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BANCROFT LIBRARY



ANNE MARTIN GIFT

SENATE BILL No. 51



BY SI;XATOR SI-AIM KKHKLD

(IIY BEQUEST I
FI-BRCAKY 24. 1919



Rules suspended, reading so far had considered first reading, rules
further suspended, read second time by title, and referred to the
Commit! (v on Agriculture, Irrigation and Reclamation of Arid
Lands.



AN ACT



TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF
IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND TO PROVIDE EOR THE ACQUISI-
TION OR CONSTRUCTION THEREBY OF WORKS FOR THE IRRI-
GATION OF THE LANDS EMBRACED WITHIN SUCH DISTRICTS.
ANT) ALSO TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF WATER FOR
IRRIGATION PURPOSES. PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF
BONDS ON SAID DISTRICTS, PROVIDING THAT SAID BONDS
SHALL BE LEGAL INVESTMENTS FOR CERTAIN FUNDS. AND
PROVIDING FOR THE COOPERATION OF SUCH DISTRICTS WITH
RECLAMATION PROJECTS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERN-
MENT.

The People of the State of Nevada, represented in Senate and Assembly,

do enact as follows:

1 SECTION 1. A majority in number of the holders of title,

2 01- evidences of title, including the holders of possessory

3 rights, under receipts or other evidence of the rights of entry -

4 men or purchasers under any law of the United States or of

5 this state, to lands susceptible of irrigation from a common

6 source and by the same system of works, including pumping

7 from subsurface or other waters, such holders of title, or

8 evidence of title and of possessory rights, representing a



1 majority in value of said lands, according to the equalized.

2 county assessment roll or rolls for the year last preceding,

3 may propose the organization of an irrigation district, under

4 the provisions of this act ; or the organization of an irrigation

5 district of land susceptible of irrigation from a common

6 source and by the same system of works, including pumping

7 from subsurface or other waters, under the provisions of this

8 act, may be proposed by written petition signed by not less

9 than five hundred petitioners, each petitioner to be an adult

10 person residing in the proposed district, or to be some person,

11 corporation, association or partnership, the holder of title to

12 'lands in said proposed irrigation district, or evidence of title

13 to land in said proposed irrigation district, including the

14 holders of possessory rights under receipts or other evidence

15 of the rights of entrymen or purchasers under any law of the

16 United States or of this state; the said petitioners signing

17 said petition shall include the owners of not less than twenty

18 per cent in value of the land within said proposed irrigation

19 district according to the equalized county assessment roll or

20 rolls for the year last preceding. Such lands proposed to be

21 organized into an irrigation district need not consist of con-

22 tiguous parcels.

23 Said equalized assessment roll or rolls shall be sufficient

24 evidence of title and of such possessory rights, for the pur-

25 poses of this act, except that where property is assessed to

26 unknown owners or the assessment roll does not purport to

27 give the true name or gives the names of a portion only of the

28 owners of any parcel, the actual owners of said property shall

29 be considered the owners for all the purposes of this act, and

30 owners of undivided interests may sign for such interest -and

31 each such owner shall be considered as one assessment payer ;

32 and provided, further, that guardians, executors, administra-

33 tors or other persons holding property in a trust capacity



1 under appointment of court may sign any petition provided
- for in this aet, when authorized by an order of court, which
:> (ir.lcr may be made without notice. A certificate of acknowl-
4 ( dement taken before a notary public or justice of the peace
"> of any state, or an affidavit by any person in the presence of
G whom such petition was signed, shall be sufficient evidence
7 of the genuineness of such signature and of the fact of place
of residence of any petitioner and any fact going to the quali-
9 fixations of petitioners under this act.

