As the Turlock Irrigation District and City of Turlock continually work towards developing a surface water treatment facility that has been in discussion since the late 1980s, the TID Board of Directors will take an important step forward in that direction on Tuesday morning.
During their regularly scheduled meeting, the TID Board of Directors will consider appointing General Manager Casey Hashimoto as the negotiator for the long term transfer of water to the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority.
According to TID staff, the district and SRWA have had several meetings to discuss the water authority's plans for the regional surface water treatment plant that has been in discussions amongst TID and the cities of Ceres, Modesto and Turlock. TID has also said that it would welcome any other neighboring communities who wish to participate in the development of the treatment facility.
By appointing Hashimoto as the lead negotiator with the Authority, TID will be able to continue these discussions while negotiating the terms and conditions of a possible sale of the property parcel purchased by TID for the site of a surface water treatment plant. Additionally, the general manager would continue to oversee the long term transfer of water to the SRWA.
"TID believes it is in the best interest of the region and our mutual customers to build a surface water treatment facility to supply drinking water to the cities of Ceres, Modesto, Turlock and any neighboring communities who wish to participate," said Hashimoto in a memo to the Board of Directors.
The proposed multimillion dollar surface water treatment plant would treat Tuolumne River water to help create safe drinking water for the partnering cities as regional groundwater sources continually diminish due to over pumping, particularly in East Stanislaus County.
By securing a long term water purchase with TID, the SRWA could provide the water to be treated at the facility once developed. In previous discussions between TID and the City of Turlock, officials had hoped to have the surface water treatment facility developed by 2020.
Although the current five-year water rate increase proposal facing the Turlock City Council does not factor in costs for the new surface water project, city staff has indicated that water rates would need to be increased to help fund the construction and operation of the new facility, which has been estimated to cost a hefty $150 million.
Also involving the City of Turlock, the TID Board of Directors will enter negotiations with city representatives during the closed session period following their regular meeting, where the two will discuss prices and terms of payment for the district's long term purchase of recycled water from the City of Turlock's wastewater treatment plant.
On Tuesday, the Board of Directors is also expected to:
• Receive updates on electric services, power, water and irrigation reports;
• Conference with legal counsel on anticipated and existing litigation during closed session;
• Review the district's Public Employee Performance Evaluation during closed session.
The Board of Directors meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the TID Main Office Building at 333 E. Canal Drive.