Tim Crough: Karen Hull will bring integrity to the NID | TheUnion.com

Tim Crough: Karen Hull will bring integrity to the NID

I am the former assistant general manager of the Nevada Irrigation District. For more than 12 years in that position, I oversaw many functions of the district, and at times I served as the acting chief engineer, finance manager, human resources manager, operations manager, and general manager.

When I retired in January 2017, I had serious reservations about the new direction the district was headed. Prior to my decision to retire, I watched the district spend down cash reserves dramatically over a two-year period. During that time, the district issued new debt in the amount of $20 million and it had plans to incur another $20 million in debt. The new debt seemed unnecessary and speculative.

Prior to 2015, the board and the general manager expressed concern that the net reserve of $71 million was low, considering the obligations expected in the near future. These obligations included the need for the district to establish an emergency reserve for hydroelectricity under the new PG&E contract and more than $60 million for the Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission re-licensing. Even then, it was clear that financial discipline and good planning were needed to increase reserves.

The current financial statements show inadequate reserves for all operations, the water division, hydroelectric division, and recreation. In addition, according to the audited financial statement of the district, its net position in unrestricted reserves decreased to $32 million in 2018. These are not positive signs about the financial health of the district.

Today, the board of directors knows that the district will incur a substantial amount of new debt very soon. The total debt for the hydro-licensing obligations and acquisition of the Deer Creek Powerhouse will be more than $250 million. And, this does not include any new debt for the development of the Centennial Dam.

The district needs a new leader to guide it back to sound fiscal policies. I am supporting Karen Hull for Division 3. She has a strong background in fiscal management, leadership, and most importantly, she has integrity. We need Karen to help re-build NID.

Tim Crough

Lake of the Pines

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