Medford Irrigation District
In accordance with ORS 545, the Board of Directors of the Medford Irrigation District does hereby establish equitable rules, regulations, and bylaws for the efficient, economic, and impartial distribution and use of water among the landowners. These Bylaws supplant all prior Bylaws.
1. Legal Status The Medford Irrigation District (“District”) is a quasi-municipality, a cooperative organization operating under Oregon Revised Statute Chapter 545.
2. Principal Office The District in the State of Oregon shall be located at 5045 Jacksonville Hwy., Central Point, Oregon 97502, the mailing address is P.O. Box 70, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530. The Board of Directors (the “Board” or “Directors”) may change the principal office of the District within the State of Oregon as it may determine from time to time in its sole discretion.
3. Boundaries The District includes all territory within its boundaries as they now exist or are legally modified. The District will maintain as a public record an accurate and current description of the boundaries.
4. Divisions The District is divided into five divisions numbered one (1) through (5) under ORS 545.207.
5. Fiscal Year The fiscal year shall be from January 1st to December 31st.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. Board of Directors The District shall be managed by the Board of Directors. Directors must be residents of the State of Oregon and an owner, or shareholders of corporate owners, of land within the District ORS 545.043.
2. Number & Term of Office The number of Directors constituting the Board of Directors will be five. The term of office of the Director is three years. A Director shall hold office from the Second Wednesday in January following the election until a successor is elected and qualified. ORS 545.043).
3. Oath of Office A newly elected director shall take the official oath of office at the annual organizational meeting in January next following the election of the Director or as soon thereafter as possible as provided for in ORS 545.043)
4. Powers and duties vested in Board All powers and duties that may be exercised by an irrigation district Board of Directors under the U.S. Constitution, the Oregon Constitution, and federal, state, and local law, including specifically the powers described in ORS 545.221, are hereby vested in the Board of Directors and its designees.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS
1. Annual Organizational Meetings The regular annual organizational meeting of the District will be held on the first Tuesday in January, or at such other time as set by the Directors. ORS 545.181(1)(c).
2. Regular Meetings The Directors shall hold regular monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of each month, or at such other time as set by the Directors. Regular monthly meetings shall be held in the office of the District. ORS 545.185.
3. Special Meetings of the Directors may be held when ordered by a majority of the Directors.
4. Emergency Meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the Manager or any board member when an actual emergency exists. ORS 192.640(3).
5. Executive Sessions The Directors are authorized to meet in executive, or closed session, when authorized under Oregon’s Public Meeting Law, ORS (192.660). Such sessions shall be conducted as required by law.
6. Telephonic/Electronic Meeting Subject to compliance with Oregon’s Public Meetings Law, any meeting of the Board may be accomplished in whole or in part by telephonic conference call or other electronic communication. ORS 192.670(1)
7. Public Notice Meetings All meetings of the Directors shall be public, and all records of the Board of Directors shall be open to public inspection during business hours. ORS 545.185. Notice of meetings shall be given to the public as required under ORS 192.640, Oregon’s Public Meeting Law.
8. Conduct of Meetings All meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to the public except as otherwise provided under Oregon’s Public Meeting Law. In the event a conflict arises over meeting procedures, Roberts’ Rules of Order shall govern, except as otherwise provided by law.
9. Agenda The District Manager shall have a written agenda to be prepared for each meeting. The agenda shall include any business item requested by a Board member at least 24 hours before the meeting. The agenda shall be confirmed by the Board of Directors at the beginning of each meeting and may be amended by a motion approved by the Board of Directors.
10. Quorum A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business by the District. However, on all questions requiring a vote, there shall be a concurrence of a majority of all the Directors.
11. Vacancies Any vacancy on the Board shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by a majority vote of the remaining Directors, at any regular monthly meeting or special meeting called for such purpose. A vacancy shall be filled as provided by law. ORS 545.187; 198.320
12. Election to Fill Vacancy If a vacancy in the Board occurs less than 25 days before a regular annual director election, the vacancy shall be filled at the next regular annual director election.
13. Recall of Directors A Director may be removed from office only by recall as provided in ORS 545.189.
14. Number & Term of Office The number of Directors constituting the Board of Directors will be five. The term of office of the Director is three years. A Director shall hold office from the first Tuesday in January following the election until a successor is elected and qualified. ORS 545.203.
15. Notice of Board of Directors Meetings Written notice of any regular monthly or special meeting of the Board of Directors no less than five days before the date of such meeting. Such notice shall specify the time and place of the meeting and, in the event of a special meeting, the purpose(s) for which the meeting has been called. The notice shall be delivered either by mail, email, or in person. If mailed, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail addressed to the Director at the Director’s address as it appears on the records of the District, with postage prepaid thereon. Any Director waives notice of any meetings.
