Even though there has been no problem since the Town of Crawford made an agreement to let the cemetery use the town's 25 shares of irrigation water from the Clipper Ditch, it has become an issue in 2012. The cemetery board and the Clipper Ditch board are upset with the Town of Crawford's desire to have a formal intergovernmental agreement between the cemetery and the town.
Initially, there was some discussion about whether the town actually owned 25 shares of Clipper Ditch. Dick Moore, representing the cemetery board, said the water should be owned by the cemetery.
Mayor Susie Steckel made it clear that the Town of Crawford would not give up its water rights.
Bill Linman of the Clipper Ditch said that when he was a kid in the 1940s there was no water for the cemetery.
Linman said that the town must have purchased it from an individual. The cemetery had no money at the time and there were weeds growing in the cemetery. The farmers agreed to put the cemetery on a tax basis. A cemetery district was created. Linman said the water was given to the town for the cemetery since there was no cemetery board. Now he believes the cemetery should own the shares, not the town.
Town clerk Jackie Savage found minutes from the council meeting of Aug. 6, 1945 stating that a party named Blankenship sold the town the shares in the Clipper Ditch. The town agreed in February 1949 to let the cemetery use the irrigation water for $1 a year for 10 years plus all ditch assessments. That agreement has been carried on since then, but only the ditch assessment has been charged.
What the town wants now is an intergovernmental agreement with the Crawford Cemetery District. The agreement would put in writing to "confirm and memorialize the agreement under which the town has allowed the District to use the Clipper Ditch water and to continue that agreement."
The Clipper Ditch board will help the town get a correct certificate showing 25 shares rather than .25 shares. One share is now worth 25 shares not .25 shares.
"If the cemetery had those shares, because we are the ones who use it and we pay the assessment, I think we should probably [own them]. The town can't use it," Moore said.
"We are going to look into the future. We are not going to give that water up," Steckel said. "You can't get it back once you give it up. We can't look into a crystal ball for why we would use it, but we might need it at some point."
The agreement would put in writing that the cemetery can use the water. Asked how long the agreement would be good for, trustee Christie Young said the agreement was written by the attorney for 10 years.
Moore said the cemetery board wants an agreement for 20 years.
Young said she thought that was an option.
Moore then asked for both the cemetery and the town be listed on the certificate of ownership.
Les Linman of the Clipper Ditch said if both names were on the certificate then both parties would have to approve any sale. Bill Linman wants the cemetery should be on the certificate.
The mayor said they would discuss this issue at the Oct. 17 Crawford work session.
The town would like a decision to be made at the Nov. 7 council meeting.blog comments powered by Disqus