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.
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