Extension on reaching water transfer agreement approved

December 19, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors approved an extension allowing the San Diego County Water Authority to obtain an agreement to move IID-conserved water to the coast.

The extension is for six months, though a one-year extension was requested.

The water transfer agreement between the IID and San Diego calls for San Diego to obtain a 45-year wheeling arrangement, but an agreement between San Diego and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is only for 30 years.

Maureen Stapleton, general manager for the San Diego County Water Authority, told the IID board she was confident that given the additional time the issue can be resolved.

IID Division 4 Director Stella Mendoza said the county water authority had had enough time to secure the required agreement, and she moved that the extension be denied. A split vote went against Mendoza, with Division 5 Director Rudy Maldonado supporting her. Directors Lloyd Allen, Andy Horne and Bruce Kuhn voted against the motion.


Maldonado said the issue should already have been resolved and that the requested extension was the third by the San Diego County Water Authority.

He said it appears the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors thinks the IID board will rubber stamp any requests made of it. He suggested a six-month extension.

The San Diego board approved a one-year extension last week.

Stapleton assured the IID board that her board takes the issue seriously, and said the IID board will be provided with regular updates on the matter.

The shortened extension was granted on a 4-1 vote, with Mendoza dissenting.

After the meeting, Calexico-area farmer John Pierre Menvielle said he fully supports the time extension granted to San Diego.

In a separate matter, Maldonado insisted Stapleton notify the IID board prior to her visiting the Imperial Valley.

"We want to know before you come to the Imperial Valley and we want to go to any meetings you go to," he said.

Stapleton has met twice with representatives of the Imperial County Farm Bureau and the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association. Future meetings are expected.

In a meeting with this newspaper's editorial board on Tuesday, Stapleton said the meetings must be open to any interested party or she would not attend.

The IID board also:

· approved its 2002 budget.

· approved changes to its strategic plan.

· approved a $172,175 three-year information technology service agreement extension.

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

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