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Newsletter Fall 2011

2011-2012 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 2011-2012 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. 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.

With the 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 2011-2012 Budget was adopted with only one rate increase and one new fee. The increase was made to the Lien and Satisfaction of Lien Fee. This amount was increased from $192.00 to $198.00. 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 only new fee this year is an Administrative Fee of $150.00 to be added to every account that is turned over to the District’s lawyer to initiate foreclosure proceedings.

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that no other District fees were increased.

The District’s current fee schedule is as follows:
Irrigation Fees (charged at a 1 acre minimum)
Account Charge (per tax lot) $75.00
Annual Irrigation Charge (per acre) $42.00
New Land Inclusion Charge (p/ac) $2.00
McDonald System (p/ac) $40.00
Annual Supplemental Charge (p/ac) $21.00
Bureau Indebtedness (p/ac) $6.00
Endangered Species Act (p/ac) $2.00

Administrative Fees
Lien Search $55.00
Water Right Verification Letter $25.00
Lien and Satisfaction of Lien $198.00
Foreclosures given to attorney $150.00
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

WALT HOFFBUHR, PAST MANAGER OF TALENT IRRIGATION DISTRICT

Walt Hoffbuhr moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1956 when he became the Manager of Talent Irrigation District, a position that he held for 32 years.

Walt was honored as Grand Marshall of the City of Ashland’s Fourth of July Parade this year. He was chosen for his many years of volunteerism to numerous organizations in the valley. The Talent Irrigation Dsitrict Board of Directors and staff would like to congratulate Walt on his many accomplishments of volunteering to so many organizations and his 32 years of dedicated service to the District.

END OF SEASON WATER SUPPLIES

The 2011 irrigation season ended when water deliveries were shut off to the project canals on Friday, October 14, 2011. This ended a successful irrigation season.

The McDonald System, which does not use storage water, was shutdown completely on Monday, August 29th. It ran approximately three weeks longer this year than it did last year due to the better than normal water supply this year.

The District ended the irrigation season with the following carryover for the 2012 season:
HOWARD PRAIRIE
48,968 acre feet or 81% of capacity
HYATT LAKE
13,107 acre feet or 81% of capacity
EMIGRANT LAKE
16,100 acre feet or 41% 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 2012 season.

UPDATE ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (ESA) CONSULTATION

The Consultation which began in 2003 is still ongoing. The objectives of the irrigation districts involved in the Consultation are to protect and sustain the current water supply and rights of the Talent, Medford and Rogue River Valley irrigation districts by providing accurate science to the process based on historically accurate information.

All three districts’ management, boards and staff, together with legal, scientific and biological teams have attended countless meetings with Federal agencies and their experts to assure that the districts continue to be able to operate and maintain the irrigation district facilities and assets for the primary purpose for which the Talent Division of the Rogue River Basin Project was designed.

The Bureau of Reclamation submitted a Supplemental Biological Assessment to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in January 2009. NOAA is now in the process of developing the final Biological Opinion for the Rogue Basin which will likely impose operational changes in water management on the irrigation districts to ensure the continued existence of federally-listed threatened species and their habitat. The exact operational changes are not known at this time, but the districts and their consultants are continuing to be represented at every meeting to give input to Reclamation and NOAA to minimize the impact of any proposed operational changes.

The Consultation continues to be very time and resource consuming and expensive for the irrigation districts; however, the crucial concern is that a poorly written Biological Opinion with a finding that the federal project which supplies our water is jeopardizing the continued existence of the species, or is adversely modifying its habitat, could severely hamper the districts’ ability to deliver a full water supply to their patrons. The preservation of our water supply is of the utmost importance to the districts, their patrons and communities they serve.

BOARD OF DIRECTOR ELECTION INFORMATION

Bob Morris’ term of office as a member of the Board of Directors expires on December 31, 2011.

Nominating Petitions for Director Morris’ expiring term were available in the District office from September 1, 2011 until October 3, 2011. A legal notice was published in the Mail Tribune on Saturday, September 3, 2011 announcing that the petitions were available. The deadline for filing the Nomination Petitions was 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 3, 2011.

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 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 completed its second 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 on September 21, 2011. The purpose of this program is to improve water quality in the Bear Creek Watershed.

Many agencies and organizations are participating in the Bear Creek TMDL Implementation Program . Since 1997 stakeholders have spent more than $39.5 million on water quality improvement projects within the Bear Creek Watershed. Due to these projects, the water quality has measurably improved since 1996. Although Bear Creek and its tributaries do not yet meet the total allowable phosphorus concentrations, significant progress has been made and continues to be made. TID is proud to be a partner in this important endeavor.

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 sixth 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.

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.

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