New Nevada Irrigation District board to consider water rate hikes, budget at first meeting
A Nevada Irrigation District committee on Tuesday opted against a resolution that would authorize expenditures until the board of directors adopts a 2019 budget.
Committee members voted instead to simply return the 2019 budget, which contains water rate hikes that have not yet been approved, to the board on Dec. 12.
That means the water rates and the overall budget will be on the same agenda at the first meeting of three new board members: Chris Bierwagen, Laura Peters and Ricki Heck. General Manager Rem Scherzinger acknowledged that will be a full day of discussion, saying he had no authority to add another meeting date to split the agenda.
The budget was up for approval at the board’s last meeting on Nov. 28. It was discussed but ultimately tabled so the incoming board members could be involved in the budget decision.
During that meeting, Heck had asked the current directors not to adopt the budget, arguing the water rate increases need to be approved first. According to Finance Manager Marvin Davis, the 2019 budget uses an assumption that a 5.72 percent increase in the water rates will be approved.
Scherzinger wanted to push forward, telling the board the budget needed to be passed so bills could be paid come Jan. 1. He added the budget could always be amended if needed.
At Tuesday’s Administrative Practices Committee meeting, board member Nick Wilcox said he previously had a concern that the water rate hikes did not comply with state regulations. Wilcox said after further research, he determined that was not the case, and retracted his comments.
Scherzinger recommended moving forward with the 2019 budget that contained the water rate hikes, with the understanding if those rates change, the budget would be amended.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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