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Newsletter Fall 2007

CURRENT WATER SUPPLY

Water deliveries were shutoff to all project canals on the morning of October 8, 2007. This ended a very good water season. The McDonald System was shutoff completely on Monday, August 6th. (The average 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 45,108 acre-feet = 74% of capacity
Hyatt Lake 12,240 acre-feet = 75% of capacity
Emigrant Lake 9,860 acre-feet = 25% of capacity

DISTRICT ELECTION INFORMATION

Keith Corp’s term of office as a Board of Director expires on December 31, 2007. Nominating Petitions for Director Corp’s expiring term were available in the District office from September 1, 2007 until October 1, 2007. A legal notice was published in the Mail Tribune on Saturday, September 8, 2007 announcing that the petitions were available. The deadline for filing the Nomination Petitions was 4:30 p.m. on October 1, 2007. The only Nominating Petition that was filed by the deadline was from Keith Corp. Since only one Nominating Petition was received, the District will not be holding an election this year.

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). Through the nonprofit organization Rogue Basin Water Users Council Inc. (RBWUCI) a 501(c)(3) Corporation, the Districts (TID, MID and RRVID) continue to incur fees for consultants and attorneys as we work to compile practical data to support irrigation district operations in the Rogue Basin.

The objectives of the irrigation districts involved in the ESA Consultation Process are to protect and sustain the current water rights of all three districts by providing accurate science based on historically accurate information to the process. Keep in mind what happened in the Klamath Basin in 2001 when all of the irrigation water was shut off to the water users to be used for controversial and contested ESA issues. There is a very real possibility the same type of situation could happen in the Rogue Basin at some point. This is why the districts continue to need the support of our water users. We realize this has been a financial burden on everyone. Unfortunately we must ask you continue to understand the importance of this matter and that it is going to continue to be very expensive.

If you would like to contribute to this cause, you can make tax deductible contributions to the RBWUC Inc., P.O. Box 467, Talent, OR 97540.

Any updates on the Consultation process that become available will be posted throughout the winter, on the District’s website at www.talentid.org.

2007-2008 BUDGET APPROVED WITH NO RATE INCREASES FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

The Board of Directors appointed a Budget Committee to review the District’s Budget for 2007-2008. This is the seventh year for the budgeting process to include a Budget Committee which is comprised of a range of District water users. Once again the Board of Directors has found that the information and input that they receive from the Budget Committee is very worth while. It gives the Board of Directors an insight into what the water users of the District are facing in their day-to-day operations and how the District operations affect them as well as offering a wider perspective of the District patrons. This year’s Budget Committee was made up of the District’s three Board Members: Bob Morris, Keith Corp and Richard Fujas and three District patrons: Willard Chapman, Lowell Fowler and Bob Nelson. The Budget Committee met in three special meetings on the afternoons of August 14th, 21st and 28th at the District office.

Through the combined efforts of the Budget Committee, Board of Directors and staff, the District was able to arrive at a balanced budget without increasing any District fees for the third year in a row. This required that some proposed items be cut from the budget but the Board of Directors felt that maintaining the District’s current fee structure was important.

At the regular board meeting of the Board of Directors held on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 the Board of Directors approved the new budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2007 and ending September 30, 2008. The budget was accepted with no fee increases in any District charges or services. The annual irrigation bills will be mailed out in early February 2008 and are due by April 1, 2008. 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
(All per acre charges are based on a one acre minimum.)
Lien Search Fee $ 50.00 per tax lot
Lien/Satisfaction of Lien $152.00 per tax lot
Water Right Transfer $500.00 per transfer
Retransfer Water Right, $200.00 per transfer different owner same tax lot, before water is applied
Retransfer Water Right, $100.00 per transfer same owner same tax lot, before water is applied
Capital Improvement Transfer $200.00 for the first 5 acres and $25.00 for each additional acre
Quit Claim of water rights $100.00 each
Instream Leases:
0-5 acres $ 40.00
5.1 to 10 acres $ 80.00
10.1 to 20 acres $120.00
20.1 to 30 acres $160.00
30.1 to 40 acres $200.00
40.1 to 50 acres $240.00
50.1 to 60 acres $280.00
Over 60.1 acres $300.00
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

WATER METER REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL WATER RIGHT TRANSFERS

Since 2002 when it became possible to transfer water rights from one piece of property to another, it has been the District’s requirement that the land receiving the water through the transfer process must install a water meter so that the amount of water used can be measured.

This is just a reminder to those who have not installed a water meter that all petitions and orders for inclusion of lands by transfer that were signed by the landowners at the time the transfer was finalized, state that the landowner agrees to install a water meter.

The only requirements that the District has as far as the type of water meter is that the meter read out in gallons per minute and that the meter totalizes the gallons for the season. With this information, the District can convert the amount of water used to acre-feet to make sure that no one is exceeding their water allotment. The ditch riders will be taking these meter readings once a month and they will be turned into the District office.

