One of the Treasure Valley’s key leaders in the area of irrigation water system management is leaving his post.
Daren Coon, Secretary Treasurer of the Treasure Valley’s largest irrigation district, will retire later this year ending a 44-year career with the Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District, NMID officials announced today.
A specific retirement date has not been set. His replacement will be announced later.
Coon started his NMID career in May 1976 and has served as the District’s Secretary Treasurer since 1989. Over those 31 years as Secretary Treasurer, Coon has played a leading role in many legislative efforts and operational innovations that have greatly benefitted both NMID water users and the Treasure Valley irrigation industry in general.
Coon will be honored at a special retirement party July 9th from 5 to 9 p.m.at Lloyd Square Park in Nampa. NMID officials are asking that folks who plan to attend to let the District know so it can plan enough refreshments. RSVPs should be called in to either Elke Adams or Chaneé Grant at 208-466-7861.
He was a leader in the development and passage of legislation that gave Idaho irrigation districts the ability to use local improvement districts to fund the creation, operation and maintenance of pressurized urban irrigation systems. NMID currently operates more than 17,000 pressurized systems in hundreds of subdivisions in Ada and Canyon counties.
Residential and commercial pressurized systems use canal water rather than crucial and costly municipal drinking water to irrigate lawns, landscaping, shrubbery and gardens at thousands of parcels of land in the Treasure Valley.
NMID water managers estimate that its pressurized systems alone annually save approximately 18,400 acre feet of vital ground water that would otherwise have to be pumped from pristine underground aquifers. That enough water to cover 18,400 acres of land with water a foot deep.
Coon also guided NMID through the long, complex and arduous title transfer process, which culminated in federal legislation in 2001 that transferred ownership to NMID of the United States’ right, title and interest in federally-constructed portions of NMID’s irrigation and drainage systems.
He managed development of computerized accounting programs that track more than 100,000 District water deliveries, assessments, receivables, notices and reporting. These innovations were crucial as the District’s assessment roll more than tripled during his tenure. But his innovations reduced the preparation of the District ’s tax roll from 6 hours to 20 minutes which saved time and costs to District landowners.
Coon was also instrumental in crafting legislation 2013 to clarify irrigation district election procedures and ensure that irrigation district directors are qualified for their offices.
The Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District is a water storage, conveyance and distribution system founded in 1904. The District supplies irrigation water to some 69,000 acres of farmland, residential and commercial lands including pressurized irrigation for more than 17,000 individual parcels of land in Ada and Canyon counties.