1. Officers The District shall have the following officers: a President one or more Vice-Presidents (as determined by the Board of Directors); a Secretary; and such other officers as may be elected by the Board of Directors by these Bylaws and law. Such officers who are elected or appointed by the Board shall have such authority and perform such duties as are designated from time to time by the Board. The same person may not hold more than one office.
2. President The President of the District shall preside at all meetings of the District’s Board of Directors. The President may sign, together with the Secretary-Manager, or any other officer designated by the District, any contract, deed, mortgage, evidence of indebtedness, or other document authorized to be executed by the Board of Directors, except where the Board of Directors, these Bylaws or applicable law has authorized execution by other parties. To the extent permitted by applicable law and these Bylaws, the President shall have all powers and perform all duties incident to the Office of President, or as otherwise designated by the Board.
3. Vice-President In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall act in place of the President and possess all the authority, powers, and duties of the President during such time. To the extent permitted by applicable law and these Bylaws, the Vice-President shall have all powers and perform all duties incident to the Office of Vice-President, or as otherwise designated by the Board.
4. Secretary The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the District and the Board and provide appropriate individuals with notice of such meetings; act as custodian of the corporate records and corporate seal; execute documents on behalf of the District as provided by these Bylaws, by authority of the Board or applicable law. The Secretary shall collect all charges and assessments of the District; shall be responsible for the preservation and maintenance of all funds, securities, and related items of the District, and shall maintain complete books of account with respect thereto. The Secretary shall deposit funds of the District in such banks or other depositories and in such a manner as is provided in these Bylaws, as directed by the Board, or as required by law. The Secretary shall perform all duties and functions of the Secretary in the conduct of District Elections as provided by law. To the extent permitted or required by applicable law and these Bylaws, the Secretary shall have all powers and perform all duties incident to the Office of Secretary, or as otherwise designated by the Board.
5. Bond Requirements Before handling or receiving any funds or collecting any charges or assessments, the Secretary of the District shall obtain a good and sufficient surety bond by an authorized surety company, an amount that the Board may determine. The cost of the bond shall be paid by the District. ORS 545.498
6. Election and Term of Office The Board of Directors shall elect a President and a Vic-President from their number and shall appoint a Secretary of the District, on an annual basis at the annual meeting of the Board, or as soon thereafter as practicable. At any annual meeting thereof, the Board may create such new offices and elect new officers as they deem appropriate. Each officer shall hold office until such officer’s successor shall be elected or appointed.
7. Vacancies Any office of the District which becomes vacant before the expiration of the normal term thereof for any reason, including resignation, removal, disqualification, or death, may be filled by the Board for the unexpired portion of such normal term or until the next regular election, whichever comes first.
8. Removal of Officers The Board of Directors may remove any officer of the District at any time, provided they determine that such removal is in the best interests of the District.
1. Electors of the District include every person 18 years of age or older, whether a resident of the District or State or not, who is an owner of a purchaser under a recorded contract of purchase of land situated within the District and subject to the charges or assessments of the District.
2. Termination as Elector One ceases to be an elector if one is no longer an owner of land within the District subject to the charges or assessments of the District.
3. Voting Rights of Electors ORS 545.007
a. Multiple Ownerships If ownership is in estates by the entirety, tenants in common, or in other cases of multiple ownership, only one vote shall be allowed on behalf of all the owners under each multiple ownership. The vote may be cast by any one of the multiple owners. When two or more persons attempt to cast a vote under this paragraph the vote of the person who first casts a vote shall be counted. Voting by proxy is not allowed in irrigation district elections.
b. Corporate Ownerships Any corporation may vote as a single owner of the land through any officer or agent when the officer or agent is authorized to vote by the corporation and the written authorization is filed with the Secretary of the District.
c. General Partnership, etc. Any general partnership, limited partnership, or limited liability company may vote as a single owner of the land through any general partner, member, or agent when the general partner, member, or agent is authorized to vote by the entity and written evidence of the authority of the general partner, member or agent is filed with the Secretary of the District.
d. Representative Ownerships Any trustee of a trust, guardian, administrator, or executor authorized to act as such of a person or estate owning land with the District shall be considered an owner of land for the Irrigation District Law when the owner in fee is not otherwise entitled to vote.
e. Weighted Voting An owner of land or elector may vote according to the total amount of acreage within the District owned by the owner of the elector that is subject to the charges or assessments of the District based on
1. One vote for up to 40 acres
2. Two votes for 40.01 acres or more but not more than 160 acres
3. Three votes for more than 160.01 acres
1. Annual Elections An election shall be held on the second Tuesday in November of each year, at which one or more Directors shall be elected. ORS 545.135. Except when conducted by mail ballot, the election shall be conducted as provided in ORS 545.135 to 545.153.