The District would like to thank those transferees who have completed this requirement in a timely manner by installing their water meters. We would also like to remind you that once installed, the meter must be maintained so that it continues to operate during the entire irrigation season. If the ditch rider finds a meter that is not working properly, he will contact the landowner so that the repairs can be made as quickly as possible.

We encourage all new transfers and those transfers that do not have meters installed to plan ahead and get them installed prior to applying water next irrigation season. The ditch riders will be contacting each of you early next season to find out where you have placed the water meter so they can begin their monthly readings.

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 one year in every five-year period. This requirement is mandated by Oregon Revised Statue 540.610. If the water right is not used for a beneficial use, it could be forfeited. 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 could be forfeited and the District will transfer it to another property to be used beneficially. It is very important to the landowners and the District that all landowners maintain their water rights because the land base of water rights are the financial foundation of the District. For the District to remain financially secure, it is important that the water rights remain valid.

AUTOMATED TRAVELING SCREENS

As reported in previous newsletters, the automated traveling screen that the District installed on the Talent Canal at Coleman Creek continues to work very well in its’ second year of operation. The screen removes moss and debris from the canal on a continual basis throughout the season. The debris is removed from the canal and moves up the screen and is deposited onto a conveyor belt that piles the material up on the side of the canal 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 screen worked so well for the District last year that the District applied to the Bureau of Reclamation for additional cost share funds to install two more screens. The District received these cost share funds from the Bureau and completed the installation of two new screens prior to the start of the 2007 irrigation season. Both of the new screens were placed on the Talent Canal, one at the Wagner Creek Siphon and one at the Crooked Creek Siphon. The Talent Canal has by far the most accumulation of aquatic weed growth in the District’s system. The water is warmer and more nutrient rich than the other canals and the aquatic weeds grow faster. As a rule, the District has to demoss the Talent Canal twice as often as the other canals in the system.

MICRO-HYDRO ELECTRIC FEASIBILITY STUDY

The District has obtained funding to help pay for the cost of conducting a feasibility study to install micro-hydro electric plants on the canal system to generate small amounts of power that can be sold to increase the District’s revenue and eventually lessen the financial burden of the patrons. The District has areas on the canal system that could have adequate flows and slope to develop hydro energy within the District’s existing infrastructure without impacting the District’s ability to deliver water to its’ patrons. The feasibility study is just the beginning of this proposed project. If the study is favorable, this type of project will take several years to implement.

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, 2007 – the District mailed out the annual charges.
2) April 1, 2007 – the annual charges were due. Any charges remaining unpaid after April 1, 2007 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 2, 2007 – the Board of Directors reviewed the list of delinquent accounts.
4) October 5, 2007 – 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, 2007 if their account is not paid in full by 4:30 p.m. on November 15, 2007. The additional charge added to each account that has a lien filed on it is $152.00 per tax lot.
5) November 16, 2007 – the “Notice of Lien Claim” is filed in the Official Records of Jackson County Oregon.
6) January 15, 2008 – after the District has filed three (3) “Notice of Lien Claims” against the property of any delinquent account, the District will initiate foreclosure proceedings.
7) April 1, 2008 – any properties who were billed on February 5, 2007 and have not paid their accounts in full by April 1, 2008, will not be allowed to have water delivered to their property in 2008 until their delinquent 2007 and any prior year’s charges (if applicable) are paid in full.

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 or money orders for payments.

LOCKING OF CANAL HEADGATES

For the third year in a row the headgates on the canals once again have padlocks on them. 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 simply make it easier for the District to control releases of water 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. The District’s easements and right-of-ways are for District access, operation and maintenance only and must remain clear of all obstacles that hinder the District’s ability to maintain the irrigation system.

REMINDER TO DRAIN YOUR PRIVATE IRRIGATION PIPES

At the beginning of the 2007 irrigation season the District heard from several water users that their private irrigation pipe froze over the winter. The District would like to remind everyone that they should drain all of their private irrigation pipelines before the freezing weather arrives to avoid pipe breakage.

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. 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 website address is www.talentid.org. 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 www.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 by January 1st of each year. The forms are available in the office. You may either pick one up or request that one be mailed to you for your completion. There is no fee for filing these forms.

WISE PROJECT UPDATE

The WISE Project (Water for Irrigation, Streams and Economy) is still moving forward. At this time there is still no federal authority for the project, but legislation has passed the House and is working its’ way through the Senate. Once it is approved by the Senate, it will be presented to the President for his signature. There is no estimate or timeframe as to when this will happen. Please visit the website at www.wiseproject.org for more information.

Board of Directors of Talent Irrigation District

Bob Morris, President
Keith W. Corp, Jr., Vice-President
Richard Fujas, Director