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Newsletter Fall 2010

2010-2011 BUDGET APPROVAL

In following the same procedure started by previous boards, the current Board of Directors once again appointed a Budget Committee to work with them to develop the new budget for the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year. The Board was pleased to have the same three District patrons serve on the Committee again this year. The Budget Committee was made up of the District’s three Board of Directors; Bob Morris, Keith W. Corp, Jr. and Richard Fujas and District patrons: Willard Chapman, Bob Nelson and Lowell Fowler.

With the current recession continuing to affect the economy, it was important for the Budget Committee to keep the current irrigation rates stable while still meeting the budgetary needs of the District. At the conclusion of the third Budget Committee meeting, the 2010-2011 Budget was adopted with only one rate increase in all District fees. The increase was made to the Lien and Satisfaction of Lien Fee. This amount was increased from $170.00 to $192.00. The increase was necessary to cover the increased fees charged by the Jackson County Clerk’s office for the recording of the Lien and Satisfaction of Lien documents. The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that no other District fees were increased.

The Board of Directors are very appreciative of the District patrons who served on the Budget Committee. Their input on the District operations and concerns of the District patrons is invaluable.

The District’s current fee schedule is as follows:

Irrigation Fees (charged at a 1 acre minimum)
Account Charge (per tax lot) $75.00
Old Land (per acre) $48.00
New Land (per acre) $50.00
McDonald Land (per acre) $40.00
Endangered Species Act (per acre) $2.00
Old Land Supplemental $24.00
New Land Supplemental $25.00
Administrative Fees
Lien Search $55.00
Water Right Verification Letter $25.00
Lien and Satisfaction of Lien $192.00
Capital Improvement Transfer
Up to 5 acres $220.00
Each additional acre $30.00
Water Right Transfer $550.00
Temporary Instream Leases:
0-5 acres $45.00
5.1 to 10 acres $90.00
10.1 to 20 acres $135.00
20.1 to 30 acres $175.00
30.1 to 40 acres $220.00
40.1 to 50 acres $265.00
50.1 to 60 acres $310.00
Over 60.1 acres $330.00

Crossing Applications $220.00

Returned Checks $30.00
Pond Application $55.00
Research Records (per hour) $35.00
Copies (first page) $ 0.25
additional pages of same document $ 0.10
Planning Actions—no concerns $30.00
Planning Actions—concerns $55.00
Planning Actions—on site visits $110.00
Water Truck Application $110.00
Plus charge for each 1,000 gallons $10.00

MC DONALD CANAL SYSTEM REPAIRS

The District’s McDonald Canal diverts water from the Little Applegate Watershed and has a history of trying times. It is one of the oldest systems in the Talent Irrigation District’s network of canals and is separate from the Bureau of Reclamation Project.

On April 24, 2010 the McDonald Canal suffered a break due to a tree falling into the canal during a wind storm. The District did not receive a fine from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the break since the canal was adequately maintained and the act was beyond reasonable control and could not have been reasonably anticipated. However, DEQ did issue the District a warning letter together with several requirements for repairs and modifications to the canal system and the area disturbed by the break. The District’s Board of Directors authorized the purchase and installation of a remote monitoring station that will send out a signal in the event of a sudden surge in the water level, thus allowing the District to respond more rapidly during a storm event.

As most of our McDonald System water users are aware, this system tends to be out of service towards the end of July or first of August each year since the system has no storage component and carries a junior water right on the Little Applegate System.

The Board of Directors wants the District patrons to be aware that we continue to look for remedies to help keep the McDonald System operating.

2010 END OF SEASON WATER SUPPLIES

The 2010 irrigation season ended when water deliveries were shut off to the project canals on Thursday, October 14th. This ended a successful irrigation season.

The McDonald System, which does not use storage water, was shutdown completely on Monday, August 9th. It ran approximately two weeks longer this year than it did last year.

The District ended the irrigation season with the following carryover for the 2011 season:
HOWARD PRAIRIE 36,871 acre feet or 61% of capacity
HYATT LAKE 10,745 acre feet 66% of capacity
EMIGRANT LAKE 11,016 acre feet 28% of capacity

These are good amounts to carry over to next year. If we experience an average winter, we will be in good shape for the 2011 season.

