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Board delays efficiency study after need questioned


January 12, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District board has opted to delay a district efficiency study at least until June as some board members questioned the need for such a study.

The efficiency study was recommended by the IID's water conservation advisory board and groups such as the Imperial County Farm Bureau have lobbied for such a study.

In past meetings, directors expressed interest in moving ahead with such a study. Bids were sought from accounting firms to conduct such a study.

The low bid was just over $412,000 and was presented by Pricewaterhouse/Coopers, a national accounting firm. That study would delve into both the water and power departments and other IID support services.


The discussion during this week's board meeting started after staffers said they could present the bid to the board for formal approval later this month.

Directors expressed concern about hiring Pricewaterhouse/Coopers, stating that firm is involved with the Coachella Valley Water Authority in a 2-year-old lawsuit against IID. Directors said there would be a conflict of interest in hiring that firm.

Beyond that, Director Bruce Kuhn raised questions about such a study.

He said the board, as part of its recently approved budget, cut a large portion of money from the water department. He said to move forward with a study that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars could be too costly for the department.

IID staffers said there is no funding set aside in the 2001 budget for such a study.

Director Stella Mendoza said as a new board member she would like to receive more information about what need there is for such a study before being asked to decide on the issue.

Directors said they would revisit the issue later.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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