10 SEC. 2. In order to propose the organization of an irriga-

11. tion district, a petition shall be presented to the board of

12 county commissioners of the county -in which the lands

13 within the proposed district, or the greater portion thereof,

14 are situated, signed by the required number of holders of

15 title, or evidence of title, including such aforesaid possessory

16 rights to lands within such proposed district, and represent-

17 mg the requisite majority in value of said land, or a petition
shall be presented to said board of county commissioners
signed by not less than five hundred petitioners, each peti-

20 tioner to the number of at least five hundred to be an elector
in the proposed district, or to be some person, corporation,
association or partnership, the holder of title to lands in said

23 proposed irrigation district, or evidence of title to lands

24 in said proposed irrigation district, including the holders of

25 possessory rights under receipts or other evidence of the
rights of entrymen or purchasers under any laws of the

27 United States or of this state, the said petitioners signing said
petition shall include the owners of not less than twenty per

29 cent in value of the land within said proposed irrigation dis-

30 trict according to the equalized county assessment roll or rolls

31 for the year last preceding, which petition shall set forth

32 generally the boundaries of the proposed district and also

33 shall state generally the source or sources (which may be in



1 the alternative) from which said lands are proposed to be
irrigated, and shall pray that the territory embraced within
the boundaries of the proposed district may be organized as

4 an irrigation district under the provisions of this act. The

5 petition may consist of any number of separate instruments,

6 and must be accompanied with a good and sufficient under-

7 taking, to be approved by the board of county commission-
ers, in double the amount of the probable cost of organizing

9 such district, conditioned that the sureties shall pay all of

10 said costs in case said organization shall not be effected. Said

11 petition shall be presented at a regular meeting of said.

12 board and shall be published for at least two weeks before

13 the time at which the same is to be presented in some news-

14 paper of general circulation printed and published in the

15 county where said petition is presented, together with a

16 notice stating the time of the meeting at which the same will

17 be presented; and if any portion of the lands within said

18 proposed district lie within another county or counties, then

19 said petition and notice shall be published, as above pro-

20 vided, in a newspaper published in each of said counties.

21 "When contained upon more than one instrument, one copy

22 only of such petition need be published, but the names

23 attached to all of said instruments must appear in such pub-

24 lication. On or before the day on which said petition is

25 presented to said board of county commissioners a copy of

26 said petition shall be filed in the office of the state engineer.

27 When said petition is presented, said board of county com-

28 niissioners shall hear the same and shall proceed to determine

29 whether or not said petition complies with the requirements

30 hereinbefore set forth and whether or not the notice required

31 herein has been published as required, and must hear all com-

32 petent and relevant testimony offered in support of or in

33 opposition thereto. Said hearing may be adjourned from



1 lime to time for the detenuinat ion of said facts, not exceed-
ing two weeks in all. No defect in the contents of the peti-
tion oi' in tlie title to or form of the nolle*' or signat ures, or

i lack of signatures thereto, shall vitiate any proceedings

5 thereon ; provided, such petition or petitions have a sufficient

6 number of qualified, signatures attached thereto. The deter-

7 inination of the board shall be expressed by resolution. If
it shall determine that any of the requirements hereinbefore

9 set forth have not been complied with, the matter shall be

10 dismissed, but without prejudice to the right of the proper

11 number of persons to present a new petition covering the

12 same matter or to present the same petition with additional

13 signatures, if such additional signatures are necessary to

14 comply with the requirements of this act. If the board of

15 county commissioners shall determine that the petitioners

16 have complied with the requirements hereinbefore set forth,

17 it shall cause a copy of the resolution so declaring to be for-

18 warded to the state engineer and shall postpone further hear-

19 ing of said petition until a report shall be received from the

20 state engineer. Upon receiving a copy of said resolution, the

21 state engineer shall make or cause to be made such pre-
22 liminary investigation as may be practicable, with a view

23 to determining the feasibility of the project proposed to be

24 undertaken. He shall report as soon as practicable, but at

25 all events within ninety days, in writing, on the matter to

26 the board of county commissioners from which the copy of

27 said resolution was received, and such board of county com-

28 missioriers at their next regular meeting following the receipt

29 of said report shall set a time for the consideration of said

30 report ; provided, that such time shall not be less than one

31 week from such regular meeting of said board of county com-

32 missioners; and provided, further, that notice of such time

33 shall be* given by registered mail to such party as shall have



1 been designated for that purpose by the petitioners or by

2 publication for at least three days in one daily newspaper

3 published in the county in which the lands within the pro-

4 posed district, or the greater portion thereof, are situated.

