- Last Updated: 24 November 2015
BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPROVE MODIFICATION TO REGULAR BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
The Madera Irrigation District Board of Directors approved Resolution No. 2015-82 on November 17, 2015 modifying the regular board meeting schedule to the third Tuesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. Open session will continue to begin at 2:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Board Secretary Andrea Sandoval at 559-673-3514 ext. 215.
- Last Updated: 22 October 2015
TRANSPARENCY CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE AWARDED TO MADERA IRRIGATION DISTRICT
The Madera Irrigation District (District or MID) has been awarded a District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.
“This award is a testament to the District’s commitment to open and transparent government,” said Thomas Greci, General Manager. “MID strives for transparency in all of our practices. I believe that for an organization to serve the public it represents, it must be transparent.”
In order to receive the award, a special district must demonstrate the completion of eight essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner. The District fulfilled fifteen website requirements including providing readily available information to the public such as board agendas, past minutes, current District budget, and three years of financial audits. The District also had to demonstrate outreach to its constituents that engaged the public in its governance. This was accomplished through newsletters, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, annual growers meetings, presentations at various service clubs, and special community engagement projects such as the logo design contest the District held earlier this year.
- Last Updated: 21 October 2015
MADERA IRRIGATION DISTRICT FEATURED IN
ASSOCIATION OF WATER AGENCIES (ACWA) MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Madera Irrigation District is proud to be featured in the October 15, 2015 edition of the ACWA Newsletter. To read the Member Spotlight on the District, please click here.
- Last Updated: 18 September 2015
The Madera Irrigation District (MID or District) closed a bond refunding on September 17, 2015 that is scheduled to reduce the District landowners’ Proposition 218 (9(d)) assessments by thirteen (13) years. The new bond term extends to 2030 and will likely end as early as 2027, as opposed to the previous bond schedule of 2040. “The District is incredibly excited to announce the results of a very complex, yet extremely successful bond refunding” stated General Manager, Thomas Greci, “the benefit of the bond refunding will be realized directly by the landowners in our District through the elimination of the Proposition 218 assessments 13 years prior to what was originally expected.”
The Proposition 218 assessments were approved by resolution on March 15, 2011, following a Proposition 218 assessment ballot proceeding, where the District landowners voted and approved the proposition to finance acquisition of the 9(d) contract from the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR). The Proposition 218 assessments are restricted in use for the USBR contract payments and are not available for general District purposes.
On September 17, 2015 the Madera Irrigation District closed a bond refunding for $29,275,000 in Water Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 2015. The total cash flow savings, as a result of refunding the 2011 bonds, is over $20 million, with net present value savings of over $7.6 million. This equates to the massive savings of 23.5% of the refunded bonds. The 2015 Bonds were structured to be repaid from the special assessments through the year 2030 (but allowing for likely early repayment by 2027). The process the District undertook with the refunding of the bonds included (a) earning a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating upgrade to “A” from “A-” on its outstanding water revenue refunding bonds which were issued in 2008 and (b) earning a S&P rating of “A” on the 2015 Bonds in addition to obtaining bond insurance with a “AA” rating on the insured portion of the 2015 Bonds.
The majority of landowners in the District currently pay an assessment that ranges from $20.35 to $31.88 per acre per year, depending on the land type. The savings of these assessment payments over a thirteen year period will result in considerable benefits to the landowners themselves and the community as a whole. “Reducing the number of years of bond payments and assessment collections to just over half the original term, from an initial term of 30 years to a scheduled term of 17 years, is a significant monetary savings for the landowners in our District” stated General Manager, Thomas Greci, “the District’s Board of Directors and Staff are pleased to have achieved this savings for our landowners.”
- Last Updated: 26 August 2015
- Last Updated: 14 August 2015
Standard & Poor's (S&P) Ratings Services announced it raised its long-term rating from A-minus to A on Madera Irrigation District's water revenue refunding bonds. This was following General Manager Thomas Greci, Assistant General Manager Dina Nolan, and Controller Anna Swanson's presentation to S&P last month.
