Tracy, CA (July 14, 2016) – In a move that sets the stage for two major Tracy area irrigation districts to join forces, leaders with the West Side Irrigation District (WSID) gave their official approval to merge with Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID). WSID’s Board of Directors voted 3-1 in favor of the action at their board meeting Wednesday night.
WSID’s vote came after months of thoughtful discussion between the two districts carefully weighing the benefits a consolidation would bring customers, including stronger water resources and ongoing financial sustainability. A merger would result in the incorporation of WSID’s existing 6,000-acre service area west of Tracy into the existing 30,000-acre service area of BBID, establishing a single, 36,000-acre district.
“We see the potential for better water reliability as one district,” said BBID GM Rick Gilmore. “Sharing resources can only help us serve our customers more effectively and efficiently.”
Over the last few months, an ad-hoc committee comprised of members from both districts reviewed all aspects of a potential merger. The committee toured district facilities and poured over financial data. A public meeting seeking input from landowners in both districts found overwhelming support.
The matter now rests in the hands of BBID’s Board of Directors, set to take a vote at the District’s next board meeting. If BBID votes to merge with WSID, a district reorganization plan would be submitted to the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for final approval.
It would be the second merger BBID has successfully undertaken. In 2004, BBID merged with Plainview Water District.