New NID security in the cards |

New NID security in the cards

Nevada Irrigation District officials Wednesday voted to spend $135,000 on security upgrades based on concerns about international safety, records and a threat to NID workers.

The money will be used to remodel NID’s front office and bring in a card program for an employee entrance. General Manager Ron Nelson said the work was needed because of:

• Homeland Security concerns. NID has many dams and reservoirs that need to be safe for drinking and irrigation water for many Californians.

• Ongoing issues with records security.

• “Reaction to an acute threat to the district,” which Nelson declined to describe. Nelson said the threat was made several months ago and that it left NID feeling “behind the times” in terms of security.

NID Board Chairman John Drew said the security update was needed in light of the Jan. 10, 2001, shooting spree, in which Scott Thorpe killed two people at Nevada County’s Behavioral Health Department and killed another at Lyon’s Restaurant.

“Were appropriate security in place, we may not have lost some of our most important citizens,” Drew said. “Employee safety is most important here.”

Nelson said the bulk of the work would be done at NID’s office on West Main Street. However, other work will be done at various NID buildings in Nevada and Placer counties and for workers in the field.

In other news, the board:

• Agreed to take over a small powerhouse at Combie Reservoir from a lessee that has run out of money and cannot repair it. The district initially thought action would have to take place by May 15 but learned Wednesday the date is March 15.

The district is hoping the powerhouse is fixed for the April 15 start of the irrigation season so that full hydroelectric power can be gained from it. The agreement with the lessee is pending.

• Made the first step toward hiring upper managers with college educations. A realignment in the hydroelectric division spurred the move, and board members Nancy Weber and Scott Miller were insistent that language for future major job descriptions call for at least some college education.

General Manager Nelson does not have a college degree, and many of the upper management officials at NID in recent years did not have degrees.

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