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Woodbridge Irrigation District approves 13-acre land purchase

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Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:26 am, Fri Apr 8, 2011.

The Woodbridge Irrigation District approved the purchase of nearly 13 acres of land on West Turner Road at a board meeting Thursday morning. The property, formerly home to Mainland Nursery, has been vacant for several years after the nursery went bankrupt, said Andy Christensen, general manager for WID in a phone call after the meeting. Mainland Nursery still operates a location on Armstrong Road.

The district will use the property as storage space for its machinery and equipment and will maintain three to four of the structures on site. However, the plastic buildings formerly used to grow items for the nursery will be removed, Christensen said.

"Those plastic buildings are tattered and in disrepair," he said.

The district approved a motion to purchase the property from F&M Bank for $460,000.

The site is appealing to the district because it is next to the canal and close to its operations in Woodbridge, Christensen said.

While the district apporved the purchase, the transaction has not yet closed so the deal is not final, said Stephen Haley, chief financial officer for F&M Bank.

Heavy flows continue in the Mokelumne River

Due to heavy winter rains, releases from area reservoirs and significant snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas, Christensen said he expects lots of water to run through the Mokelumne River this year.

"We will be seeing flows of about 3,400 cubic feet per second for the foreseeable future," he said.

The residents around the river should maintain their watch on water levels to protect low-lying docks or other property, he said.

On the plus side, the increased flows will benefit the fish because it will lead to cooler water temperatures in the river, Christensen said.

Office construction to begin shortly

The district is one step closer to moving out of its 750-square-foot location. Construction on the district's 5,000-square-foot, $600,000 office is set to begin in the next 30 days, Christensen said. Although the new office will feature views of the Mokelumne River, a section devoted to the history of Woodbridge and technology that will enable the district to operate its gates, fish screens and canals, no formal groundbreaking will be held.

"We have a lot of other construction going on and we want to finish the project before the heavy rains in the fall," Christensen said.

The district expects construction to take about six months.

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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9 comments:

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 5:04 pm on Sat, Apr 9, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    Never said it was mismanagement...just poor. Adding 10-12 people to do the same job 5 or 6 did seems a bit much. I agree with Mr C also...that is a lot of money for 13 acres. The other fish screens required even more maintenance. Just a question...and another observation.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:23 am on Sat, Apr 9, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Again, what justifies $460K for less than 13 acres? That land is worth $35K plus an acre? I suspect that someone very well-connected or a local good old boy was the recipient of this "sale"? Did F&M bank make an actual real time appraisal before WID spent taxpayers' money in such a careless manner?

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 10:59 am on Sat, Apr 9, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2740

    Pat,

    How can the more efficient Dam that probably requires more people to maintain be a government boondoggle? I really don't see where adding 10 more employees in the stretch of 50 years can be considered mismanagement.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 10:52 am on Sat, Apr 9, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2740

    I remember when there wasn't a fence around the area of the fish screens. Friends and I used to catch small trout at the river side of the fish screens and then leave them on the line and go to the river to catch bass. And the days of watching people try to snag salmon in the fish ladders at the old dam before it was fenced off.

     
  • Patrick W Maple posted at 11:09 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    Oh yeah...we also got to play in their cement pond and before they put in the fish screens you could actually catch fish in the canal...especially when they let the water out of the dam...I liked the old dam better too.

     
  • Patrick W Maple posted at 11:04 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    Well Darrell...I probably should know more...but here is how I believe it works. The WID supplies water to farmers for their grapes and some other crops and dairies. The farmers pay for the water. My question is why does it take 15 people or more to run the basically same system that has been in place for over 50 years that was ran by 5 or 6 people. I seems to me to have become another government boondoggle.

    By the way I must thank them for being good neighbors and supplying us with a place to swim in the summer.

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 11:01 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1795

    Every government agency that has figured out how to increase the influx of cash expands accordingly. Not necessarily because the NEED to, more like the have the financial ability to do so. This kind of reminds me of the "goldfish principle". The larger the fish bowl, the bigger the fish grow. Waste? Yep, no doubt.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:34 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Pat... I have a question. Has there been a dramatic increase in revenue, responsibility and employees that would justify the expense and actions taken? If so, where is the money coming from? Why do they need so much office space? What increase in responsibilities do they have that would require hiring more employees?

     
  • Patrick W Maple posted at 7:00 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    How is it that Bud Cash, Bob Welsh, Johnny Lowery and a couple of other workers along with their lone secretary could manage the irrigation district's canals, dams and watergates for 45 years without many hitches? We have lived next door to the irrigation facilities since the 40's and use to use the field across the canal for clod fights with the Christy boys, McGarrahs and Turner kids. How has it become this conglomeration?

     

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