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Newsletter Fall 2005

CURRENT WATER SUPPLY

Water deliveries were shutoff to all project canals on October 7, 2005. This ended what appears to be a very good season. The McDonald System was shutoff completely on August 16th. (The typical water shutoff date for the McDonald System, since 1959, has been July 31st.) The District ended the season with the following carryover for next irrigation season:

Howard Prairie 31,285 acre-feet = 52% of capacity

Hyatt Lake 13,349 acre-feet = 82% of capacity

Emigrant Lake 13,646 acre-feet = 35% of capacity

UPDATE ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (ESA) SECTION 7 CONSULTATION

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is still working on their Draft Biological Opinion (Bi-Op). No meetings have been held and no information has developed since our last report in the Spring Newsletter. For updates on the Consultation process throughout the winter, you may want to check the District’s website at www.talentid.org.

UPDATE OF THE DISTRICT’S RULES AND REGULATIONS BOOK

The Talent Irrigation District has been operating under the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Board of Directors on March 7, 1967. The District is currently in the process of updating, and soon printing the new Rules and Regulation books. Once the books have been printed, the District will be mailing one book out to every District patron. Once you receive the new Rules and Regulations book, please take the time to read it and update yourself on the policies of the District.

2005-2006 BUDGET

Once again the Board of Directors appointed a Budget Committee to review the District’s Budget for 2005-2006. This is the fifth year for the budgeting process to include a Budget Committee. The Board of Directors found that the information they gain from the use of Budget Committees is very valuable when determining the needs and concerns of the District as a whole. This year’s Budget Committee was made up of the District’s three Board Members: Ron Meyer, Bob Morris and Keith Corp and three water users: Willard Chapman, Lowell Fowler and Richard Fujas. The Budget Committee met in three special meetings on the afternoons of August 16th, 23rd and 30th at the District office.

At the regular board meeting of the Board of Directors held on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 the Board of Directors approved the new budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2005 and ending September 30, 2006. Factoring in the rising costs of project materials, fuel, etc., the budget was accepted with a $1.00 per acre rate increase which will be reflected on the annual bills mailed out in February 2006. The current year’s charges are as follows:

Account Charge $ 70.00 per tax lot
Old Land $ 46.00 per acre
New Land $ 48.00 per acre
McDonald Land $ 38.00 per acre
ESA Consultation Process $ 2.00 per acre
Lien Search Fee $ 50.00 per tax lot
Lien/Satisfaction of Lien Fee $152.00 per tax lot
Water Right Transfer Fee $500.00 per transfer
Capital Improvement Transfer $200.00 for the first 5 acres and $25.00 for each additional acre over 5 acres
Quit Claim of water rights $100.00 each
Instream Leases $300.00 per lease
Crossing Application Fee $200.00 per crossing
Planning Action Letters $ 25.00 per letter for no concern
Planning Action Letters $ 50.00 per letter for concerns
Planning Action Letters $100.00 per letter for concerns that require on-site inspections
Returned Check Charge $ 25.00 per check
Pond Application Fee $ 50.00 per pond
Research/Compile Records $ 30.00 per hour with a one-quarter hour min. charge
Copies $.25 first page of each document and $.10 for each additional page of the same document

MAINTAINING WATER RIGHTS

All land in the District that currently has a water right must maintain that water right by putting the water to a beneficial use at least once in every five-year period commencing with the 2002 water year. An example of this would be if you chose not to irrigate your land in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, you must irrigate your land for beneficial purposes in 2009, or your water right could be forfeited under Oregon State law. The District Ditch Riders started tracking idle land (land not being irrigated) starting with the 2002 irrigation season. After four years of non-use the District will notify you that you need to use the water or make arrangements to transfer the water, or you will lose the right to water. However, maintenance of the water right is the patron’s responsibility. The water right is a benefit to your land. If you choose not to use the water right, it will be forfeited and the District will transfer it to another property to be used beneficially. It is very important to the District that all landowners maintain their water rights because the land base of water rights are the financial foundation of the District, and for the District to remain financially secure, it is important that the water rights remain valid.

To help the District document water use we encourage you to call into the District office at least once per irrigation season, even if you are on a regular rotation. This will help the District document water use and help prevent forfeiture of water rights under ORS 540.610.

AUTOMATED SCREEN

The District installed a new automated screen in the Talent Canal at Coleman Creek. The screen removes moss and debris from the canal on a continual basis throughout the season. The debris moves up the screen and is deposited onto a conveyor belt that piles the material up on the side of the ditch bank. District personnel then go in with machinery and clean up the pile of debris once or twice during the irrigation season and haul it off. This was the first time the District has tried this type of automated screen and so far we are very pleased with the results. It was decided during the budgeting process that the District will continue to operate the existing screen for next irrigation season and that $20,000 will be budgeted for the engineering of additional screens within the District’s system. The District will be applying for grant funding to help pay for the installation of additional screens in the future.

