NID boss led district at a critical juncture | TheUnion.com
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NID boss led district at a critical juncture

im Chatigny and his wife have raised quite a sizable family, with 11 children and a lot more grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But in his time in the Sierra foothills, many more people have grown dependent on him as well. Chatigny, general manager of the Nevada Irrigation District, has been a leading force in the community, helping to prepare the district for its growing customer base and protecting the area’s water rights from those downstream.

Chatigny, a retired Air Force master sergeant, joined NID 23 years ago and became general manager in 1986.



During his tenure, he led a district that grew to more than 23,000 water customers, had 170 employees and an annual budget of about $33.5 million. Through it all, Chatigny has strived to protect the water district’s interests, serve its customers and plan for the growing needs of the future.

The irrigation district morphed over the years to serve a growing number of nonagricultural users, and the transition period was far from painless.




Finances were in dismal shape and, as we recently mentioned, retiring NID Director Ernie Bierwagen gives the credit for a robust turnaround to Chatigny and former general manager Frederick Bandy.

Chatigny worked to upgrade workers retirement plans and to modernize NID’s facilities, both badly needed improvements.

He also led the fight to protect a state raid on the district’s water supply. Under a 1988 state plan, NID would have had to relinquish about one-sixth of its total reservoir capacity, or roughly 40,000 square feet, to help the Bay Delta ecosystem. Chatigny and NID maintained that the district’s system of canals and reservoirs, much of which dated to the area’s 19th century hydraulic gold mining, was developed before the Bay Delta’s woes.

Now, Chatigny plans to retire on Sept. 3 and will be replaced Ron Nelson, manager of the Central Oregon Irrigation District.

Chatigny has served the district and his community capably, and his successor will find him a tough act to follow.


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