After a year of investigating, interviewing and discussing, the Oakdale Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously decided to adopt a policy on “fringe” parcels in an action at the Dec. 20 regular meeting.
The board followed the staff recommendation to deal with fringe parcels separated into five separate groups and some subgroups. Group 1 is fringe parcels developed without a documented request for out-of-district irrigation service and those parcels will now receive metered water for the in-district lands and have the opportunity to pay the out-of-district rate for the out-of-district lands.
Groups 2, 3, and 5 will have the opportunity to annex the out-of-district lands to the district and become full-rights members of OID. These parcels currently irrigate the out-of-district acreage at in-district rates with or without documented approval by the OID board, fringe parcels that typically request annual out-of-district service agreements, and fringe parcels that are less than 10 acres.
Group 4 is comprised of fringe parcels in which the OID boundary doesn’t align with the “historically” irrigated area and they are divided into four subgroups. Group 4a is very small acreage parcels and they will be offered annexation. Group 4b will be monitored and will continue to irrigate as done historically with formal agreements. Group 4c will continue to see its irrigation allotment for in-district lands and will be monitored by using historical data. Group 4d is comprised of parcels with ponds. They will be dealt with when OID develops a pond policy, which is expected to take place over the winter and completed by spring. There was discussion and disagreement amongst the directors about terms for annexation but they then agreed that terms need to be discussed at a later date.
In other business, the board voted 4-1 with director Al Bairos dissenting, to table the vote for about three months on the annexation rate for 2012. The directors discussed that the rate for the fringe parcel landowners on the list should be at the 2011 rate of $2,600 per acre and that the board can vote on the 2012 annexation rate in March or April. The proposed annexation fee for 2012 is an increase to $2,960 per acre.
Also in other business, the board voted 4-1, with director Steve Webb dissenting, to increase the out-of-district water rate to $40 per acre foot, approximately double the previous rate.
OID General Manager Steve Knell said that OID’s goal is to increase the out-of-district water rate to $100 per acre foot by 2016.
Director Webb had two motions that failed in the vote at 4-1 each. One motion was to table the vote for 90 days because Webb said he had questions on a legal point that he felt should be clarified in closed session, and his second motion was to raise the out-of-district water rate to $25 per acre foot for 2012.
Webb stated that he agreed with increasing the rate to what it eventually needed to be but that he felt the rate increase was too aggressive.
“Doubling it in one year, to me, is just ridiculous,” Webb said.
Knell stated that the increases are to push people along to annex. Directors Herman Doornenbal and Jack Alpers both stated that they didn’t see anything wrong with the $40 rate, with Alpers adding that it costs $100 to pump ground water, so he still sees the new rate as a savings.
The Jan. 3, 2012 OID meeting was cancelled, so the next regular meeting of the OID Board of Directors will be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 in the OID boardroom, 1205 East F.