5 A failure to give such last-mentioned notice, however, shall

6 not affect the validity of subsequent proceedings. If the

7 state engineer shall report that the supply of water avail-

8 able for the use of the proposed district, or that may be

9 acquired by any practicable means, including the coiidenma-

10 tion of existing rights, is not sufficient or that the project is

11 not feasible for any other reasons or reason and if such report

12 shall be filed with the said board of county commissioners

13 before the expiration of ninety days from and after the date

14 of the adoption of the aforesaid resolution, the hearing of

15 the petition shall again be continued for not more than two

16 months and shall then be dismissed, unless the board of

17 county commissioners shall be petitioned in writing by three-

18 fourths in number of the holders of title or evidence of title

19 including possessory rights, to land within said proposed

20 district to grant the same ; provided, that if such petition is

21 not received the board of county commissioners may modify

22 the plans for the proposed district in accordance with recom-

23 mendations by the state engineer. If the report of the state

24 engineer shall not compel the continuance of the matter as

25 aforesaid, or if no report is received or if the state engineer

26 makes a written statement that he has been unable to make

27 such report, or if no report is made at the first regular meet-

28 ing after the expiration of said ninety days, the board of

29 county commissioners shall, at the meeting at which said

30 report shall have been set for hearing, proceed to a final Jiear-

31 ing of the petition. If said board shall, after receiving an

32 adverse report from the state engineer, as aforesaid, dec-ide

33 to modify the plan as set forth in said petition or shall be



1 requested in writing by three-fourths in number of the hold-

2 ers of title or evidence of title, including possessory rights,

3 to the lands within said proposed district to ^rant said peti-

4 tion, said board shall then proceed at the time set to a final

5 hearing 1 of the matter. On a final hearing herein provided

6 for, the board may adjourn from day to day, but not for a

7 longer time, until a determination of the matter is reached.

8 On said final hearing said board shall make such changes

9 in the proposed boundaries as it may deem advisable and

10 shall define and establish such boundaries, but said board

11 shall not modify said boundaries so as to exclude from such

12 proposed district any territory which is susceptible of irriga-

13 tion from any of the sources proposed, unless said board

14 shall decide to modify the plan for such proposed district,

15 as herein provided, nor shall any lands which will not, in

16 the judgment of said board, be benefited by irrigation by

17 means of any of said systems or works be included within

18 such proposed district. Lands already irrigated and ripa-

19 rian lands may be included in the district if in the judgment

20 of the board of county commissioners such land will be

21 benefited, or if the water used thereon or the rights to the

22 use of water thereon should, in the judgment of the board of

23 county commissioners, be taken or acquired for the district.

24 Any person whose lands are susceptible of irrigation from

25 any of the proposed sources may, upon his application, in

26 the discretion of said board, have such lands included within

27 said proposed district.

28 SEC. 3. The state engineer shall have authority, and it

29 shall be his duty, to give information so far as may be prac-

30 ticable to persons contemplating the organization of irriga-

31 tion districts under the provisions of this act. Whenever the

32 state engineer shall deem it in the public interest that pre-
.33 limiiiary surveys and field investigations of proposed irriga-



8

1 tion district projects shall be made at the expense of the

2 state, the state engineer shall make such surveys and field

3 investigations of proposed irrigation district projects, and,

4 pending the completion of such surveys and investigation, the

5 state engineer shall have authority to withhold from appro-

6 priation any unappropriated waters likely to be needed

7 therefor.

8 SEC. 4. Upon the final hearing of said petition or said

9 matter, the board of county commissioners shall make an

10 order reaffirming its conclusions as to the genuineness and

11 sufficiency of the petition and notice hereinbefore provided

12 for, reciting that a report regarding the proposed district

13 has been made by the state engineer and is on file with the

14 other records of the board, and describing the boundaries of

15 the proposed district as defined and established by said board.

