Shareholders in the Butte Ditch Company agreed to annual water charges and returned two sitting directors to their board at the company's annual meeting Saturday at Orchard City.
The private ditch company has a contract with Orchard City Irrigation District for various shared expenses.
The private Fogg Ditch company has the same contract arrangement. The Butte and Fogg operation and maintenance costs are included in the OCID's annual assessment. In 2012 that amount will be $35.56 per irrigated acre, up from $29.59 last year.
The amount was unanimously agreed to by the membership, and so no vote was taken. Butte shareholders on the upper portion of the system are not within the OCID's boundaries and so do not get OCID assessments. So, those Butte shareholders will be individually invoiced for the $35.56-per-irrigated-acre amount.
OCID board president Jeff Wick was at the meeting and explained the increased assessment is needed to pay for additional work projects done on the system last year. He said a fuller accounting would be given at the OCID's annual meeting on Jan. 21.
The Butte membership by acclamation returned board members Celia Averitte and David Pyle to additional two-year terms. They join ongoing board members Andy Wick, Bert Sibley, and John Kirkpatrick.
In other business at the meeting, shareholders and their board discussed the following matters:
• Mountain snowpack levels are low at this time, and a low-water irrigation year is possible. Fruitgrowers Reservoir is 450 acre feet short of filling to its 3,560 acre foot capacity.
• The company discussed ways to get unpaid assessments collected. Among the ideas suggested were filing liens on property, using small claims court, and not delivering water to anyone with unpaid assessments.
• There was a lot of work done on the Sharp Ditch last year including headgates, flumes, and cleaning.
• There was a discussion about indications that the water table has been rising in the 2100 Road corridor.
• The company's water wagon has undergone some overhaul work to make it more serviceable. The 250-gallon wagon is used to enhance safety during spring ditch burn operations. The company is on the lookout for a new wagon with higher capacity, but finds the $6,000 new cost too high at present.
• Shareholders heard an update on a company court filing that would officially change a point of diversion for a total of 40 second feet of Butte and Fogg irrigation water. The change, which has in past been used but not officially approved, will make water flows through the system more consistent and easier to manager, company officials said.
• The OCID has agreed to pay $5,000 for replacement of three weirs and two headgates as part of the Town of Orchard City's Fairview Road culvert project this summer.blog comments powered by Disqus