On Feb. 16 the Cedaredge Board of Trustees postponed taking action on a possible "Verified Statement of Opposition" in state water court on an application for an alternate point of diversion at the headgate of the Alfalfa Ditch by the Butte and Fogg Ditch companies.
The application is for an alternate point of diversion to run decreed water shares from the headgate of the Alfalfa Ditch, through the Alfalfa Ditch to Fruitgrowers Reservoir.
During the meeting, it was noted that the Alfalfa Ditch runs through the Cedaredge golf course and is adjacent to private and public property. According to the application, the requested diversion (via the Alfalfa Ditch) has taken place informally for years.
In a memo to the trustees, town administrator Kathleen Sickles stated, "Although the application appears to be a formal process to approve an informal practice, my concern is regarding maintenance easements and necessary maintenance regarding the impact of 39.67 c.f.s. over time, to the improved private and public property adjacent to the Alfalfa Ditch, the consequences of high run off and liability to town structures intersecting the Alfalfa Ditch." Sickles also noted that the walking trail along the creek and maintained by the town is being used "for vehicular access to the diversion area."
Action on the item was delayed so the trustees could seek legal advice from town attorney Steven Harper. The town had been notified by the Water Court that it had until the last day of February to file a "Statement of Opposition" with the Water Clerk's Office in Montrose.
According to Sickles, Harper filed the town's "Statement of Opposition" to the ditch companies' application on Feb. 28. It stated:
"The Alfalfa Ditch runs through urbanized areas of the Town of Cedaredge, including the Cedaredge Golf Course Property and residential subdivisions bordering the Golf Course. Town property and other private property is jeopardized by the application as the decree sought could potentially increase the flow in the Alfalfa Ditch beyond its capacity at certain times of the year, an eventuality preventable only by proper management. The application should not be approved unless the Ditch Companies involved indemnify the Town of Cedaredge from all damages, losses and liabilities that could be asserted against the Town of Cedaredge as a result of the management of the Alfalfa Ditch carrying the other Ditch Companies' water and with stipulations regarding ditch maintenance in urbanized areas."
According to Sickles, concerns over possible liability issues prompted the filing of the "Statement of Opposition."blog comments powered by Disqus