2150 River Plaza Drive, #460
Sacramento, CA

Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

April 1, 2015

4:00 p.m. (Meeting in 1st floor Large Conference room.)

Upcoming Regular Meetings

  • May 6, 2015
  • June 3, 2015
  • August 5, 2015

Call to order

A. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

ADMIN: The Board Chair will call the meeting to order if a quorum is present. Announcements by the Board Chair or Executive Director may be made at this time. Board members may make announcements at this time as well.

Public comment

B. Public Comments

Opportunity for members of the public to address the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.

Action by consent

C. Approval of the minutes

The Board Chair will request approval of the minutes and consent items of the Board of Directors meeting of March 4, 2015.

Download the March 4, 2015 Minutes (PDF, 599 KB)

Action by consent

D. Cancellation of the July 1, 2015 Board of Directors meeting

The Board is requested to authorize cancellation of the July 1, 2015 Board of Directors meeting due to a national holiday that week and typical difficulty in getting a quorum then.

Action by consent

E. Appointment of the Executive Director as Assistant Secretary

Each year since the Conservancy’s inception, the Conservancy’s Executive Director has been appointed Assistant Secretary of the corporation. At the last meeting, the typical “slate” of officers up for election was taken one-by-one, and the matter of the Executive Director’s election as Assistant Secretary was left unaddressed. This item requests Board approval of Conservancy Executive Director John Roberts’ continued appointment as the corporation’s Assistant Secretary.

Action by consent

F. Agricultural lease clarifications

At the Conservancy’s February 4, 2015 Board of Director’s meeting, the Board acted to limit standard leases to one year. This item would clarify that action to exclude from the one-year limitation any existing multi-year farm leases, all leases for alfalfa (a multi-year crop) and all leases done on behalf of SAFCA under existing Conservancy Board-approved contracts. Approval of this item would mean that any existing multi-year farm lease would remain in force, any present and future leases where alfalfa is produced would continue to be multi-year, and all SAFCA leases operated by the Conservancy on SAFCA land would continue to conform to Conservancy staff’s recommendations and SAFCA’s preferences.

Action item

G. Accept the Conservancy’s December 31, 2014 audited financial statement

The Audit Committee reports on the audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014. The Committee has reviewed the audit report with the auditor, Gilbert & Associates. The auditor has issued a clean opinion on the Conservancy’s 2014 financial statement. The Committee recommends the Board accept the audit, along with the auditor’s report contained in the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014.

Download the 2014 Final Audit Report (PDF, 238 kB)

Action item

H. Participation in conjunctive use program with the Natomas Central Mutual Water Company (NCMWC)

The NCMWC plans to participate in a conjunctive use water transfer program again this year. The customers are likely to be the individual entities that make up the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA).

This item requests that the Board engage with the NCMWC for the purpose of using groundwater from Conservancy wells to participate in the exchange. The NCMWC is actively engaged in striking a 2015 groundwater exchange agreement so that it can:

  1. help defray what are expected to be significant increases in costs owed the Bureau of Reclamation (estimated for 2015 to be $1.2 million in additional expense, up from $600,000.00 additional expense last year; this translates to $132,000.00 for the Conservancy’s share),
  2. eliminate or reduce expected water rate hikes to shareholders, and
  3. demonstrate the lending of a helping hand to facilitate state and federal government programs to meet and balance water needs in the current severe drought environment.

The NCMWC needs to provide an indication to the SLDMWA by April 22, 2015 as to the expected amount of water likely to be included in a transfer program this year. NCMWC indicates that it would be looking to the Conservancy to produce up to 5,000 acre feet. (The NCMWC is expected to contract for 10,000 to 15,000 acre feet to the SLDMWA.)

By action of the Board of Directors of the NCMWC, proceeds from the sale are to be split 65/35 between participating entities (such as the Conservancy and other private landowners) and the NCMWC respectively.

