Grass Valley, Calif. October 26, 2017 – Acceptance of a new three-year labor agreement for NID employees, authorizing work to remove sediment in the Loma Rica Reservoir and construction of a new Orchard Springs Campground store were top agenda items the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Board of Directors addressed during its Oct. 25 meeting.
Directors announced out of a closed session that the District has reached a three-year agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFCSME) Local 146 that will continue to offer exceptional benefit to both District customers and to District employees. Directors agreed to ratify the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in a 5-0 vote in closed session.
The new agreement affects about 170 (80 Union-represented positions) of NID’s 205 employees. Benefits for District employees include: short-term disability, life insurance, health benefits (including medical, dental and vision) and air ambulance insurance, among others.
This agreement saves the District approximately $750,000 over the life of the MOU, while still adding a cost of living adjustment (COLA) between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent and a market rate adjustment of 2 percent to staff wages. COLA and rate adjustments will take place in January, 2018.
Negotiations have been ongoing since March 2017 and the agreement will replace a previous AFCSME MOU, dated June 2014 – June 2017. All told, the agreement is fiscally responsible for District customers, economically beneficial to NID staff and is anticipated to keep well within 2018 budget expense projections.
In other NID Board matters, Directors approved a $200,000 contract with Lorang Brothers Construction of Colfax to remove 15,000 cubic yards of material from the Loma Rica Reservoir, located about one-quarter mile east of Nevada County Air Park. The reservoir stores raw water delivered through the Cascade Canal and the Banner Cascade Pipeline. When first constructed in the early 1960’s, it had a capacity of 96.9 acre-feet (31.6 million gallons). Since then, silt and vegetation growth have significantly decreased reservoir capacity.
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The reservoir supplies the Loma Rica Water Treatment Plant and the Chicago Park Canal, an NID supply route for raw-water customers, although it is not directly connected with any local creeks nor does it discharge to any natural water bodies or streams. It also is used by the Nevada County Air Attack Base. Directors also approved a $449,295 contract to rebuild the Orchard Springs Campground Store, which was removed last year.
The initial bid to rebuild was “significantly above the budget,” noted a staff report. NID has worked with Contractor Bill Litchfield Construction of Grass Valley to scale back plans, including a redesign so the store’s roof will no longer extend over a sitting and playground area. In general, public works construction project costs have increased by an estimated 4 percent this year. Directors unanimously approved the contract but noted the importance of having an overhang or canopy for store visitors. Staff will look into options to install such an amenity. The campground is located at Rollins Lake off Highway 174 about 4 miles from Colfax and offers 91 campsites for RVs, trailers and tents.
The General Manager reported total acre-feet of storage at 1,841,181 acre-feet (69 percent of maximum capacity or 120 percent of average for the water year). For the month, 1.65 inches of rain (42 percent of average) has been measured at Bowman Powerhouse.
The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the NID Business Center located at 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley. NID Board meetings are open to the public.