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IID asked to pay half of study on cargo airport

April 17, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors was asked to pay half of the $85,000 cost of a feasibility study for locating a cargo airport in the Imperial Valley.

The request came at Tuesday's board meeting from Louis Fuentes, executive director of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. He said there are investors in San Diego interested in the project.

"The study will give us the opportunity to understand if we can do it," he said.

The item was not on the action agenda, but will be for the next meeting.

Fuentes said the airport was rejected by the San Diego City Council in November because of concerns over noise in residential areas.

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The county Board of Supervisors committed to pay the other half of the study if IID paid half.

In other business, the IID board:

· accepted a $5,240 check from El Centro resident Carmen Hamrick for court costs associated with a lawsuit against the IID she recently lost.

· received a briefing on the pending final report by the community advisory commission regarding the potential impacts of the IID/San Diego County Water Authority water transfer. The board thanked the CAC for its hard work.

· voted to contribute $50,000 in support of the so-called Water for the West Foundation's centennial celebration of the formation of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The event would be the group's first and will take place at Hoover Dam on June 17. This would be IID's first contribution to this group and is not budgeted.

Division 2 Director Bruce Kuhn said the money would go toward "supporting the same people who are threatening to kick our ass." His reference was to threats by the federal government to take Imperial Valley water if water is not voluntarily transferred.

Kuhn said he would begrudgingly support the expenditure because IID is "under the hammer."

· approved issuing a request for qualifications for a proposed water-management system.

· increased funding to the super air-conditioning tune-up customer program budget by $150,000.

· agreed to continue to review its legal department contracts and activities, with a report and recommendations to be submitted in the near future.

· approved entering into an agreement with CalEnergy Obsidian Energy LLC for 763 acre-feet of water at $77.50 per acre-foot. Water in excess of that amount would be billed at $370.27 per acre-foot. The water will be used for planned new power plant operations.

· approved seeking a partner with whom to perform a modernization of district hydro plants.

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

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