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TID set to review deals with city, Merced Irrigation

POSTED February 14, 2014 7:14 p.m.

The Turlock Irrigation Board of Directors will consider two potential agreements – one with Merced Irrigation District for electric energy, and the other with the City of Turlock for recycled water on Tuesday morning.

Under an existing power supply agreement that is set to expire in June, TID currently supplies the full electric energy requirements of Merced Irrigation District. Although MeID receives an amount of electric energy from the Western Power Administration, the district is requesting TID to extend their agreement as they consider their long-term supply options.

Following lengthy discussions highlighting the substantial changes to the agreement, TID reports that representatives from both districts agreed that an extension of the existing agreement through April 2017 was mutually beneficial.

As a result from the discussions, representatives from both districts were able to agree upon procedures for determining costs associated with the existing agreements that had previously been under dispute. On Feb. 4, the MeID Board authorized the execution of the agreement, and is currently waiting for the TID Board of Directors to do the same.

According to TID, the extension of the agreement locks in an amount of wholesale sales where the energy price is indexed to market prices, mitigating a substantial amount of risk to TID.

“We believe the terms of the agreement are fair to MeID and provide a significant benefit to our ratepayers,” said TID staff.

On Tuesday, the TID Board of Directors will also consider pursuing an agreement with the City of Turlock, allowing the district to utilize the City’s tertiary recycled water from the wastewater treatment plant. With the possible long term acquisition of the tertiary recycled water, TID would utilize the water for irrigation purposes.

The issue first came to light when TID directors and staff attended a January City Council meeting to dispute the City entering a water transfer agreement with the Del Puerto Irrigation District that would have generated $800,000 in revenue per year for Turlock. Believing that the City’s water in question was to be given to TID, the district requested that the City hold off on the water transfer agreement until the miscommunication had been cleared. Since then, TID and the City of Turlock have been in discussions regarding the tertiary water supply.

The resolution on Tuesday would authorize the General Manager of TID to act as the negotiator with the City of Turlock, with hopes to utilize the water for irrigation purposes. According to TID staff, the district believes it would be prudent for the Board to appoint a negotiator on behalf of the district, as they continue their pursuit to make use of all water resources within the Turlock Groundwater Basin.

The Board of Directors is also expected to:

-          Review weekly updates on electric services, power and water

-          Receive reports on the power supply and water resources administrations

-          Enter conference with legal counsel on anticipated litigations during closed session

The TID Board of Directors meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the TID Main Office Building, located at 333 E. Canal Drive.

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