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IID OKs starting efficiency efforts

October 10, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors voted unanimously to direct district staff to begin formulating a plan to implement the recently completed efficiency study.

Leading the effort will be IID General Manager Jesse Silva, who said the plan will include which parts of the study get implemented, a schedule of priorities, the processes to be used, who will do the work, legal office input, consultant input and employee group input.

Silva said the plan should take about 45 days to develop.

One IID employee criticized the board and the $831,000 study. He said the board members who approved the study had their heads "where the sun don't shine," and that the cost could have been saved by doing the study in-house.

Division 2 Director Bruce Kuhn, one of the three directors who voted to commission the study, said employee comments alleging the board does not trust the employees are a double-edged sword, because at times it sounds like the employees do not trust the board. He denied the board does not trust employees.


The other two directors who voted to commission the study were Lloyd Allen and Rudy Maldonado.

Meanwhile, Lauren Grizzle, a member of the study's process review team, reminded the board that the study includes detailed plans on how the study's recommendation can be implemented, including timetables.

She urged the board to not "reinvent the wheel," and to use the study's authors to help in the process.

In other business, the board:

· approved a 10-year agreement with Brawley Beef LLC, where Brawley Beef will repay with interest $1.4 million to IID for power infrastructure work. The beef plant is expected to use about 6.8 megawatts of power at its peak and more than 28 million kilowatt-hours per year. Total electrical infrastructure upgrades cost $3.4 million, but $2 million of it was reportedly work the IID power department needed to do.

Brawley Beef principal Bill Brandt said he expects the plant to open in early December.

"It's exciting times for the beef industry and for the Imperial Valley," he said. "I'm sure it's going to be a success."

· approved a $74,000 contract to inspect the stability of portions of the All-American Canal, which sustained a bank failure and instability recently at Drop 5. Silva said the study will evaluate the conditions of the canal banks and make recommendations on how canal banks upstream of Drop 5 can be raised.

Water department Manager Mike King said there are sections of the canal with as little as six inches of freeboard.

· approved $350,000 for remote-starting capability and certain controls for the 22 megawatt Brawley diesel plant.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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