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OID - Water Use, Costs Studied

POSTED November 30, 2011 2:46 a.m.

The Oakdale Irrigation District Board of Directors visited several interrelated issues pertaining to water use in the district at its recent regular meeting.
After a presentation and discussion about fringe parcels that lie partly in and partly out of the district boundaries, which was reported on in the Nov. 23 issue of The Leader, another discussion item at the meeting involved the need for the district to increase the out-of-district water rate going forward. Yet another related discussion item revolved around the potential annexation of 7,000 acres to OID, 5,000 of which would be planted acres, by the Trinitas Partners. OID General Manager Steve Knell said that water contracts of 41,000 acre feet have expired and the district needs to find a home for the water. Approximately 25,000 acre feet would be consumed through this annexation, he said, which has been in negotiation since April and is expected to finish, barring environmental issues, around March of 2013. Knell added that the annexation is pro-Ag and would keep a large portion of that previously-contracted water in OID for agricultural use.
The OID board also heard a presentation on the 2012 draft budget. Knell said it would be another year of belt-tightening and added that OID will be cutting back on some capital projects. There is $20 million in the budget and $47 million in reserves at the end of the year. Knell added that OID will likely pull about $3 million out of reserves next year to meet construction and maintenance needs.
Other discussion included the holiday meeting schedule. Only the Jan. 3 meeting will be cancelled; it will not be rescheduled.
The next regular meeting of the OID Board of Directors will be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the OID boardroom, 1205 East F.

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