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OID To Fence Out Unwelcome Cars
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A new fence and locked walk-through gate will be erected at the Oakdale Irrigation District offices. In an action at the OID Board of Directors regular meeting on June 21, the board voted 4-0, with director Frank Clark absent, to install a 350 linear feet, six-foot high chain link fence on the east side of the OID property bordering the Live Oak Plaza. OID has a satellite office space in the Live Oak Plaza, those employees will have a key for the walk-through gate.
Director Steve Webb had commented at the June 7 regular meeting that he’d seen numerous vehicles belonging to patrons of the neighboring shopping plaza filling the OID parking lot after hours.
“Most of the time, it’s a parking nightmare out there,” said OID General Manager Steve Knell of the neighboring property.
He added that there have been two incidents involving a break in and a “hit and run” to OID employees’ personal vehicles in the OID lot due to the parking abuses.
Knell said OID will perform the installation and the estimated cost for material and labor is $4,900.
In his manager’s report, Knell said that June 21 would be the last 12-day irrigation water rotation, then the district will have two 10-day rotations. The district will then re-evaluate later to see if it will stay on 10-day rotations or go back to 12-day rotations.
Knell also stated that they are expecting very high river flows as of July 1 because water must be released from New Melones due to the Bureau of Reclamation’s operating permit that says it can’t store water behind the dam after June 30. Knell said there are numerous safety concerns, including flood concerns, on the Stanislaus River and that police and fire rescue crews are making plans.
He said the river’s flow is currently at 2,000 CFS and could be 5,000 CFS more by the Fourth of July weekend. All rivers in the area are running at high levels, he added.
“People just don’t recognize at this time of year, with these kinds of flows, these are rivers you just don’t want to swim in,” Knell said.
In discussion items, Knell talked about the district’s Water Resources Plan (WRP) and implementing a water reclamation and reuse program. Currently, an estimated 70,400 acre-feet of water is leaving OID annually between drain water and operational spills, together known as surface water. This flows to various rivers and creeks as well as other irrigation districts in a few of the OID watersheds, including Modesto Irrigation District at approximately 17,000 acre feet and others. This water leaves OID without benefit. Knell said that goal is to minimize outflows from the district and the district has some pre-identified reclamation projects on the horizon, which will be brought before the board for consideration.
In other business, the OID Financing Corporation previously elected new OID board officers, which they kept the same as the prior year. Al Bairos will continue to serve as president, Clark as vice president, Knell as Secretary/Executive Director, and OID CFO Kathy Cook as treasurer.
In public comments at the start of the meeting, farmer Henry Burtschi stated his concerns with a potential sales tax increase in Oakdale and said that it isn’t in the best interest of OID landowners or their businesses. He explained, in dollars, how the sales tax would affect him personally per month and per year, adding that any new taxes, at any governmental level, are job killers. He also said he didn’t like that it seemed like OID is supporting the increase.
Additionally, Burtschi said that instead of OID funding the City of Oakdale’s swimming pool, he’d like to see that money used to cover the costs landowners have related to the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition’s water quality checks for chemicals and drainage in areas of the district. He said this is more connected with the district’s overall water operations.
The next regular meeting of the OID Board of Directors will be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5 at the OID boardroom, 1205 East F.