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SVID board approves merger with Grandview

A step towards local irrigation history took place yesterday, Tuesday, when the SVID board agreed to a merger with the Grandview Irrigation District (GID).

The merger comes at the request of GID landholders.

GID board chair Ben Fisher says the departure of the district's ditch rider employee combined with outdated equipment means it's time to join SVID.

"I'm all for it," he said. "Our equipment is all antiquated and we have nobody to do the work."

SVID Manager Jim Trull says the move is also a money saver because it reduces duplication of costs.

GID is just the latest in a series of irrigation districts that have merged into SVID. Trull said at one time there were as many as seven irrigation districts in the Sunnyside Division.

In agreeing to the merger, SVID and its landowners will not be responsible for GID's contract obligations. In addition, SVID's board will serve as directors of the merged district.

Yesterday's action, though, is contingent on approval by GID's landowners.

An informational meeting for GID landowners is set for Thursday, Feb. 23, at 1:30 p.m. in SVID's board room. Trull said a GID landowner vote on the merger proposal is set for March 1.

During SVID's board meeting yesterday, Trull said there is about $230,000 in cash reserves held by GID. If the merger goes through, Trull said that money would be dedicated to maintenance projects in the Grandview district. The projects would include upgrading some of the laterals, as well as electrical updates and improving the pumping plant.

"We always knew the handwriting was on the wall," Fisher said of the merger. "We held on for as long as we could."

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