16 Said order shall be entered in full upon the minutes of said

17 board. At said final hearing no evidence shall be heard

18 against the genuineness or sufficiency of said petition or

19 notice unless it shall be shown to the satisfaction of said

20 board that new evidence which, if uncontradicted, would dis-

21 prove the genuineness or sufficiency of said petition or notice

22 has been discovered since said board adopted the resolution

23 declaring that said petition and notice complied with all the

24 requirements of this act. In case any new evidence is



25 admitted, full opportunity shall be given for the introduction

26 of evidence in rebuttal thereof.

27 SEC. 5. A finding of the board of county commissioners in

28 favor of the genuineness and sufficiency of the petition and

29 notice shall be final and conclusive against all persons except

30 the State of Nevada upon suit commenced by the attorney-

31 general. Any such suit must be commenced within one year

32 after the order of the board of county commissioners declar-



1 iii; such district organi/cd as herein provided, and imi other-

'2 \vise.

3 SEC. 6. If, on said final hearing, the boundaries of the

1 proposed district are defined and established, said board shall

5 make an order dividing said district into live divisions, as

6 nearly equal in size as may be practicable, which shall be

7 numbered first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, and one direc-
> tor shall be elected for each division by the electors thereof ;
9 prori<l< </, that if so requested in said petition, the board may

10 order that there shall be only three divisions in said district,

11 and that only three directors be elected, and that the directors

12 may be elected by the district at large, or by divisions, as

13 such petition shall provide, but in any event such directors
1-1 shall be elected to represent separate divisions and shall be

15 residents of the respective divisions they are elected to repre-

16 sent.

IT ELECTION ON ORGANIZATION

18 SEC. 7. Said board of county commissioners shall then

19 give notice of an election to be held in such proposed district,

20 for the purpose of determining whether or not the same shall

21 be organized under the provisions of this act. Such notice

22 shall describe the boundaries so established, and shall desig-,

23 riate a name for the proposed district, and said notice shall
2-1 be published for at least three weeks previous to such election,

25 in a newspaper published within the county in which the

26 petition for the organization of the proposed district was pre-
27 sented ; and if any portion of such proposed district is within

28 another county or counties, then such notice shall be pub-

29 lished for the same length of time in a newspaper published

30 in each of said counties. Such notice shall require the electors

31 to cast ballots, which shall contain the words "Irrigation

32 District Yes," or "Irrigation District No," or words

33 equivalent thereto, and also the names of persons to be voted



10

1 for at said election. For the purposes of said election the

2 board of county commissioners must establish a convenient

3 number of election precincts in said proposed district, and

4 define the boundaries of the same. Such election shall be

5 conducted as nearly as practicable in accordance with the

6 general election laws of the state, but no particular form of

7 ballot shall be required.

8 SEC. 8. ' At such election there shall be elected a board of

9 directors, and an assessor, tax Collector, and treasurer ; pro-

10 vided, that where a consolidation of officers as hereinafter

11 provided for is deemed advisable in the organization of a

12 district, the petitioners may request in their petition for

13 organization such consolidation, and the board of county

14 commissioners calling the election shall in its order therefor

15 announce such consolidation, and then only one person shall

16 be elected to fill the several offices so consolidated.

17 SEC. 9. No person shall be entitled to vote at any election

18 held under the provisions of this act unless he possesses all

19 the qualifications required of electors under the general

20 election laws of the state.

21 SEC. 10. The board of county commissioners shall meet on

22 the second Monday succeeding such election, and shall pro-

23 ceed to canvass the votes cast thereat, and if upon such can-

24 vass it appears that at least two-thirds of all the votes cast

25 are "Irrigation District Yes," said board shall, by an order

26 entered on its minutes, declare the territory duly organized

27 as an irrigation district, under the name theretofore desig-

28 nated, and shall declare the persons receiving respectively

29 the highest number of votes at said election to be duly

30 elected.

