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Headstart for 2012 water supply

With water storage at 194 percent of average for this time of year, things are looking up for Yakima Valley irrigators in 2012.

That's according to an update provided yesterday, Tuesday, during a Sunnyside Division Board of Control meeting.

"That's not a record, but it's one of the highest in recent years," Ken Ott, an assistant manager for operations and maintenance, told the board of directors.

Ott added, "We're going into the winter with a good carryover for next year."

In other irrigation supply news, Ott also updated the board on the shut-off schedule for irrigation water this year. He said there will be a gradual ramp down starting on Oct. 18, with the plan to have the water completely shut off by Oct. 20.

Winter projects

The board also received an update on work scheduled for this winter that includes an enclosed piping project in Grandview in an area generally west of Euclid.

Also set for this winter is a project to wrap up installation of six check structures between Parker and Zillah.

In related news, the board authorized a short-term loan of up to $1 million from SVID to the Sunnyside Division Board of Control for the winter construction projects.

An interest rate of .15 percent per month will be assessed. The loan will be repaid by January 2012.

The loan is needed because of uncertainties about the receipt of additional federal stimulus funding for the project.

Budgets

Also presented yesterday were proposed budgets for the Board of Control and a combined budget of the Board of Control and SVID.

Highlights include a move towards not filling vacant positions when they open up due to retirements.

The board also learned that about $2 million has been received from stimulus-funded work this year on canal improvements because the Sunnyside Division/SVID used its own labor on the projects.

The combined budget is for $8.9 million in 2012, a decrease of about $350,000 from the 2011 budget.

The 2012 budget for the Board of Control is $9.4 million, down $5.4 million from 2011 which saw receipt of one-time federal stimulus dollars.

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