Five Cease & Desist Orders to be issued to another landowner
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Two landowners sanctioned by the Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD) in June for bypassing irrigation flow meters want an adjudicatory hearing to address the board’s decision.
Landowners Jack Bond of Greeley, Colo., and Bruce Kramer of Wauneta notified the URNRD last week they wanted a hearing on the decision.
URNRD Manager Jasper Fanning said the NRD’s rules and regulations provide for such a hearing.
Fanning explained an attorney will be selected to serve as hearing officer. The hearing officer will then set the guidelines for the two parties, such as how facts will be entered into the record, who may testify, etc.
The district’s attorney, Joel Burke, said the hearing is similar to a court proceeding.
The hearing officer acts like a judge and the URNRD board will basically sit as a jury. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board will either affirm or modify its previous decision on the sanctions.
If either of the parties requesting the hearing are not satisfied with the board’s decision, they can then appeal the decision to district court, Fanning said.
If appealed, the official record of the hearing proceedings will then become part of the district court record.
Fanning estimated it will be at least a month, if not two, before a hearing date will be scheduled.
In late June, the URNRD board handed down sanctions against Bond and Kramer that permanently idled irrigation on 1250.4 acres of ground owned by them.
The board also handed down a 10-year retirement of irrigation on another 533.4 acres owned by Bond.
Randall Bond of Greeley, Colo., lost irrigation rights permanently on 226 acres, with another 246 acres retired for 10 years.
Randall Bond has not yet filed for a hearing but his deadline was later than for the other two parties.
Fanning said that’s because the official order on Randall Bond’s property was issued at a later date than those for Jack Bond or Kramer.
Middle finds no violations
With meter violations occurring in the URNRD, the Middle Republican joined the URNRD in their investigation on land where water is pumped from land in the MRNRD onto land in the URNRD.
Dan Smith, manager of the MRNRD in Curtis, said they found no violations on this specific property.
In addition, he said the MRNRD conducted a comprehensive inspection of wells on land operated by Kramer in their district.
Smith said no meter violations were found in the MRNRD.
More Cease & Desist Orders
Fanning said the URNRD plans to issue five more Cease & Desist Orders this week for alleged active meter-bypass installations in Dundy County.
He said the five orders were not on land presently owned by either Bond or Kramer.
Fanning said the staff found the alleged violations while conducting chemigation inspections recently.