2. Mail Ballot Elections Upon resolution adopted by the Directors, any regular or special election may be conducted by mail as provided in ORS 545.163.
3. Special Elections A special election may be called by resolution of the Directors at any time an election is required or permitted by law. Such election shall be conducted as required by any law providing for the election, and otherwise, as practicable, as provided in ORS 545.135 to 545.163.
4. Absentee Voting Electors of the District shall be entitled to vote by absentee ballot.
1. Employment of Manager The Board shall employ a full-time Manager of the District who shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
2. Duties of Manager The Manager shall perform such duties and have such powers and authority as shall be provided in these Bylaws and shall be prescribed from time to time by the Board. Except as provided in these Bylaws, or law, or otherwise by the Board, the Manager shall supervise the business and affairs of the District and all employees of the District.
SUITS, CONTRACTS, CHECKS, BANKING, COLLECTIONS
1. Actions and Proceedings The Board shall institute and maintain all actions and proceedings, suits at law or in equity, necessary or proper to fully conduct the purposes of the Irrigation District Law, or to enforce, maintain, protect, or preserve the rights, privileges, and immunities of the District and its members.
2. Contracts The Board may authorize any officer or officers, manager agent, or agents of the District, in addition to the officers so authorized by these Bylaws, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the District, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
3. Checks, Other Instruments All checks, drafts, or orders for the payment of money, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the District, shall be signed by such officer, officers, manager agent, or agents and in such manner as shall be designated by the Board from time to time. In the absence of such designation, such instruments shall be signed by the President, Vice-President, and/or the Secretary of the District.
4. Deposits All funds of the District shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of the District in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Board may select. Where required by law, as with payments for bonded or contractual indebtedness, deposits shall be made to designated accounts.
5. Banking Procedures
a. Banking and Investment Accounts The District shall maintain such banking and investment accounts as the Board of Directors deems appropriate. All such accounts shall conform to the requirements of Oregon law for the deposit and investment of public funds.
b. Reserve Funds The Board of Directors may designate one or more accounts for Reserve Funds. The Board of Directors shall designate the financial institution(s) as the depository of such reserve funds. All such accounts shall be insured or collateralized in the manner required by law. In addition to financial institutions, the Board of Directors may designate the Oregon Local Government Investment Pool for the investment of Reserve Funds. The District will strive to invest its reserve funds in such accounts as will provide the best return on the investment safely and securely. The Board shall review the District Reserve Fund investments and balances at each monthly meeting.
c. Signature Authority Each of the members of the Board of Directors and the District’s Manager, is authorized and empowered to make deposits and withdrawals from each account. All withdrawals shall require the signature of two of the people authorized to make withdrawals.
d. Records Retention All deposits and withdrawals shall be made in writing and copies shall be maintained in the District’s records for no less than ten years.
6. Procedure for Charges & Collections
a. Annual Budget The Board of Directors shall adopt the annual budget for the ensuing fiscal year and establish the charge or charges required to properly fund the budget at its regular monthly meeting in December.
b. Continuing Charges The charge or charges established by the Board shall be continuing charges of the District until changed by further resolution of the Board.
c. Due Date of Annual Charges shall be due and payable on or before the last day of February of each year. All charges not paid by said due date shall earn interest and the statutory rate of 1.33% per month until paid.
d. Delinquency Fees Any account remaining unpaid on March 1st of the fiscal year shall be charged a delinquency fee. The District shall cause a Late Payment Notice to be mailed to the last address known to the District for each such delinquent account.
e. Administrative Fee Any account remaining unpaid on May 1st of each 2nd year shall be charged a lien fee and the District shall cause a Notice of Claim of Lien to be recorded in the Jackson County Clerk’s office for each such account.
f. Purpose of Fees The purpose of the delinquency fees and lien fees is to reimburse the District for the cost of preparing and mailing the notices, the cost of preparing and recording the Notice of Claim f Lien, and the cost of removing the lien when the charges have been paid.
g. Foreclosure Any account 5yrs & older remaining unpaid, the District shall cause a Foreclosure Notice to be mailed to the last address known to the District for each such account.
h. Application of Recovered Amounts All payments received on account by the District shall be applied first to pay the costs of collection, including foreclosure expenses, the administrative fee, the late payment fee, then to interest accrued to the date payment is received, and then to the earliest original charge.
i. Compromise The Board of Directors may compromise or waive any charge or suspend any collection procedure when it, in its sole discretion, deems such action appropriate.
