TID to Hold Budget Workshop

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The Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors will continue work on the 2014 TID budget on Tuesday, during a workshop scheduled to follow the Board's regular meeting.

Directors have already reviewed a preliminary 2014 capital project plan, but have yet to discuss operations and maintenance budgets for TID departments.

Data presented during a past financial planning workshop suggested that the district may need an additional $13 million to balance the TID budget each year between 2014 and 2016. A further $17 million is needed in 2017, and $18 million is needed in 2018.

The cost increases are expected to come from slight, over-time increases in many areas; no one driving factor for the budget shortfall was identified.

The district will not need an immediate rate increase to bridge that shortfall, TID Assistant General Manager of Financial Services Joe Malaski said, as transfers from TID's rate stabilization fund can be used in the short term. A six percent rate increase could be pending for 2016, however.

This year's budget will include the final year of a three-year rate increase, with customer costs set to rise four percent on Jan. 1. Rates also rose four percent in 2012, and four percent this year. The rate increase shows as an “Environmental Charge” on customers' bills, and is directly linked to the high costs of obtaining state-mandated green energy, district staff said.

The last increase to base power rates came in 2009, when costs went up 13 percent for homes and as much as 20 percent for businesses.

On Tuesday, the TID Board of Directors is also scheduled to:
• Resume negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in closed session. The union has been without a contract since December 2010.
• Hear regular weekly reports on electric service and irrigation water availability.
• Consider installing a sidegate in the Upper Lateral 4 Canal for John Daubenberger, and a sidegate in the Lower Lateral 2 Canal for Jim De Martini,
• Hear a report on a state water tour.
• In closed session, discuss one potential case of anticipated litigation.
• Conference with the manager of district security in closed session.

The TID Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the board room of the TID Main Office Building, 333 E. Canal Dr.

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