The Turlock Irrigation District Board will meet Tuesday to present the 2015 Budget which includes a proposal to increase irrigation rates by more than double.
Currently, TID irrigation customers are charged $8.25 per acre-foot in a normal year, based on the water available to each customer. The proposed increase would bump the blended charge up to $17.50 per acre-foot. Additionally, the fixed charge customers pay would be $60 per acre, up from $23.
Landowners subject to acreage based rates, per the State Constitution, have the right to protest the implementation of any new fees. Should a majority of local landowners protest TID’s rate increase, new charges may not be implemented.
There is a 45-day notification period prior to the Board’s consideration of increasing fees. The District is proposing that a notice be mailed to landowners with access to irrigation facilities with an explanation of proposed increases with directions on how to file a protest.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the TID Board of Directors will consider setting the public hearing for Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. to consider the proposal to adjust irrigation rates and receive public comment.
Affected irrigation customers must have protest the fee hike before or at the proposed Jan. 13 meeting.
TID and the Modesto Irrigation District have long had the lowest rates amongst the area water districts. The proposed rate increase would make TID charge the third most expensive — only behind Patterson Irrigation District and Merced Irrigation District.
However, according to TID reports, neighboring irrigation districts are also increasing or planning to increase irrigation rates.
TID staff proposes increasing the fixed charge component of the existing water rate schedules which would increase the cost of water by varying amounts depending on the amount of water that is used. There are separate rate schedules for normal and dry years.
The proposed irrigation rate adjustment is based on the unaccounted water revenue, annual and 2013-14 revenue shortfall, membership and government relations costs, the SBx 7-7 Project, Lateral 8 Regulating Reservoir Project, Lateral 8 Total Channel Control Project, Critically Dry Year Annual Collection, Palm Street Operations Complex Project and the Water Master Plan.
The TID Board will meet Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 9:00 a.m. in the Board Room of the TID Main Office Building, 333 E. Canal Dr.