Idaho Statutes

43-322A.  Power to incur debts — mitigation plans and recharge projects — judicial examination. (1) The board may by resolution adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the board, determine that the interest of the district and the public interest and necessity demand the development and operation of a mitigation plan or recharge project and shall set forth the amount of obligation or contract indebtedness proposed to be issued by the district under the provisions of this chapter for the development of such mitigation plan or recharge project. The board shall submit the contract indebtedness in the proposed resolution to a vote of the qualified electors of the district as defined in section 43-111, Idaho Code, at an election to be held only if within fifteen (15) days after the passage of such resolution a referendum petition signed by qualified electors of the district whose aggregate water rights equal not less than ten percent (10%), calculated on a per acre basis, of the aggregate water rights of all qualified electors of the district, shall be filed with the secretary of the district requesting that an election upon the issuance of the contract indebtedness be held and conducted under the provisions of this section. Any election required to be held pursuant to a referendum petition filed in accordance with this section for the purpose of submitting any proposition or propositions of incurring such obligation or indebtedness shall be held in accordance with section 34-106, Idaho Code. The resolution, in addition to such declaration of public interest or necessity, shall recite the objects and purposes for which the indebtedness is proposed to be incurred, the estimated cost of the mitigation plan or recharge plan, the amount of principal of the indebtedness to be incurred therefor, and the sources of the revenues and assessments pledged to the payment of the indebtedness. The separate election upon the assessments shall be held at the same time as and shall be combined with any such election required to be held upon the indebtedness question pursuant to a referendum petition. If no referendum petition is filed, or if so filed, if it shall appear from the returns that the qualified electors of the district representing two-thirds (2/3) of the aggregate water rights of the district, calculated on a per acre basis, have voted in favor of the proposition, the district thereupon shall be authorized to incur such indebtedness or obligations, or enter into such contracts, all for the purposes provided for in the proposition submitted in the resolution, and in the amount so provided subject to judicial examination as provided in subsection (2) of this section. Submission of the proposition of incurring such obligation or other indebtedness at such an election shall not prevent or prohibit submission of the same or other propositions at subsequent election or elections called for such purpose.
(2)  Prior to the incurring of indebtedness, the board of directors of the irrigation district shall file in the district court of the county in which their office is situated a petition, praying in effect that the proceedings aforesaid may be examined, approved and confirmed by the court. The petition shall state generally that the irrigation district was duly organized and the first board of directors elected, that due and lawful proceedings were taken to authorize the incurrence of indebtedness by the issuance of bonds or otherwise for mitigation plans or recharge projects in an amount to be stated, and that said assessment, list and apportionment were duly made and a copy of said assessment, list and apportionment shall be attached to said petition. Whenever any district that is required to file a petition hereunder has or proposes to enter into a contract or contracts with one (1) or more districts or ground water district, the boards of such other districts or ground water districts may join in the filing of such petition, and the district court in which such petition is filed shall have jurisdiction to hear the petition and to grant the relief prayed for therein. Each such petition shall pray for a judicial examination and determination of any power conferred hereby or by any amendment hereto or of any assessment levied or of any apportionment of costs or of any act, proceeding or contract of the district or districts, whether or not said contracts shall have been executed, including, without limitation, proposed contracts for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, replacement and improvement of any well and other related structures and works and appurtenances, falling water contracts, contracts with other districts and contracts with other public and private persons, firms, corporations and associations associated with mitigation plans or recharge projects. Such petition shall set forth the facts whereon the validity of such powers, assessments, apportionments, acts, proceedings or contracts is founded. Notice of the filing of said petition shall be given by the clerk of the court in accordance with the requirements of section 43-407, Idaho Code, stating in brief outline the contents of the petition and showing where a full copy of any contract or contracts, therein mentioned, may be examined.
(3)  Any water user in any district joining in the petition or any other person interested in the contracts or proposed contracts may appear and answer the petition at any time prior to the date fixed for the hearing or within such further time as may be allowed by the court; and the petition shall be taken as confessed by all persons who fail so to appear. The said petition and notice shall be sufficient to give the court jurisdiction and, upon hearing, the court: shall examine into and determine all matters and things affecting the question submitted; shall examine all of the proceedings of all of the districts as set forth in the petition; shall hear all objections either filed in the proceeding or brought up from the hearings before any of the boards; shall correct all errors in the assessments and apportionments of costs; shall ratify, approve and confirm all apportionments of costs and assessments levied; shall make such findings with reference thereto and render a judgment and decree thereon approving and confirming all of the powers, assessments, apportionments, acts, proceedings and contracts of each of the districts as set forth in the petition as the case warrants. Costs may be divided or apportioned among the contesting parties in the discretion of the trial court. Review of the judgment of the court may be had as in other similar cases. The court shall disregard any error, irregularity or omission which does not affect the substantial rights of the parties.

[43-322A, added 2015, ch. 107, sec. 2, p. 270.]

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