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North Side Canal Manager Announces Retirement

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By Paul Johnson

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - April 30, 2013 will be the last day that North Side Canal Company Manager Ted Diehl will be on the job. Today, Diehl announced his retirement from the job he has held for 44 years. It marks the conclusion of a career as the longest serving manager in the 109-year history of one of the largest mutual irrigation companies in Idaho.


The announcement also signals the end of an era in irrigated agriculture for water users in Jerome, Gooding and Elmore counties served by the irrigation system the Jerome native has run since being appointed as manager June 1, 1969. North Side Canal Company provides irrigation water to approximately 165,000 acres of farmland stretching across three southern Idaho counties from Milner Dam to King Hill.


“I don’t know yet just what to think about this retirement thing. I do know it’s going to be a change for me,” the 87-year old Jerome native said. “When the Board of Directors at the time asked me to apply, then offered me the job, I really wasn’t sure that I wanted it but I took the job anyway. Then on my first day the man I was replacing as manager showed me around, handed me the keys, said ‘good luck’ and left. I guess I just couldn’t have imagined that 44 years later I’m still here. I do know one thing for sure: I am really going to miss all the good people that work at North Side.”


A special public reception to honor the retiring Diehl has been set and will be held from 1-5 p.m. on April 24 at the Sawtooth Inn, 2653 S. Lincoln Ave, Jerome. The public is invited to attend the reception, according to North Side officials.


Diehl will be succeeded by Alan Hansten, who has been serving as assistant manager.


Praise for Diehl’s years of water management service came quickly from both the local and state levels.


“The Company and certainly the board members are really going to miss Ted,” said Albert Lockwood, chairman of the North Side Board of Directors. “He always keeps the board educated and working together for the good of the company. He’s a man who is firm but fair, who knows when to stand his ground and when to compromise. His foresight and leadership in areas such as in-canal hydropower have created a lasting legacy for the Company and our shareholders. We truly hate to see him leave but hope we might persuade him to be available if we need to draw on his legislative skills or his vast knowledge of Idaho and Magic Valley water issues.”


In talking about the NSCC board he has served for so long, Diehl estimated that the current nine-member board is the third full change of board members he has worked with over the years. He also says the real surprise for him is that he feels he has never had a minute’s trouble with the board members, that together, he and the board have always been able to focus on what’s best for the company and its patrons.


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