The meeting consisted of the first reading of two Ordinances and one actual vote. There wasn’t even any Public Comment – the option was there, but no one had anything to say.
The two Ordinances read would repeal the need for permit requirements for certain water related activities and the $6 water fee.
With the fee being court ruled as illegal and the board on the road to dissolution, repeal would seem superfluous, but this board is a group which seems to err firmly to the side of caution
The board approved a resolution (4/0) to open a second checking account with PremierWest for the purposes of keeping “new” and “old” monies separate. New monies (via donations) will be used for the cost of doing business and the March election. Old monies for repaying folks their proportionate amount of the $72 annual fee.
The March election is going to cost quite a bit more than the $200 the board previously anticipated – and an election will be necessary for the dissolution of the board.
Per a memo sent to the Independent from Jackson County Administrator on 10/8/09: “Under Oregon law, the District can now be dissolved only after an election.” Regarding election costs the memo stated: “The Plan of Dissolution does not provide for payment of the costs of the election. The Clerk estimates those will be about $2,000. If the voters approve dissolution of the district and the election costs remain unpaid, Oregon law will require the District Board to levy a tax in the District to satisfy the election debt.”
In the Sept. 24 special meeting Keith advised the board would possibly have to pay election costs “out of their own pockets”, but that was when the cost was estimated at $200 as that was the cost of the election wherein the current board was voted in. $2000 may prove more of a sticky wicket. Keith has mentioned receiving donations in every meeting since the new board took office and it was specially noted on Oct. 5 that the 2nd checking account for same will be open by Oct.14 and that folks can send donations to the District P.O. Box (Box 996, SC 97539).
In a phone interview on Oct. 8, Keith advised the board isn’t totally caught off guard by the $2,000 cost, they had hoped for a lower fee, but knew the election could run closer to $1900 or the projected $2,000.
The board’s next meeting is Monday Nov. 2 and it’s safe to assume the election and costs will be discussed at length then. However, unless the board members can manage $400 each out of pocket, it seems one way or another the citizens will need to chip in if the district is ever to be a thing of the past.
In the words of Thomas Fuller “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.”
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent