In 2010, the Board of Directors established safety as being the number one priority of the District.
We don’t have to look any farther than to what happened in June of this year, to see the level of devastation that can occur when a canal failure occurs in an urban area. That is why capital projects are so important. These projects are intended to improve our delivery system, such as with canal lining. KID has over 74 miles of open channel canal with approximately 20 miles remaining to be lined, which we estimate to take our crews 6 to 8 years to complete. Upon the completion of lining projects, our attention will shift to evaluating the remaining concrete sections for replacement or application of liner over the concrete. In addition to these projects, KID does a lot of project coordination with other agencies.
Due to the size of the district, our service area overlaps with three cities and Benton County, which sometimes requires that we shift capital project dollars around quickly. For example, this April the city of Kennewick informed us that the long anticipated paving of the new Bob Olsen Parkway was in the queue for this year; no longer on the near term horizon, it was happening now. As a former city manager and public works director, I understand the importance of good planning and believe that when development creates impacts, mitigation needs to occur to address those impacts. This was an opportunity and therefore, from our perspective, the timing for the new Parkway could not have been better. We had recently completed the design for the Southridge project in-house, by one of our engineers. The project would eliminate over four miles of canal perched on the hillsides above this rapidly developing area, removing any potential risk of a canal breach here. KID installed approximately two miles of 36”, 30” and 24” ductile iron pipe in a very small window of time, using our own labor force. This created a savings of approximately 33% in costs as compared to going out to bid. I could not be more proud of our team of designers, inspectors and especially the installers. They hit their target by completing work on time and on budget.
Presently, the full build out of KID facilities to serve the Southridge area is estimated to be $12,100,000 and includes new pumping facilities and a large reservoir, which is in the design phase. To cover the costs of this first phase of the project, the Board of Directors has loaned $2,250,000 to the Capital program from Realty Reserves with reimbursement occurring over time. Repayment will come as developers construct new sub-divisions in the Southridge service area. A surcharge will be charged to the contractors to connect to the system and those revenues will be paid back to the Realty Reserve Fund. Safety is the number one priority of the District and projects like the Southridge project are helping KID to demonstrate this.