The range of likely proceeds to the Conservancy from a successful program this year would be:

  • $1,950,000.00 at the top end (5,000 acre feet at $390 an acre foot after expenses),
  • $390,000.00 as a likely minimum (1,000 acre feet at $390.00 an acre foot).

The Board has previously requested that the Conservancy’s staff keep all options open for participation in a 2015 groundwater exchange program and present the case for participation to the Board in 2015.

A 2014 report from Luhdorff & Scalmanini Consulting Engineers for the NCMWC used data from its own examinations, from the California of Department of Water Resources and the Conservancy’s own testing to determine that post-program groundwater well recovery in the Natomas Basin took place at between one and two weeks.

There are numerous conditions that could restrict the Conservancy’s ability to participate in the program. Flowage meters that meet DWR standards must be placed on each participating well, and the Board has previously approved an allocation for these installations. There also must be complete well logs for each well, and diesel-powered wells must have California Air Resources Board (ARB) certificates.

Conservancy staff requests Board approval to execute and deliver the necessary documents to participate in the NCMWC groundwater exchange program at a level not to exceed 5,000 acre feet of water from Conservancy wells. While Conservancy staff expects that its water needs will be satisfied with surface water from the NCMWC this year, this authorization will only be used if all Conservancy water needs are met first.

Download the 2015 Groundwater Exchange Chart (PDF, 151 KB)

Download the Update ground water exchange (PDF, 1.5 MB)

I. Farming leases, SAFCA

This item requests the Board’s authorization for the Executive Director to execute and deliver farming contracts on several SAFCA-owned properties under which the Conservancy has management agreements.

The properties include the following tracts:

  • Novak
  • Pappa-Rosa
  • Sharma/AKT
  • Willey
  • South Sutter
  • Brookfield
  • Hewitt

The leases are all one-year leases except those involving alfalfa, which are proposed for three-year contracts. Staff recommends approval.

Download the SAFCA Template lease (PDF, 139 KB)


J. City of Sacramento report

Report from the City of Sacramento regarding HCP-related activity and other topics.


K. Financial statements review

A financial statement will be provided for the period ended February 28, 2015 (unaudited). Additional financial information will be provided.

Download the Financial Statements (PDF, 1,001 KB)


L. Board committee assignments

With the change in Board officers as a result of the annual meeting of the corporation, the committees of the Board are changed slightly. The Board Chair will discuss this with the Board.

Download the Board Committee assignments (PDF, 63 KB)


M. Metro Air Park presentation by Tom Ramos

The Conservancy is the Plan Operator for the Metro Air Park Habitat Conservation Plan (MAPHCP). Metro Air Park is likely to begin construction activity once the building moratorium has been lifted with the revised and updated flood maps.

Metro Air Park’s general manager, Tom Ramos, has been invited to speak with the Board of Directors for both familiarization with the Metro Air Park project as well as plans going forward in terms of building and construction.


N. “Conservancy Calendar” familiarization

Staff will brief the Board of Directors on an internal document that guides operations called the “Conservancy Calendar.”

Download the Conservancy Calendar (PDF, 288 KB)


O.Update on property tax research

Staff will update the Board on the progress made in obtaining property tax relief.

Download the update on property tax research (PDF, 31 KB)


P. Board-requested discussion on Conservation-minded farm tenants

Staff was asked to schedule a Board discussion on qualities that Conservancy farm tenants have with respect to conservation and how this facilitates implementation of the HCPs. This item addresses that request.

Download the Conservation minder farm tenants (PDF, 77 KB)

Public comment

Q. Public Comments

Opportunity for members of the public to address the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.

Executive Session

R. Executive Session

No Executive Session is scheduled.

Exective Report

S. Executive Director’s Report

Various matters for Board members’ general information will be presented by the Conservancy’s Executive Director.

Download the Ex Director’s Report (PDF, 1.3 MB)


T. Adjournment

Official adjournment of the meeting.