Shady Cove Water District considers seeking Umatilla tribal grants

At the meeting of the Shady Cove Water District on March 5, it was obvious that board members had let no grass grow under their feet while awaiting an Oregon Court of Appeals decision on the viability of the district. President James Collier ran the meeting that included the idea of seeking help in the quest for water from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
    
With the water district’s attorney Eric Kaufman present to answer questions, Collier discussed the cost of the successful appeal. There was need for clarification because of rumors and stories, he said.

The total expenditure was $15,497.05 with the district having loans for
$15,690 to cover those expenses. There will be further costs of about
$1,620 but a private lender will cover that amount. There are still a
few papers to file, said Collier.
   
The Court of Appeals
gave all court costs back to the water district. The amount could be as
high as $2,000, according to Collier.
   
The appeal by the
district was concluded on Feb. 27 and may be read online at the Oregon
Court of Appeals Website. Kaufman mentioned the matter could still be
taken to the Oregon Supreme Court within 30 days for a motion of
reconsideration. Kaufman and Collier suggested this was unlikely.
   
The
board unanimously agreed to have  Collier and board member Wayne Barnes
speak with the tribal council of the Umatilla Indians. Collier said the
tribe has participated in water districts and water developments all
over the state of Oregon, including a recent expansion in Eugene. "They
may very well have some ideas that would be of use to us." Collier
said, as an example, the tribe may have knowledge of available grants.
Because Barnes has been a Umatilla tribal member since 1932, Collier
said he has the ability to open some doors.
   
The board also
authorized Collier and resident Bud Rees to speak with the Oregon State
Department of Revenue in Salem about budget procedure as soon as they
can get an appointment. The budget needs to be put together in a timely
manner, said Collier. Recently Collier, Rees and others took a
department of revenue budget seminar at the Rogue Community College.
   
The
water district’s budget committee has five openings. Staggered terms
available  are: a one year term,(2) two year terms, and (2) three years
terms. With the new appointments the committee will have 10 members,
including members of the board. The positions will be advertised and
any applications submitted before the next meeting may be reviewed at
that meeting. A budget officer is also needed.
   
Other items
discussed were "housekeeping" matters such as attorney services,
electing Collier as spokesperson, insurance, a district office base and
obtaining a district phone. The board agreed the present meeting place
of the old Masonic Hall can serve as the district office.
   
In
answer to a question from resident Rick Mori, Collier said future
meetings will include discussions of river water allocations from the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
   
The next meeting is a
"special" meeting on March 19 at 1:00 p.m. at the old Masonic Hall at
Highway 62 and Cleveland. Applications for the budget committee will be
available at that session.The public is welcome to attend and submit
ideas. For more information call Collier at 890-0695.
By Margaret Bradburn   
Of the Independent

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