OID is probably worth a half a billion dollars,” Alpers said.
Director Frank Clark said that out-of-district water rates are “too cheap.”
Knell added that the rate is $60 per acre but that it should be more like $60 per acre foot (of water). He also said that in-district constituents shouldn’t subsidize out-of-district water fees.
The board stated there are currently no plans to annex more land, just discussion of the policy.
Knell said there will be incremental changes to the annexation policy. This matter for annexation fee increases will be on the action calendar for board approval at the next regular board meeting.
In other business, auditors from Richardson and Company gave the OID a “clean opinion” on the district’s financial audit finding no material weakness or significant deficiencies. Managing CPA Joe Richardson and Brian Nash also praised the district’s achievement in its financial reporting.
Nash did express concern to the board about Tri Dam’s accounting practices and said that with there currently being only one person in charge of the financials, while efficient, is unadvisable. He said controls should be put in place such as a separation of duties. OID and sister district in Tri Dam, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, must have a majority vote amongst all the board members in order to implement such controls.
Director Clark commented on the district’s good financial position and how greatly it has improved over the last 10 years. Nash and Richardson commented on the foresight of the district’s forefathers in building the district’s dams.
In the General Manager’s report, the Knights Ferry water rights trial was held May 13. OID and the Knights Ferry group were instructed to return to court June 1 for questions and submission of closing briefs.
Also in the General Manager’s report, interviews for the Tri Dam General Manager position will be on May 28.
The next regular meeting of the OID Board of Directors will be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2 at the OID boardroom, 1205 East F.

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