PRIVATE IRRIGATION LINES

Once again the District would like to remind all water users of the need to drain all of your private irrigation pipelines before the freezing weather arrives to avoid breaks in the pipes. The next irrigation season always gets off to a better start when there are not a lot of repairs that need to be made.

Additionally, regarding private irrigation pipelines, it is the property owners’ responsibility to install signs where their private irrigation lines are located. When the District receives a notice that construction is going to be done within our boundary, our employees locate our lines so that the contractors know where they are located. TID does not locate private irrigation lines. We do not know where they are located or how they were installed and we can not be responsible for their protection.

BOARD OF DIRECTOR ELECTION INFORMATION

Keith W. Corp Jr.s’ term of office as a member of the Board of Directors expires on December 31, 2010. Nominating Petitions for Director Corps’ expiring term were available in the District office from September 1, 2010 until October 4, 2010. A legal notice was published in the Mail Tribune on Saturday, September 4, 2010 announcing that the petitions were available. The deadline for filing the Nomination Petitions was 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 4, 2010. The only Nominating Petition that was filed by the deadline was from Keith W. Corp, Jr. Since only one Nominating Petition was received, the District will not be holding an election this year.

RECLAMATION REFORM ACT (RRA)

Any landowner who owns and/or leases irrigated land totaling 40.1 acres or more must annually file RRA forms with the District office prior to receiving irrigation water.

The Bureau of Reclamation requires that RRA forms be on file prior to any water being delivered to the property of owners who own and/or lease irrigated land totaling 40.1 acres or more. If your landholdings change in anyway during the year, which includes moving your property into a trust, it is imperative that the landowner contact the District office to update their RRA forms.

The District makes every effort to help landowners comply with the RRA regulations, but it is absolutely the landowner’s responsibility to understand the law and make sure that the correct forms are filled out and on file. Please remember when you make any changes in your landholdings that put you at 40.1 acres or more owned and/or leased, to contact the District office for the necessary RRA forms. The District only updates our ownership records twice a year with Jackson County’s records, so your diligence in communicating any changes you make to your landholdings is of the utmost importance.

IRRIGATION PAYMENTS

Just a reminder that the District is not set up to accept debit or credit cards. The office receives inquiries each year from people wanting to pay their bills over the phone by debit or credit cards.

The District checked into getting set up to accept debit and credit cards, but because our use of the machines would be small, it was not cost effective.

Please remit your payments by check, money order or cash.

BEAR CREEK WATERSHED TMDL IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM

The District has just completed its first year of annual reporting for the Bear Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Implementation Program. The completed annual report was submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality, via the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) on September 15, 2010. The purpose of this program is to improve water quality in the Bear Creek Watershed.

The Municipal Stormwater Agencies in the Bear Creek Watershed, in conjunction with the RVCOG and produced by Ralph Bowman, developed a video ad entitled. “Keep Your Stream Clean and Clear.” This is a public service announcement about the importance of keeping waste out of the storm drain system which all drains into Bear Creek. To view the one minute ad, please go to the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7Xr2sxr4N8

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 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. There are no fees for filing this form.

LOCKING OF CANAL HEADGATES

This will be the fifth winter in a row that the headgates on the canals will be padlocked. The reason for padlocking the headgates during the winter months is to keep water from entering the lines. In the past, the District received several complaints of water moving through an opened headgate 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.

NEW WATER USER BILLING SOFTWARE

The District has been using the same water user billing software program since it began directly billing water users in 1992. The eighteen year old program is DOS based and cumbersome to operate.

This spring, the District solicited bids for a new program that will meet our unique needs. Utilizing cost share funding from the Bureau of Reclamation, the District was able to purchase a new software program. Staff is currently in the process of converting the data to the new system for implementation. The new software is designed specifically for irrigation district needs and has been used successfully at Grants Pass and North Unit Irrigation Districts for approximately ten years.

The irrigation bills that will be mailed out the first of February, 2011 will be printed with the new software program. The billing format will change with the new program, but all of the rates that are charged on the bills will remain the same. The new bills are expected to be simplified and easier to understand.