DISTRICT ELECTION INFORMATION

Bob Morris’ term of office as a Board of Director expires on December 31, 2005. Nominating Petitions to fill Mr. Morris’ expiring term were available in the District office from September 1, 2005 until October 3, 2005. A legal notice was published in the Mail Tribune on Thursday, September 8, 2005 announcing that the petitions were available. The deadline for filing the Nomination Petitions was 4:30 p.m. on October 3, 2005. The only Nominating Petition that was filed by the deadline was from Bob Morris. Since only one Nominating Petition was received, the District will not be holding an election on the second Tuesday in November. Bob Morris will be reappointed as Director of the Board for a three-year term commencing on the first Tuesday in January 2006.

POLICY FOR COLLECTION OF DELINQUENT WATER USER ACCOUNTS

An outline of the District’s procedure for the collection of delinquent water user accounts is as follows:

1) February 5, 2005 – the District mailed out the annual charges.
2) April 1, 2005 – the annual charges were due. Any charges remaining unpaid after April 1, 2005 are deemed delinquent. Interest is charged to delinquent accounts from the date the invoice was originally mailed. The interest rate, as set by State Statute, is 16% per annum.
3) October 4, 2005 – the Board of Directors reviewed the list of delinquent accounts.
4) October 5, 2005 – all delinquent accounts which owe twenty dollars ($20.00) or more were mailed a letter “Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested” that a lien will be filed against their property at 8:00 a.m. on November 16, 2005 if their account is not paid in full by 4:30 p.m. on November 15, 2005. The additional charge added to each account that has a lien filed on it is $152.00 per tax lot.
5) November 16, 2005 – the “Notice of Lien Claim” is filed in the Official Records of Jackson County Oregon.
6) April 1, 2006 – any properties who were billed on February 5, 2005 and have not paid their accounts in full by April 1, 2006, will not be allowed to have water delivered to their property in 2006 until their delinquent 2005 and any prior year’s charges (if applicable) are paid in full.
7) January 15, 2006 – after the District has filed three (3) “Notice of Lien Claims” against the property of any delinquent account, the District will initiate foreclosure proceedings.

The District office is constantly receiving requests from people to accept debit and credit cards for payment on their accounts. The District is not setup to accept debit and credit cards. The District can only accept cash, checks, and money orders for payments.

LOCKING OF CANAL HEADGATES

You may have noticed that headgates on the canals now have padlocks on them where they did not have them before. This is not a regulatory move on the District’s part. In the past the District has received several phone calls or complaints of water moving through an unregulated headgate during winter and summer months, causing problems for downstream landowners. The padlocks will simply make it easier for the District to control releases of water where it is not supposed to be, as well as offer a level of protection from liability issues.

CANAL AND CANAL ROAD MAINTENANCE AND RIGHT-OF-WAYS

Those of you who own property along the main canal are well aware of the maintenance that has to take place on a regular basis. Each spring before water is in the canal, we clean the silt and vegetation from within the canal prism. We typically remove these materials and place them on the edge of the roadway to dry. At a later date, we then grade these materials back across the canal road or use them to level the road from damage caused by human and animal traffic during wet weather conditions. The District’s easements and right-of-ways are for District access, operation and maintenance only.

MONTHLY DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS

The regular board meetings of the Board of Directors of Talent Irrigation District are held at 1:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the District office at 104 Valley View Avenue, Talent, Oregon 97540, unless there is a time conflict and the board meeting needs to be changed. These meetings are open to the public. If you would like to be on the agenda to address the Board of Directors please submit your request in writing, and include the topic you wish to discuss with the Board at least one week prior to the meeting date so that you can be placed on the agenda.

TID’S WEB PAGE www.talentid.org

Talent Irrigation District has a web page where people with access to the Internet can update themselves on current issues at Talent Irrigation District. The following is a list of items that can be found on the TID web page:

1) History of the District
2) Listing of Board Members and Staff
3) Rules and Regulations
4) Current and Previous Newsletters
5) Weekly Demossing Schedules During the Summer Months
6) A link to The Bureau of Reclamation’s Teacup Reservoir Elevations
7) A link to Jackson County’s Smart-map
8) District Bylaws
9) Updates on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other issues

You may also e-mail the District directly from this website.

EMAIL ADDRESS

If you have a computer and would like to contact Talent Irrigation District by e-mail, the District’s e-mail address is tid@talentid.org or visit our website at talentid.org. There is a direct email link from our website.

NO SPRAY AGREEMENTS

If you are a landowner that wants to request that no chemicals are used to control plant growth on the District’s right-of-way located on your property, you need to annually fill out a No Spray Agreement and file it in the District office. The forms are available in the office. You may either pick one up or request that one be mailed to you for your completion.