Procedure for establishment of subdistricts
(1)Before any subdistrict is established under this article, a petition shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court of the county in which the territory to be embraced in said subdistrict or the greater part thereof is situate, signed by the board of directors of the district or by a majority of the owners representing a majority of the land situate within the limits of the territory proposed to be organized into a subdistrict.
(2)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The petition shall set forth the matters specified in this subsection (2).
(b)The proposed name of said subdistrict shall be set forth, whether it is designated “Water Users’ Association No. ..... in the Rio Grande Water Conservation District” or “Special Improvement District No. ..... in the Rio Grande Water Conservation District”.
(c)The petition shall recite that property within the proposed subdistrict will be benefited by the proposed reservoirs, ditches, canals, works, improvements, or plan of augmentation or plan of water management or combination thereof and shall set forth in a general way the nature and estimated cost thereof, together with a general statement of the nature of the anticipated benefits to be derived therefrom.
(d)A full description of the territory to be included in the proposed subdistrict shall be included in the petition. Said description need not be given by metes and bounds or by legal subdivision, but it shall be sufficient to enable a property owner to ascertain whether his property is within the territory proposed to be organized in a subdistrict. Such territory need not be contiguous if it is so situated that the organization as a single subdistrict of the territory described is such as to promote or tend to promote one or more of the objectives of this article as to all parts of the area proposed to be included.
(e)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(I)The petition shall include a general description of the methods proposed to finance the proposed works and plans, including the acquisition, construction, maintenance, and operation thereof, with sufficient detail to enable a property owner within the proposed subdistrict to know whether the proposed methods of financing would result in the imposition of a lien or charge upon the taxable or assessable property within the subdistrict and the amount thereof and to know further that such proposed methods of financing would be authorized without further election by the signing of the petition by the requisite number of petitioners to authorize the creation of the subdistrict. Such methods of financing the acquisition, construction, and improvement of needed property, including planning and development, may include any one or more, or any combination, of the following:
(A)Revenue warrants pledging the income or other revenues from the proposed works, improvements, or plans;
(B)Special improvement bonds to be paid by special assessments on the property benefited and in an amount on each tract of land not in excess of the appraised benefits;
(C)Contracts of water users, mutual ditch or reservoir companies, or water users’ associations creating liens upon lands within the subdistrict;
(D)The imposition of reasonable service charges or user fees by the district for the conferring by the subdistrict of any benefits upon or providing any service to any person or property;
(E)Contracts for the purchase of existing water rights or other property providing for payment of the purchase price on a deferred basis by installments or otherwise and which may provide further for pledging general or specific revenues of the subdistrict to the payment thereof or which may create a lien to secure the payment thereof against the real property embraced in the subdistrict in the same manner as general obligation bonds;
(F)Acquisition of the use of water rights or other property by long- or short-term leases with or without a pledge of general or specific revenues of the subdistrict;
(G)General obligation bonds constituting a lien against the real property embraced in the subdistrict;
(H)The imposition of an ad valorem mill levy upon all taxable property within the subdistrict sufficient in amount to raise the funds necessary to pay any amount due on any contract, lease, or general obligation bond installment, including interest and other debt service requirement, which is entered into or issued pursuant to sub-subparagraph (E), (F), or (G) of this subparagraph (I) and the provisions of the petition and order creating the subdistrict, as general obligations of the subdistrict.
(II)None of the methods of financing or borrowing referred to in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (e), including exercise of the authority to issue general obligation bonds, shall ever constitute or result in the creation of an indebtedness or obligation of the district or a lien or charge upon any property of the district. If general obligations are proposed, the petition shall allege and show that the benefit to the lands in the subdistrict will be not less than the total amount of general obligation bonds to be issued exclusive of interest.
(f)If such a petition is filed by the board of directors of the district, it shall contain a statement to the effect that a majority of the landowners owning a majority of the land of the territory in the proposed subdistrict petitioned the board of directors to organize said subdistrict, and a copy of the petition of said landowners shall be attached as an exhibit to the petition for organization of the subdistrict.
(g)If it is anticipated that a plan of water management, plan of augmentation, or both will be adopted for the subdistrict, the petition shall describe such plan or plans in general terms and may also request establishment of a board of managers of the subdistrict, to be made up of landowners within the subdistrict, which shall have the authority and responsibility of devising and carrying out such plan or plans. Where a board of managers is requested, the petition shall set forth in detail the qualifications, manner of selection, and terms of office of board members and may also define, in terms consistent with the requirements of this article, the scope of the responsibility of the board of managers and the functional relationship between such board and the board of directors of the district. Every such petition, when filed with the court, must be approved by the board of directors of the district, which approval shall be noted on the petition over the signature of the president or some other authorized officer thereof, unless the petition is signed and filed by the board of directors of the district.
(h)Said petition shall pray for the organization of a subdistrict by the name proposed.
(3)To determine whether a majority of landowners in said district have signed the petition, in the event the petition is signed by landowners, or have petitioned the board of directors of the district, in the event the petition is filed by the board of directors, the court may require the county treasurer of each county in which territory proposed to be included in said subdistrict is situated to furnish a certified list of names of landowners within said area, and the court shall be governed by the names as they appear upon said copy of the tax roll, and the same shall be prima facie evidence of ownership. If said tax roll shows a majority of the landowners have signed the main petition or petitioned the district for said organization, the same shall be considered as prima facie evidence that a majority of said landowners are in favor of the organization of said proposed subdistrict.
Section 37-48-123 — Procedure for establishment of subdistricts,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-37.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).