RITZVILLE, Wash., Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Odessa Aquifer Irrigators, having fought for two years to build and finance their own irrigation distribution systems from the East Low Canal, are ramping-up litigation against the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District.
The Irrigators have filed a Summary Judgement Motion in Adams County requesting that the Superior Court declare the Irrigation District's so-called "development fee" illegal. The "development fee" attempts to push the Irrigations District's "normative assessment" socialized program onto the Irrigators, even when they pay their own irrigation system capital costs.
The "development fee" is squarely at odds with cost assessments allowed under Washington State irrigation district law (RCW 87.03), where "common costs" must be separated from specific individual costs of service with different benefits. The Summary Judgement Motion also points out the following additional problems:
- The Irrigation District has attempted to assert that "everyone will benefit equally" from completion of all separate systems, but none of the systems provide for common water delivery—they are all separate pieces of hardware serving different acreages.
- The "development fee" ignores actual costs and is an attempt by the Irrigation District to extract a maximum revenue stream.
- The Irrigation District's so-called "normalization" or socialized scheme is arbitrary and capricious, and is injuring Odessa Aquifer Irrigators seeking to build their own irrigation systems with their own money.
- The "development fee" is an attempt to subsidize the costs of other systems, well beyond any "common benefits" received by those paying the fee—it is an illegal assessment.
While the Odessa Aquifer Irrigators have already secured financial backing (about $42 million) to build System 1, and associated lending commitments to build Systems 2 and 4, the Irrigation District has been forced to abandon its initial very expensive, unsecured LID revenue bonding proposal. Instead, the Irrigation District would have to now either bond against its total financial capability, or receive full capital payments up-front from landowners – both of which the landowners are balking:
The Summary Judgement Motion is under the Odessa Aquifer Irrigators' Injunctive Complaint already filed in Adams County Superior Court, and it comes on the heels of the litigation filed against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for failing to review adequately the Irrigators water service contract request.
For more information contact, please contact Darryll Olsen of CSRIA/Odessa Aquifer Irrigators at 509-783-1623 or Email.
The Odessa Aquifer Privately Funded Project has been widely endorsed by many newspapers and decision-makers as a viable, cost-effective and realistic option to immediately begin replacing the use of groundwater from the declining Odessa Subarea Aquifer.
Following are recent editorials endorsing/supporting the privately funded/financed project:
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/odessa-aquifer-irrigators-challenge-east-columbia-basin-irrigation-districts-illegal-cost-assessment-which-is-discouraging-private-sector-irrigation-development-300194529.html
SOURCE Odessa Aquifer Irrigators