BR district II water users vote on split

 By Kay Braddock

        Buffalo Rapids district II‚Äącommissioners met Monday afternoon to discuss whether the irrigation project, divided into two districts, should go their separate ways.

District II commissioner Barry Rakes suggested the idea at an earlier meeting, which met with some favorable and other not-so favorable responses. 
In order for a split to occur, one district must submit a letter of intent to dissolve the relationship to the other district and notify the Bureau of Reclamation. Within 90 days the split can occur, but may likely take longer as the two districts would need to iron out details of separating equipment and supplies.
A non-binding ballot was sent out to district II water users last month regarding the matter. The ballot offered two choices: Yes, district II should withdraw from BR Board of Control or No, district II should not withdraw from the BR Board of Control. 
Votes were counted during the Monday meeting. About 70 ballots were mailed out to district II water users. Of the 44 returned ballots, 40 said yes to splitting away from district I, while 4 voted no.
District II commissioner Jim Finneman’s letter of resignation, submitted on Dec. 14, was also accepted by the commissioners at the Monday meeting. Lance Kalfell has been appointed to serve the remainder of Finneman’s term. 
No decision was made at the meeting regarding the split. Commissioners opted to wait for next week’s meeting with the full Board of Control to discuss the matter with all seven commissioners.

Published Jan. 6 2010

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