31 SEC. 11. Said board shall then cause a copy of such order,

32 duly certified, to be immediately filed for record in the office
of the county recorder of any county in which any portion



1 of tin- lands embraced in such district are situated, and must
also immediately forward a copy thereof to the clerk of the

3 board of .county commissioners of each of said last-mentioned

4 counties, and 110 board of county commissioners of any
' 5 county in which any portion of the lands embraced in such

6 district are situated shall, after the date of the organization

7 thereof, allow another district to be formed including any

8 portion of said lands, without the consent of the board of

9 directors of the district in which they are situated. From

10 and after such filing 1 , the organization of such district shall

11 be complete.

12 SEC. 12. Such election, on organization, may be contested

13 by any person owning property within the proposed district

14 liable to assessment. The directors elected at such election

15 shall be made parties defendant. Such contests shall be

16 brought in the district court of the county wliere the peti-

17 tioii for organization is filed; provided, that if more than

18 one contest be pending, they shall be consolidated and tried

19 together. The court having jurisdiction shall speedily try

20 such contest, and determine, upon the hearing, whether the

21 election was fairly conducted and in substantial compliance

22 with the requirements of this act, and enter its judgment

23 accordingly. Such contest must be brought within twenty

24 days after the canvass of the vote and declaration of the

25 result by the board of county commissioners. The right of

26 appeal is hereby given to either party to the record within

27 thirty days from entry of judgment. The appeal must be

28 heard and determined by the supreme court within sixty days

29 from the time of filing the notice of appeal.

30 SEC. 13. The officers elected at the election hereinbefore

31 provided for shall immediately enter upon their duties as

32 such, upon qualifying in the manner for such officers herein



12

1 provided. Said officers shall hold offices respectively until

2 their successors are elected and qualified.

3 ORGANIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF DIRECTORS

4 SEC. 14. The directors of any district created after the

5 passage of this act, on the first Tuesday after their election,

6 after they shall have qualified, shall meet and classify them-

7 selves by lot into two classes, as nearly equal in number as
possible, and the term of office of the class having the greater
number shall expire at the next general February election in

10 this act provided for; and the term of office of the class hav-

11 ing the lesser number shall terminate at the next general

12 February election thereafter. After such classification, said

13 directors shall organize as a board, shall elect a president

14 from their number, and appoint a secretary, who shall each

15 hold office during the pleasure of the board. The salary of

16 the secretary and the amount of the bond to be given by him

17 for the faithful performance of his duties shall be fixed by

18 the board of directors.

19 MEETINGS

20 SEC. 15. The board of directors shall hold a regular meet-

21 ing on the first Tuesday of each month at the place selected

22 as the office of the board ; provided, that the board may, by

23 resolution duly entered upon its minutes, fix any other time

24 as the time for its regular monthly meeting, but no change in

25 the time of holding regular meetings of the board shall be

26 made until after the resolution proposing such change has

27 been published once a week for two successive weeks in a

28 newspaper published in the county in which the office of the

29 district is kept. Such special meetings of the board of direc-

30 tors may be held as may be required for the proper transae-

31 tion of the business of the district, but a special meeting must

32 be ordered by a majority of the board. The order must be
entered of record, and five days' notice thereof must by the



13

1 secretary be given to each director not joining in iI 1( . order.

2 Tin- order must specify the business to be 1 ransjicted. ;ind no
'I other business than that specified in tin- order may be tr

4 acted at such s})eei;il meeting, unless all tlie members a iv

5 }>resent and consent to the consideration of ;my business not

6 specified in said order. All meetings of the board must be

7 public and three members shall constitute a quorum for the

8 transaction of business; providtd, however, that wh<'ii the

9 board consists of three members only, then in such case two


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Online LibraryNevada. Legislature. SenateAn act to provide for the organization and government of irrigation districts .. → online text (page 1 of 9)