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Resolution proposed in Tulelake Irrigation District case
Yreka, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors was told Tuesday that a resolution has possibly been reached in a case involving the Tulelake Irrigation District (TID).
The case that has been under review by the Siskiyou County Superior Court is titled Tulelake Irrigation District v. All persons having or claiming to have an interest in the validity of agreements entered into by Tulelake Irrigation District entitled “Klamath Basin Restoration for the Sustainability of Public and Trust Resources and Affected Communities” and “Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement.”
According to summaries of the agreements, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) aims to propose fishery restoration programs, establish reliable water and power supplies, and contribute to public welfare and the sustainability of Klamath Basin communities while the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) calls for studies of the possible environmental impacts and potential outcomes that would accompany the removal of four dams – J.C. Boyle, Copco 1, Copco 2 and Iron Gate – along the Klamath River.
In its case, the TID asks the court to validate the two agreements, the resolutions passed by the TID in support of the agreements and “all procedural and substantive actions taken by TID related to entering into” the agreements.
The TID also requests that the court prohibit any entity from questioning whether the judgment of the court in validating the documents and actions is binding and conclusive.
The county intervened in the proceedings to demur – or request that the case be dismissed – claiming that the TID has not stated a cause of action under the applicable validation statutes, that the KHSA and KBRA are not contracts and therefore cannot be validated, and that the matter of validity is not “ripe for review.”
The county contends, according to its request for demurrer, that the two agreements cannot constitute contracts because they rely on future legislation, making them “too vague to constitute contracts.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, County Counsel Thomas Guarino explained the proposed resolution in the case that would go to the court for approval.
The agreement between the TID and the county would allow the TID to obtain court approval for the actions they took by becoming parties to the KBRA and KHSA while the county can still challenge the agreements as they come forward.
The resolution would mean there is no challenge as to whether the TID is legal or correct in their actions and the county can still file suit in regards to the agreements themselves, Guarino explained.
“The proposed judgement agreed to by the county and the Siskiyou County Flood Control and Water Conservation District will not be a validation of the KBRA or KHSA. ... It was the effort to validate the KBRA and KHSA themselves that were the primary reason the county and district filed suit,” Guarino said. “This agreement allows an independent district in the county (Tulelake) to make its decision on its affairs while preserving the county’s and district’s authority to protect the broader interests of their areas of jurisdiction.”
Guarino also shared with the supervisors that the environmental studies regarding the dams that are shaping those agreements are expected to be released by the end of the month. Guarino said the county administration would be reviewing the documents and reporting back to the board “as appropriate” what is found.
The county also anticipates being able to complete a sedimentation study for which they received grant money once the environmental studies are released.
Page Updated: Monday September 19, 2011 02:19 AM Pacific
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