57th Legislature

2001 Regular Session


Passed by the House March 9, 2001

  Yeas 93   Nays 0



Speaker of the House of Representatives



Speaker of the House of Representatives






Passed by the Senate April 9, 2001

  Yeas 47   Nays 0


President of the Senate






We, Timothy A. Martin and Cynthia Zehnder, Co‑Chief Clerks of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 2037 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




Chief Clerk




Chief Clerk











Governor of the State of Washington













Sectretary of State

State of Washington








Passed Legislature ‑ 2001 Regular Session


State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Representative G. Chandler


Read first time 02/13/2001.  Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Ecology. Changing provisions relating to the administration of irrigation districts. 

_1      AN ACT Relating to administration of irrigation districts; and

_2  amending RCW 87.03.845, 85.08.850, 87.03.560, and 87.03.445.




_4      Sec. 1.  RCW 87.03.845 and 1998 c 84 s 1 are each amended to read

_5  as follows:

_6      This section and RCW 87.03.847 through 87.03.855 provide the

_7  procedures by which a minor irrigation district may be merged into

_8  a major irrigation district as authorized by RCW 87.03.530(2).

_9      To institute proceedings for such a merger, the board of

10  directors of the minor district shall adopt a resolution

11  requesting the board of directors of the major district to

12  consider the merger, or proceedings for such a merger may be

13  instituted by a petition requesting the board of directors of the

14  major district to consider the merger, signed by ten owners of

15  land within the minor district or five percent of the total number

16  of landowners within the minor district, whichever is greater.

17  However, if there are fewer than twenty owners of land within the

                               p. 1                    HB 2037.PL

_1  minor irrigation district, the petition shall be signed by a

_2  majority of the landowners and filed with the board of directors

_3  of the major irrigation district.

_4      For the purpose of determining the number of landowners

_5  required to initiate merger proceedings under this section, a

_6  husband and wife owning property as community property shall be

_7  considered a single landowner; two or more persons or entities

_8  holding title to property as tenants in common, joint tenants,

_9  tenants in partnership, or other form of joint ownership shall be

10  considered a single landowner; and the petition requesting the

11  merger shall be considered by the board of directors of the major

12  irrigation district may be signed by either the husband or wife

13  and by any one of the co-owners of jointly owned property.

14      The board of directors of the major irrigation district shall

15  consider the request at the next regularly scheduled meeting of

16  the board of directors of the major district following its receipt

17  of the minor district's request or at a special meeting called for

18  the purpose of considering the request.  If the board of the major

19  district denies the request of the minor district, no further

20  action on the request shall be taken.

21      If the board of the major district does not deny the request,

22  it shall conduct a public hearing on the request and shall give

23  notice regarding the hearing.  The notice shall describe the

24  proposed merger and shall be published once a week for two

25  consecutive weeks preceding the date of the hearing and the last

26  publication shall be not more than seven days before the date of

27  the hearing.  The notice shall contain a statement that unless the

28  holders of title or evidence of title to at least twenty percent

29  of the assessed lands within the major district file a protest

30  opposing the merger with the board of the major district at or

31  before the hearing, the board is free to approve the request for

32  the merger without an election being conducted in the major

33  district on the request.  If the board of the major district is

34  considering requests from more than one minor district, the

35  hearing shall be conducted on all such requests.


36      Sec. 2.  RCW 85.08.850 and 1996 c 313 s 1 are each amended to read

37  as follows:


HB 2037.PL                     p. 2

_1      The petition requesting the merger shall be signed by the board

_2  of supervisors of, or by ten ((owners of land)) landowners located

_3  within, the drainage improvement district, joint drainage

_4  improvement district, or consolidated drainage improvement

_5  district and presented to the clerk or clerks of the appropriate

_6  county legislative authority or authorities, at a regular or

_7  special meeting.


