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Grandview irrigators unanimously OK merger with SVID

GRANDVIEW - "I think it's a good deal," Grandview Irrigation District chair Ben Fisher said of his vote yesterday to merge with SVID.

Fisher wasn't alone, as by a unanimous 702-0 vote landowners in the Grandview Irrigation District voted Thursday to merge with SVID.

Fisher said a total of 37 landowners were represented in the tally, with their number of votes based on land holdings within GID.

Representatives from GID approached SVID officials in January about the possible merger and last month SVID's board approved the move, contingent on yesterday's vote.

"I've only had two people that kind of questioned it, but they must have voted yes because they showed up and the vote was unanimous," Fisher said of GID landowner response to the merger.

Fisher said he and others in GID sought to dissolve the nearly century-old irrigation district because of worn out equipment and financial concerns.

"It was getting antiquated," Fisher said of GID's equipment, some of which dates back to the district's founding in 1915.

He said people involved in operating the district were getting worn out, too.

"Everybody running it is getting old," he said. "I'm 75 and someday along the line we've gotta quit."

Economically, Fisher said GID landowners already have high water rates - an annual assessment of $112 per acre compared to $97 for SVID users.

And it was only going to get worse.

"It was getting to the point economically that we just couldn't keep going," Fisher says.

Without the SVID merger, he estimates future assessments would have been in the range of $125 per acre because of work needed to overhaul GID's system.

Fisher says there's about $270,000 in GID's reserves and SVID has committed to use those funds for projects in the Grandview Irrigation District.

Yesterday's vote will be certified on Monday, March 5, by the GID board. Once that's done, GID will immediately merge with SVID.

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