After two board members called their lawyer a liar last week, tensions may continue today at the Imperial Irrigation District meeting as lawyers arguing for the water transfer on behalf of the IID are set to make a presentation.
Allen Matkins attorneys David Osias and Mark Hattam are set to go before the board to give an update on issues surrounding the district’s water transfer to San Diego. The two are set to give an update on the water transfer litigation and the petition to the State Water Resources Control Board to sell mitigation water set now to go to the Salton Sea and use the proceeds for mitigation projects.
Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer session for the board and members of the public.
Board members have been asking for a report since water attorney Charles T. DuMars gave his presentations last month, going over his recommendations for where the district should go in regard to the nation’s largest-agriculture to urban water transfer.
Osias and Hattam will have a presentation in public session but are also supposed to talk with the board in closed session.
The board will also discuss asking the state to present its intentions toward Salton Sea restoration. At last week’s meeting Director Jim Hanks said he wanted state or federal government to come down and make a presentation within the next 90 days about what their plans are for the Salton Sea.
“In my district, Division 3, the Salton Sea sits up there, and the people are very concerned about the health hazards,” he said last week. “The way we’re going, it looks like we’re letting the state off the hook so who’s going to pay for it. That’s the big issue.”
There’s been legislation passed at the federal level years ago dealing with the Salton Sea, and the state has requirements under the water transfer, he said. The water transfer says a failure to appropriate funds is not a defense, and that’s a warning to the state.
There needs to be some sort of plan moving forward, he said.
“I don’t think we have the luxury of waiting for the state to decide maybe they will or maybe they won’t,” he added.
Another controversial item to go before the board is the proposed changes to the district’s bidding process. Through the past several months the district has been working to revise the policy that many, even within the district, say has problems. However, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business representatives have said that the changes made to the proposed policy aren’t enough.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at email@example.com or 760-337-3441.
If you go
What Imperial Irrigation District board of directors meeting
When 1 p.m. today
Where W.R. Condit Auditorium, 1285 Broadway, El Centro
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