"The raised rating reflects our view of the district's strong financial performance despite challenging drought conditions, and improved liquidity position” said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Tim Trung in The Bond Buyer.
General Manager Thomas Greci stated, “The recent strengthening of the District’s financials are due to sound policy decisions by the Board of Directors. The financial success is a result of a number of factors including significant reductions in the District’s operational costs and the implementation of supplemental water supply programs that brought new water to the District and generated water sales revenue, even on years with a zero allocation. I am excited to see Standard and Poor's acknowledgement of the District’s hard work and commitment to its landowners during this challenging time of severe drought.”
- Last Updated: 05 August 2015
FRIANT NORTH' WATER GROUP NAMES DAVID ORTH
AS EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ORGANIZES JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY
A recently-organized San Joaquin Valley water agency has a new name and organizational structure along with its first executive officer. Well known California water leader David L. Orth has been named to head the newly-renamed North Friant Authority. Orth’s appointment was announced Monday (August 3) as representatives of four participating water districts acted to formally organize as a public joint powers agency. Those districts include the Fresno Irrigation District, Madera Irrigation District, Chowchilla Water District and Gravelly Ford Water District. In June, the four districts formed what was initially called the Friant North Alliance. The districts are Central Valley Project-Friant Division contractors that deliver San Joaquin River water to portions of Madera, Fresno and Merced counties.
Orth, a Fresno County resident who is a member of the California Water Commission, recently resigned after 13 years as Kings River Conservation District general manager, citing a desire to pursue other opportunities. His appointment by the new Authority is as an independent contractor and will become effective August 17, 2015. He became KRCD’s general manager in February 2002. Before coming to KRCD, Orth served for two years as Vice President of Resource Management for Woolf Enterprises, a diversified San Joaquin Valley farming operation and from 1995-2000 as general manager of Westlands Water District, a CVP contractor. Prior to becoming Westland’s manager, Orth served as the district’s director of finance for nine years. Previously, he was a deputy Fresno County treasurer.
Orth has served on the California Water Commission since 2013. At KRCD, Orth has been involved in development of sustainable policies for local groundwater management and water quality protection. Orth was among the first to be involved in integrated water system management planning in the Kings River service area and was a founder of the Kings Basin Water Authority, which he has served as secretary-treasurer. Most recently, Orth has become involved deeply in how the Kings River region intends to implement California’s new Groundwater Sustainability Act. He has also been active in the electrical energy arena. In his work for Westlands, Orth was engaged in Bay-Delta issues, and participated actively in the CalFed Bay-Delta Program.
In 2015, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) presented Orth with its annual Excellence in Water Leadership Award in recognition of remarkable contributions to California water by supporting and advancing ACWA’s goals. Orth received ACWA’s Emissary Award in 2010. He has served on the board of the Association of California Water Agencies as Region 6 chair and has chaired several other ACWA committees during his career. Orth serves on Fresno County’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Stakeholder Group. A native of Porterville, Orth has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from California State University, Fresno.
The Friant North Authority has been established by four of the northernmost Friant Division districts for mutual water supply development and to deal with federal and state governments on water and environmental issues.
Kole Upton, a Chowchilla Water District board member and Chairman of the new organization, said when the preliminary organization was taking place two months ago, “It’s something we in the northern portion of the Friant Division have needed to do for a long time. We have a lot of potential for water sharing for our constituents and, on the policy side, we have a lot in common.”
The new Authority is fully separate and apart from the Friant Water Authority (FWA). The Madera and Fresno Irrigation Districts ended their FWA memberships earlier this year. Chowchilla Water District withdrew several years ago. Gravelly Ford has not previously been a FWA member. All four agencies hold Class 1, Class 2 or both Class 1 and 2 water contracts with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for water stored in Millerton Lake. The North Friant Authority plans to actively engage in current and ongoing common interests, activities and issues. Those include dealings with Reclamation, the Interior Department agency that oversees the CVP. The new Authority also intends to interact with the FWA, other Friant Division contractors, the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors and the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.