Canal lifelines, expense policy again before IID

March 12, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District directors are expected to discuss Tuesday placing lifelines across the All-American Canal and developing a board expense policy.

Tuesday's meeting will start at 4 p.m. in IID's headquarters in La Quinta.

The board voted 4-1 to approve placing lifelines across the canal, which serves as a barrier between the United States and Mexico. Director Lloyd Allen cast the sole vote against the lifelines.

Those directors who voted for the lifelines said the goal is not to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to cross the border. They said the goal is to try to prevent deaths, adding too many people drown in the canal.

The board set conditions that must be met if the lifelines are to come to fruition.

They said John Hunter, the man proposing the lifelines, must provide insurance for the project. They said once the lines are in place, there must be proof they are doing what they are meant to do.


IID Director Bruce Kuhn, one of the most vocal supporters of the lines, has asked that the lifeline issue be placed back on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting so the board can receive an update on the project.

Information on whether Hunter, a brother of Congressman Duncan Hunter, who represents the Imperial Valley, will present a plan for the insurance was unavailable.

Board President Andy Horne is heading the drive to develop an expense policy for the board.

There is no policy that governs how much each director can spend other than that the board has an annual budget of about $70,000 for expenses such as travel.

Horne has said he thinks the board needs to have such a policy, just as the expenses of all other IID employees are governed by a policy. Director Stella Mendoza has said she agrees.

Other directors have questioned the need for such a policy. Some have pointed out it is essential that directors travel to protect IID's water and power rights.

The board Tuesday will also discuss the way in which the district divides the cost of the computer systems between the water and power departments.

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

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles