TID Budget to Cut Two Employees, Dip Into Reserves

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The Turlock Irrigation District expects to employ two fewer people next year and dip into reserves to balance its budget, according to a preliminary budget overview presented during a Tuesday workshop. More budget details are expected Tuesday.

The reduction in staffing would see TID fall from 456 employees to 454. The two positions eliminated, a field service representative and a custodian, are not currently filled.

The budget also includes the collapse of the Resource Management, Planning and Rates Administration, which was absorbed into the Power Supply Administration earlier this year. A handful of other positions were transferred between administrations.

The district faces numerous financial challenges in the year to come, with a $1.3 million increase in pension costs, $1.1 million to fund a three percent salary increase, and a $200,000 increase in medical costs. In all, the district's operations and maintenance budget would increase 1.77 percent, to $130 million.

The district expects to cover those cost increases with a transfer from TID's rate stabilization fund, of as much as $13 million. But the actual amount transferred could be less; the budget projects modest wholesale electric revenues, though the district far surpassed projections last year.

The overview presented Tuesday was just that – an overview. Details about the budgets for each individual administration is expected in the coming weeks.

“The fun begins next week, with more detailed information,” Assistant General Manager of Financial Services Joe Malaski said.

The TID Board of Directors is expected to tackle budgets for the General Manger and the Financial Services Administration on Tuesday. The Water Resources and Power Supply Administrations will follow on Nov. 5. The Electrical Engineering and Operations budget will follow on Nov. 19, along with miscellaneous rates. The final budget is set for a Dec. 10 adoption.

On Tuesday, the TID Board of Directors is also expected to:
• In closed session, authorize General Manager Casey Hashimoto to negotiate for property at 900 N. Palm St., the site of the former Turlock Police Station, the Turlock War Memorial, and the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park.
• Hear regular weekly updates on electric service, power generation, irrigation water availability, and the status of the irrigation season.
• Discuss a case of anticipated litigation in closed session.
• Hear a report the safety of TID's dams.
• Dissolve the Inzana-Tomlinson Pipeline improvement district.

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