2006 Legislation
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SENATE BILL NO. 1259 – Water dist meeting, notice


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Bill Status

S1259..........................................by RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
WATER DISTRICTS - Amends existing law to revise notification provisions
relating to water district meetings.
01/17    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/18    Rpt prt - to Res/Env
02/07    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/08    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/14    3rd rdg - PASSED - 35-0-0
      AYES -- Andreason, Brandt, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burkett,
      Burtenshaw, Cameron, Coiner, Compton, Corder, Darrington, Davis,
      Fulcher, Gannon, Geddes, Goedde, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough,
      Langhorst, Little, Lodge, Malepeai, Marley, McGee, McKenzie, Pearce,
      Richardson, Schroeder, Stegner, Stennett, Sweet, Werk, Williams
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- None
    Floor Sponsor - Williams
    Title apvd - to House
02/15    House intro - 1st rdg - to Res/Con
02/28    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/01    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/15    3rd rdg - PASSED - 62-0-8
      AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bastian, Bayer,
      Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Brackett, Bradford,
      Cannon, Chadderdon, Collins, Deal, Denney, Edmunson, Eskridge,
      Field(18), Field(23), Garrett, Hart, Henbest, Henderson, Jaquet,
      Kemp, Lake, LeFavour, Loertscher, Martinez, Mathews, McGeachin,
      McKague, Miller, Mitchell, Moyle, Nielsen, Nonini, Pasley-Stuart,
      Pence, Raybould, Ringo, Roberts, Rusche, Rydalch, Sali, Schaefer,
      Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8), Shirley, Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24),
      Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail, Wood
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Clark, Crow, Ellsworth, Harwood, Ring, Sayler,
      Wills, Mr. Speaker
    Floor Sponsor - Wood
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/16    To enrol
03/17    Rpt enrol - Pres signed - Sp signed
03/20    To Governor
03/22    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 146
         Effective: 07/01/06