_8      Sec. 3.  RCW 87.03.560 and 1889-90 p 694 s 48 are each amended to

_9  read as follows:

10      The holder or holders of title, or evidence of title,

11  representing one-half or more of any body of lands ((adjacent to

12  the boundary of an irrigation district, which are contiguous and

13  which, taken together, constitute one tract of land,)) may file

14  with the board of directors of ((said)) an irrigation district a

15  petition in writing, praying that the boundaries of ((said)) the

16  district may be so changed as to include ((therein said)) such

17  lands.  The petition shall describe the boundaries of ((said)) the

18  parcel or tract of land, and shall also describe the boundaries of

19  the several parcels owned by the petitioners, if the petitioners

20  be the owners respectively of distinct parcels, but such

21  descriptions need not be more particular than they are required to

22  be when such lands are entered by the county assessor in the

23  assessment book.  Such petition must contain the assent of the

24  petitioners to the inclusion within ((said)) the district of the

25  parcels or tracts of land described in the petition, and of which

26  ((said)) the petition alleges they are respectively the owners;

27  and it must be acknowledged in the same manner that conveyances of

28  land are required to be acknowledged.


29      Sec. 4.  RCW 87.03.445 and 1998 c 285 s 3 are each amended to read

30  as follows:

31      (1) The cost and expense of purchasing and acquiring property,

32  and construction, reconstruction, extension, and betterment of the

33  works and improvements herein provided for, and the expenses

34  incidental thereto, and indebtedness to the United States for

35  district lands assumed by the district, and for the carrying out

                               p. 3                    HB 2037.PL

_1  of the purposes of this chapter, may be paid for by the board of

_2  directors out of the funds received from bond sales as well as

_3  other district funds.

_4      (2) For the purpose of defraying the costs and expenses of the

_5  organization of the district, and of the care, operation,

_6  management, maintenance, repair, and improvement of the district

_7  and its irrigation water, domestic water, electric power,

_8  drainage, or sewer facilities or of any portion thereof, or for

_9  the payment of any indebtedness due the United States or the state

10  of Washington, or for the payment of district bonds, the board may

11  either fix rates or tolls and charges, and collect the same from

12  all persons for whom district service is made available for

13  irrigation water, domestic water, electric power, drainage or

14  sewerage, and other purposes, or it may provide for the payment of

15  said costs and expenses by a levy of assessment therefor, or by

16  both said rates or tolls and charges and assessment.

17      (3) If the assessment method is utilized, the levy of

18  assessments shall be made on the completion and equalization of

19  the assessment roll each year, and the board shall have the same

20  powers and functions for the purpose of said levy as possessed by

21  it in case of levy to pay bonds of the district.  The procedure for

22  the collection of assessments by such levy shall in all respects

23  conform with the provisions of this chapter, relating to the

24  collection of assessments for the payment of principal and

25  interest of bonds herein provided for, and shall be made at the

26  same time.

27      (4) If the rates or tolls and charges method is adopted in

28  whole or in part, the secretary shall deliver to the board of

29  directors, within the time for filing the assessment roll, a

30  schedule containing the names of the owners or reputed owners, as

31  shown on the rolls of the county treasurer as of the first Tuesday

32  in November of each year such a schedule is filed of the various

33  parcels of land against which rates or tolls and charges are to be

34  levied, the description of each such parcel of land and the amount

35  to be charged against each parcel for irrigation water, domestic

36  water, electric power, drainage, sewerage, and other district

37  costs and expenses.  Said schedule of rates or tolls and charges

38  shall be equalized pursuant to the same notice, in the same

HB 2037.PL                     p. 4

_1  manner, at the same time and with the same legal effect as in the

_2  case of assessments.  Such schedule of rates or tolls and charges

_3  for a given year shall be filed with the proper county treasurer

_4  within the same time as that provided by law for the filing of the

_5  annual assessment roll, and the county treasurer shall collect and

_6  receipt for the payment of said rates or tolls and charges and

_7  credit them to the proper funds of the district.  The board may

_8  designate the time and manner of making such collections and shall

_9  require the same to be paid in advance of delivery of water and

10  other service.  All tolls and charges levied shall also at once

11  become and constitute an assessment upon and against the lands for

12  which they are levied, with the same force and effect, and the

13  same manner of enforcement, and with the same rate of interest

14  from date of delinquency, in case of nonpayment, as other district

15  assessments.

