Photo by Laura Gjovaag
Farmers crowd the room during a Roza Board of Director's meeting.
As of Tuesday, December 15, 2015
SUNNYSIDE Roza Irrigation District Board of Directors voted unanimously this morning to halt plans for a Lake Kachess emergency temporary floating pumping plant.
District Manager Scott Revell spoke before a standing-room-only crowd at the board’s meeting, explaining the costs for the project had increased from an estimated $57 million to an estimated $78 million.
“The bulk of the cost increase is related to marine, in-water work,” he said.
The plan would have set up six temporary pumps in Lake Kachess to increase water flow for Roza irrigators during drought years. The initial cost of the project to Roza farmers was estimated at $85 per acre-foot.
As a result of the increased cost, Revell recommended the project be canceled. The board agreed, although Board President Ric Valicoff said he still likes the idea.
“I still think it’s a good project,” he said. “But the costs have gotten away.”
Valicoff also thanked farmers for their input.
The board also set the assessment for 2016 at $182.65 per irrigateable acre. The assessment is a one-time cost adjusted every year based on the needs of the irrigation district.