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   Second Regular Session - 2006
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                    SENATE BILL NO. 1259
  1                                        AN ACT
  5    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  6        SECTION 1.  That Section 42-605, Idaho Code, be, and the  same  is  hereby
  7    amended to read as follows:
  9    REMOVAL -- OATH AND BOND -- ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (1) There shall be held on the
 10    first Monday in March in each year, and, except as provided in subsection  (2)
 11    of this section, commencing at two o'clock P.M., a meeting of all persons own-
 12    ing  or  having the use of a water right, in the waters of the stream or water
 13    supply comprising such district, which right has been adjudicated  or  decreed
 14    by  the  court  or  is  represented  by  valid permit or license issued by the
 15    department of water resources.
 16        (2)  Such meeting shall be held at some place within the  water  district,
 17    or  at some nearby location convenient to a majority of those entitled to vote
 18    thereat, which place shall be designated by the director of the department  of
 19    water  resources. The director shall, between January first and February first
 20    of each year, notify at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting  date,
 21    send  notification  by  regular mail to all persons, companies or corporations
 22    known by the director to hold rights to the use of the  waters  of  such  dis-
 23    trict,  which  right has been adjudicated or decreed by the court or is repre-
 24    sented by valid permit or license issued by the department of water resources,
 25    of the time, date, location and purpose of the annual meeting. At  any  annual
 26    meeting  the  water users may vote to waive the requirement for notice by mail
 27    and provide for notice to be given for future meetings by publication  of  the
 28    time,  date,  location and purpose of the meeting in a newspaper or newspapers
 29    in general circulation in the district. Published notice shall  be  made  once
 30    per  week  for  two  (2) consecutive weeks with the second notice appearing at
 31    least thirty fourteen (3014) and not more than sixty thirty  (630) days  prior
 32    to  the meeting. In water districts whose area includes land in more than four
 33    (4) counties the annual meeting shall commence at ten o'clock A.M. instead  of
 34    two o'clock P.M.: provided, that the water users of any water district may, by
 35    resolution  adopted  at  an  annual  meeting  or at a special meeting properly
 36    called for that purpose, change the time of day when the  meeting  shall  com-
 37    mence  or  change  the date for annual meetings in subsequent years to any day
 38    except Saturday and Sunday between the second Monday of January and the  third
 39    Monday in March or change both the time and the date, in which case the direc-
 40    tor  of  the  department  of  water resources shall send notification at least
 41    thirty twenty-one (3021) days prior to said meeting date. At an annual meeting
 42    the water users may adopt resolutions to assure or improve the distribution of
 43    the waters of the district within state law, and may provide that such resolu-
  1    tions shall continue from year to year.
  2        (3)  At the meeting of the water  users  of  a  district  there  shall  be
  3    elected a watermaster for such water district, who may be authorized to employ
  4    such  other  regular  assistants  as the water users shall deem necessary, and
  5    who, upon appointment by the director of the department  of  water  resources,
  6    shall be responsible for distribution of water within said water district, and
  7    the  water users shall, prior to the election of such watermaster and approval
  8    of  the employment of assistants, fix the compensation to be paid them  during
  9    the time actually engaged in the performance of their duties.
 10        (4)  Voting  shall  be  by majority vote of the water users present at the
 11    meeting unless one (1) or more water users requests voting using the procedure
 12    which follows in this subsection. In such  case  the  meeting  chairman  shall
 13    appoint  a  credentials  committee to determine the number of votes each water
 14    user present is authorized to cast. If requested, each person present,  owning
 15    or  having  the use for the ensuing season of any water right in the stream or
 16    water supply comprising such water district, which right has been  adjudicated
 17    or decreed by the court or is represented by valid permit or license issued by
 18    the  department  of  water  resources,  shall be entitled to a number of votes
 19    equal to the average annual dollar amount and any  fraction  thereof  assessed
 20    for  that  person's qualifying water right for the previous five (5) years, or
 21    such lesser number of years as the right has been assessed. If a right has not
 22    previously been assessed, a person present, owning or having the  use  of  the
 23    right  for  the ensuing season shall be entitled to a number of votes equal to
 24    the dollar amount and any fraction thereof which the  right  would  have  been
 25    assessed  had  it  existed  and  been reasonably used when water was available
 26    under the priority of the right during the previous season.
 27        (5)  At such meeting the water users shall choose a meeting  chairman  and
 28    meeting  secretary  and  shall determine the manner and method of electing the
 29    watermaster. The water users shall, at the annual  meeting,  provide  for  the
 30    water  district  treasurer  functions in accordance with section 42-619, Idaho
 31    Code. Within five (5) days after such meeting the meeting chairman and meeting
 32    secretary shall forward a certified copy of the minutes of such meeting to the
 33    department of water resources. The meeting chairman, or the meeting secretary,
 34    if the meeting chairman is not present, from the immediately preceding  annual
 35    meeting shall call the meeting to order and preside over the election of offi-
 36    cers for the meeting.
 37        (6)  At  such  meeting the water users may choose an advisory committee to
 38    be composed of members selected as may be determined  at  the  meeting,  which
 39    committee  shall serve as advisors to the director and the watermaster in mat-
 40    ters pertaining to the distribution of water within the district. The advisory
 41    committee may be authorized to carry out policies as set forth in  resolutions
 42    duly adopted by the water users at the annual meeting or at a special meeting.
 43    The advisory committee may also serve as the local committee to facilitate the
 44    rental  of stored water if appointed by the water resource board for such pur-
 45    pose under the provisions of section 42-1765, Idaho Code.
 46        (7)  A corporation or a water delivery organization,  including,  but  not
 47    limited  to a corporation, a water company, an irrigation district, an irriga-
 48    tion company or a canal company, shall be considered a person for the  purpose
 49    of  this  section  and  shall cast its vote by someone to be designated by the
 50    corporation.
 51        (8)  Should said meeting not be held, or should said  watermaster  not  be
 52    elected or the watermaster's compensation not be fixed as above provided, then
 53    the  director  of the department of water resources is authorized to appoint a
 54    watermaster and fix the watermaster's compensation.
 55        (9)  The director of the department of  water  resources  may  remove  any
  1    watermaster whenever such watermaster fails to perform the watermaster's duty,
  2    upon  complaint  in that respect being made to the director in writing, by one
  3    (1) person owning or having the right to the use of a water right in such dis-
  4    trict, which right has been adjudicated or decreed by the court or  is  repre-
  5    sented by valid permit or license issued by the department of water resources
  6    provided, that upon investigation the director, after a hearing with the other
  7    water  users  of said district, which shall be held in the district or at some
  8    location convenient to the water users of the district, finds such  charge  to
  9    be true, and the director may appoint a successor for the unexpired term.
 10        (10)  Before  entering  upon  the duties of the watermaster's office, said
 11    watermaster shall take and subscribe an oath before some officer authorized by
 12    the laws of the state to administer oaths, to faithfully perform the duties of
 13    the watermaster's office, as provided in section 42-607, Idaho Code, and shall
 14    file that oath with the department of water resources. Upon appointment by the
 15    director of the department of water resources, the actions taken by  a  water-
 16    master  in  fulfillment  of  the duties of his office are covered by the state
 17    group surety bond as provided by sections 59-801 through 59-804, Idaho Code.
 18        (11)  The director shall call a special meeting of the water  users  of  a
 19    district upon receipt of a written request for such meeting from a majority of
 20    the  members  of the advisory committee for a district, a written request from
 21    water users representing thirty per cent percent (30%) or more  of  the  votes
 22    cast  at  the  last  regular annual meeting, a written request from the water-
 23    master or on the director's own motion if the director determines a meeting is
 24    necessary to address matters that cannot be delayed  until  the  next  regular
 25    annual  meeting.  Notice of the time, place and purpose of the special meeting
 26    shall be given by the director in the manner provided  in  section  42-605(2),
 27    Idaho  Code  subsection  (2) of this section, provided however, that a special
 28    meeting notice shall be sent at least fourteen (14) days prior to the  meeting
 29    date.
 30        (12)  The  water  users  may,  by resolution, authorize the watermaster to
 31    acquire, hold and dispose of such real and personal  property,  equipment  and
 32    facilities  in the name of the water district as necessary for the proper dis-
 33    tribution of water and shall provide that all such real and personal  property
 34    shall  remain  in the custody of the watermaster and the watermaster's succes-
 35    sor.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                    STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                           RS 15431

The purpose of this legislation is to amend Idaho Code § 42-
605(2) and (11) to change the time required for the Director to 
send notification of annual water district meetings from thirty 
(30) days to twenty-one (21) days, and for special meetings from 
thirty (30) days to fourteen (14) days.

Past experience indicates that a notice period of less than 
thirty days is more effective, and some water districts have 
specifically requested a shortened notice period.  Special water 
district meetings are typically called to address a problem of 
some urgency and the requirement for a thirty-day notice 
sometimes frustrates the need to address an urgent matter in a 
timely fashion.

                         FISCAL NOTE

Enactment of this legislation will not have a negative impact 
upon the state’s general fund or other state or local funds.

Name:	Karl Dreher
Agency:	Water Resources, Dept. of
Phone:	287-4803