The Kennewick Irrigation District may create an improvement district to provide pressurized water service to a 42-acre area along Bretz Road in Richland, but some neighboring landowners who grow crops say they don't want to give up getting KID's ditch water.
Nine residential property owners representing just under 11 acres petitioned for the pressurized service last fall.
They say they need the water because a developer's plans in their neighborhood will eliminate a holding pond and private water distribution system. Having KID pressurized service would keep their lawns and shrubs alive.
KID staff has two proposals for solving the problem.
One would serve about 27 acres and 20 property owners, while the other is for 42 acres on 26 lots. Both proposals are north of the KID canal along and west of Bretz Road and south of Kennedy Road.
The project would entail new pipelines along Arena Road and Bretz Road and a portion of Dallas Road south of Arena Road. A new reservoir to supply the pipelines already has been built at the west end of the intended service area.
The estimated project cost is $100,000 to $120,000, said Ben Woodard, a KID engineer.
Bretz Road resident Deb Kasparek said homeowners are desperate to have a new source of irrigation water. "We don't have any now," she said, noting the system has broken down.
Neighbor Carol Erickson said she was pleased to learn that if the KID board approves the pressurized service area then water would be available for the 2011 season.
But James Creer, who pumps from a KID ditch to irrigate crops on about 5 acres that would be included in the 42-acre proposal, said he fears that a closed-pipe system designed for residential properties would not provide enough pressure for him to keep his irrigation lines running 24 hours a day when needed.
"The mixture of water uses is totally different. It's a really bad thing economically for me. It's apples and lemons," Creer said.
Creer and six other landowners on the west end of the 42-acre area told the KID board they want to be excluded from the pressurized service area.
After hearing comments for nearly an hour at Tuesday's board meeting, KID directors voted unanimously to schedule a vote Oct. 5 on how to proceed with creating the new service area, which would be formed as a local improvement district.
Properties included in the pressurized service area would be assessed the cost of improvements, averaging between $3,000 and $4,500 per acre.