LSID cleans up boundaries

Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District annexes a portion of 20 properties, removes over 450 from the district prior to Prop. 218 election

The Sun-Gazette

LINDSAY – The Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District has changed its boundaries in an effort to provide better surface water to farmers and better drinking water to residents living in rural hamlets.

On Jan. 22, Tulare County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) approves two changes to the irrigation district boundaries. LAFCO executive officer Ben Guiliani said the board, which oversees boundary issues for local government entities, approved a sphere of influence amendment as well as an annexation/detachment of several properties.

The sphere of influence amendment allowed the irrigation district to absorb the other half of 20 parcels that were bisected by Holworthy Drive between Avenue 222 and Avenue 228 alignments. The second action annexed 229 acres into the district while simultaneously removing 310 acres from the district. The annexation coincided with the acreage absorbed in the first action while the detachment removed 468 residential parcels from the district. 

The parcels were part of two rural communities in Page-Moore Tract and El Rancho that the district no longer provides water for. The City of Lindsay has provided water to the Page-Moore Tract since 2006 and to El Ranch since 2012. Guiliani said the purpose of the two actions was to “clean up the district boundaries” for a Proposition 218 election for an additional assessment on the properties within the district. The residential properties were removed because they would be taxed for water service they no longer need. 

Proposition 218 was a constitutional amendment passed by California voters in November 1996. The initiative prevents local government entities from creating new or increasing existing taxes, fees or charges without a vote by the property owners within the jurisdiction. If one more than half of the property owners submit a written protest against the tax, they can block the tax from taking effect. 

Dennis Keller of Keller & Wegley Engineering, the firm contracted by LSID, said the irrigation district’s board has yet to take a final vote on the proposed assessment which would increase revenue for the district to cover increased costs associated with the Friant-Kern Canal, repay a $7 million loan to repair leaks in irrigation distribution system, and to refinance a 2011 loan used to convert its 25-year water contract with the Central Valley Project into a permanent contract. 

“The pipes in this system are 70 years old and this district has been delivering water since the early 20th Century,” Keller said. “We wanted to get people, residences, off canal water and onto treated, filtered water systems.”

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