Consolidation of districts
(1)Two or more established districts may be consolidated into a single district by the following procedure:
(a)The supervisors of the districts desiring to consolidate, acting upon their own initiative or upon the petitions of a substantial number of the qualified landowners in their districts, may jointly prepare and submit to the state board a request for authority to consolidate. Such request shall be accompanied by maps showing the geographical boundaries and locations of the districts to be consolidated and of the proposed consolidated district. If the state board finds that the proposed consolidation is in the best interests of the districts affected, it shall notify the supervisors of the districts that they have authority to proceed.
(b)Upon receiving such notification to proceed, the supervisors of the districts shall hold a public hearing concerning the proposed consolidation. Thereafter, if the supervisors decide to proceed with the consolidation, each board of supervisors shall request that the state board prepare a notice of election on the proposed consolidation, setting forth the circumstances of the proposed consolidation and the date, time, and place of a special election to be held in each of the districts at which the question of consolidation will be voted upon. The notice shall be published as specified in section 35-70-105 (6), in a newspaper of general circulation in each of the districts not more than thirty days nor less than ten days before the election and posted at several places in each of the districts. The election shall be conducted by the state board as provided in section 35-70-105 (7).
(c)If a majority of the votes cast in each of the districts are against such consolidation, the state board shall dismiss the proceedings, and the district shall proceed as though no such election had been held. If a majority of the votes cast in each of the districts are in favor of consolidation, the board of supervisors of each district shall certify jointly that fact to the state board, which shall in turn certify it to the division of local government in the department of local affairs. Upon such final certification, the districts so consolidated shall cease to exist as separate districts.
(d)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(I)After an election approving a consolidated district, the supervisors of each board of a consolidated district shall constitute the organizational board of the consolidated district, regardless of the number of supervisors. This organizational board shall remain as the board of the consolidated district until such time as the first board of the consolidated district is selected as provided in this paragraph (d).
(II)The organizational board, within six months after the date of the consolidation election, shall select and determine the terms of the supervisors of the first board of the consolidated district. In making such determination, the organizational board shall fix the terms of the first board as follows: The terms of two directors of the first board having the fewest years to serve on the board to which they were originally elected shall expire at the first election after the consolidation, and the terms of the remaining three directors having the greatest number of years to serve on the board to which they were originally elected shall expire at the second election. If the terms of the supervisors so selected to the first board of the consolidated district expire on the same date, the terms of such supervisors shall be determined by the organizational board. Such terms shall be determined, however, so that the terms of three supervisors of the consolidated district shall expire at the time that the terms of three supervisors of existing districts shall expire, and the terms of the remaining two supervisors of the consolidated district shall expire at the time that the terms of the remaining two supervisors of existing districts shall expire. Thereafter, each supervisor in office shall be elected for a four-year term.
(III)The members of the organizational board of the consolidated district not selected to act as the members of the first board of the consolidated district may act, however, as advisory members to the first board until such time as the terms of office for which they were originally elected would have expired. Advisory members may be compensated equally with compensation paid to the board of the consolidated district for each meeting attended. Advisory board members may not act as officers of nor bind the consolidated district and shall have no vote on any matters before the board of the consolidated district, but they may be employed by the board of the consolidated district in any capacity.
(e)A consolidated district has all of the rights, powers, and authority of each of the conservation districts consolidated. After consolidation the district may consolidate with any other conservation districts, and all actions and proceedings of the consolidated district shall be done without regard to the fact of consolidation.
(2)Any contract to which any district is a party remains the obligation of that district, and the assets or proceeds from the assets thereof shall be first available for the payment of any obligation thereunder, unless the other parties to the said contract agree and consent to the substitution of the new district as a party thereto. In either event, the consolidated district shall, in accordance with the terms of any agreement made between the consolidating districts, be an additional party to any such contract and liable thereon and with full right and authority to perform or require the performance of the said contract, including the right to enforce the said contract by any lawful action, as fully as though the consolidated district were an original party thereto. Upon consolidation of such districts, the consolidated district shall become and shall proceed in all things as a newly-organized district under the provisions of this article.
Section 35-70-119 — Consolidation of districts,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-35.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).