BOOKS AND RECORDS
1. Maintenance and Inspection of Books and Records The District shall keep and maintain books and records of account, minutes of all meetings of the Board, and shall keep at its principal office a record giving the name of the owners of lands subject to the charges and assessments of the District. In addition, the District shall keep and maintain, and make available for inspection, such records as may be required by federal and state law. Any books and records of the District, not subject to exclusion under Oregon’s Public Records law, shall be open to public inspection during business hours. ORS 545.185. All requests for copies of public records must be submitted in writing to the District Manager. The District will charge employee time, attorney time, and material fees for public information requests by District policy.
2. Annual Audit The Board of Directors shall conduct an annual audit of the District’s financial records.
GENERAL OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES & PROCEDURES
1. Operational Objectives The District’s primary goal shall be to acquire and maintain an assured, adequate water supply and to deliver water for beneficial use on qualified land within the Irrigation District. Subsidiary objectives in the administration of the affairs of the District shall also include:
a. Provide, maintain, and protect appropriate agricultural drainage for lands within the District. The maintenance obligation of the District shall be restricted to drains having legal rights-of-ways or easements to the Medford Irrigation District, or such other drainage systems as may be specifically designated in writing by the Board of Directors.
b. Promote conservation of water and soil within the District.
c. Provide adequate financial and administrative capabilities for the efficient and economical operation of the District.
d. Keep the public informed and defend the District from actions that would diminish its effectiveness and function.
e. Represent its water user members before governmental agencies, the legislature, Congress, and in such other forums as appropriate for the perfection and protection of their water rights.
2. Operational Procedures
a. Water Delivery & General Service Guidelines for District water users shall designate, in general, the points at which the District will make water deliveries for the use and benefit of member users at District expense. Water deliveries so made shall be a complete discharge of the District’s obligation of water deliveries to member users under the Irrigation District Law.
b. Water Orders The District shall deliver/furnish water on demand by District policy, applicable contracts, and state and federal law.
c. Water Shortages In a time of short water supply due to overdemand on certain sections of the delivery system or other causes, water delivery will be based upon a rotational use system among water users. The District Manager, or Manager’s designee, shall have direct supervisory responsibility for organizing and implementing a system of apportioning water.
d. Power to Stop Deliveries The District reserves the right to stop the delivery of water any time a water user has allowed it to waste. The District may also suspend or defer delivery to fields that are not properly ditched or checked up to make efficient use of the water ordered. The District will cooperate with law enforcement or other agencies who request the suspension of water deliveries if sufficient cause is presented to justify such action in the general interest of the community.
e. Unauthorized Use No one shall be permitted to take water or turn the water off without authorization. Pumped delivery shall be governed by the same applicable rules and regulations as gravity delivery. Water users shall not adjust nor regulate checks, turnouts, spills, or other facilities without specific permission from the responsible District representatives.
f. Charges Each parcel of land within the District shall be charged for specific irrigable acreage. Use of District water, whether by gravity or sprinkler, shall be limited to the recognized irrigable acreage. Delivery of water shall be immediately suspended for any parcel upon which unauthorized acreage is being irrigated.
g. Shut-Off Authority The Board or Manager may authorize a District employee to shut off turnouts or pumps to enforce the policies expressed in this section.
h. Drain Discharges All drain discharges must be made into the water area of the receiving drain. Each water user will be responsible for the quality of his or her drain discharges. Anyone placing unauthorized material or creating a silt blockage in a drain or lateral through improper drainage, pump placement, or other cause, shall be responsible for the cost of maintenance, repair, and/or correction by the District.
i. Stock Grazing By special arrangement with the District, stock grazing may be allowed on Medford Irrigation rights-of-way. Damage, however, to ditch or drain profiles may be repaired at the landowner’s expense. Gates meeting District specifications will be required on traveled ditch banks that are fenced for private use. Gates not meeting specifications may be removed or replaced with gates by District personnel at the owner’s expense.
j. Use of Excavated Materials The use and removal of excavated material placed on the right of ways in the construction or maintenance of District facilities are reserved exclusively for the District. No landowner or water user may remove or take any excavated material from its original location without express written consent from the Manager. The Manager’s designee, or the Board.
k. Withholding of Delivery for Nonpayment The District has the right to withhold delivery of water from any track of land until all charges against that parcel have been paid in full.
1. Maintenance of District Seal The Board shall provide a District Seal, which seal shall be in the form of a circle and contain the name of the District and reference to the District as being a District in the State of Oregon.
AMENDMENT TO BYLAWS
1. Amendment by Board These Bylaws may be amended or repealed, and new Bylaws adopted by a majority of the Board at any regular annual meeting thereof, or any duly noticed and constituted meeting thereof.
ADOPTED AUGUST 9TH, 2023