16      (5) As an alternative method of imposing, collecting, and

17  enforcing such rates or tolls and charges, the board may also base

18  such rates or tolls and charges upon the quantity of irrigation

19  water, domestic water, or electric power delivered, or drainage or

20  sewage disposed of, and may fix a minimum rate or toll and charge

21  to be paid by each parcel of land or use within the district for

22  the delivery or disposal of a stated quantity of each such service

23  with a graduated charge for additional quantities of such services

24  delivered or disposed of.  If the board elects to utilize this

25  alternative method of imposing, collecting, and enforcing such

26  rates or tolls and charges, there shall be no requirement that the

27  schedule referred to in the preceding paragraph be prepared, be

28  filed with the board of directors by the secretary, be equalized,

29  or be filed with a county treasurer.  The board shall enforce

30  collection of such rates or tolls and charges against property to

31  which and its owners to whom the service is available, such rates

32  or tolls and charges being deemed charges and a lien against the

33  property to which the service is available, until paid in

34  full.  Prior to furnishing services, a board may require a deposit

35  to guarantee payment for services.  However, failure to require a

36  deposit does not affect the validity of any lien authorized by

37  this section.

38      (6) The board may provide by resolution that where such rates

                               p. 5                    HB 2037.PL

_1  or tolls and charges are delinquent for any specified period of

_2  time, the district shall certify the delinquencies to the

_3  treasurer of the county in which the real property is located, and

_4  the charges and any penalties added thereto and interest thereon

_5  at the rate not to exceed twelve percent per annum fixed by

_6  resolution shall be a lien against the property to which the

_7  service was available, subject only to the lien for general

_8  taxes.  The district may, at any time after such rates or tolls and

_9  charges and penalties provided for herein are delinquent for a

10  period of one year, bring suit in foreclosure by civil action in

11  the superior court of the county in which the real property is

12  situated.

13      (7) A board may determine how to apply partial payments on past

14  due accounts.

15      (8) A board may provide a real property owner or the owner's

16  designee with duplicate bills for service to tenants, or may

17  notify an owner or the owner's designee that a tenant's service

18  account is delinquent.  However, if an owner or the owner's designee

19  notifies the board in writing that a property served by the board

20  is a rental property, asks to be notified of a tenant's

21  delinquency, and has provided, in writing, a complete and accurate

22  mailing address, the board shall notify the owner or the owner's

23  designee of a tenant's delinquency at the same time and in the

24  same manner the board notifies the tenant of the tenant's

25  delinquency or by mail.  When a district provides a real property

26  owner or the owner's designee with duplicates of tenant utility

27  service bills or notice that a tenant's utility account is

28  delinquent, the district shall notify the tenant that it is

29  providing the duplicate bills or delinquency notice to the owner

30  or the owner's designee.  After January 1, 1999, if a board fails to

31  notify the owner of a tenant's delinquency after receiving a

32  written request to do so and after receiving the other information

33  required by this subsection (8), the board shall have no lien

34  against the premises for the tenant's delinquent and unpaid

35  charges.

36      (9) The court may allow, in addition to the costs and

37  disbursements provided by statute, such attorneys' fees as it may

38  adjudge reasonable.  The action shall be in rem against the

HB 2037.PL                     p. 6

_1  property, and in addition may be brought in the name of the

_2  district against an individual, or against all of those who are

_3  delinquent, in one action, and the rules of the court shall

_4  control as in other civil actions.  The board may in the same year

_5  use the assessment method for part of the lands in the district

_6  and the rates or tolls and charges method for the remaining lands

_7  in the district in such proportion as it may deem advisable for

_8  the best interest of the district.

_9      (10) The procedures herein provided for the collection and

10  enforcement of rates, tolls, and charges also shall be applicable

11  and available to the districts board of directors for the

12  collection and enforcement of charges for water imposed by

13  contract entered into or administered by the district's board of

14  directors.


‑‑‑ END ‑‑‑


                               p. 7                    HB 2037.PL