NRD sets hearing for chemigation permit fees
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Farmers and other members of the public will get the opportunity to offer their input Tuesday, March 10, on a proposal by the Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD) to increase chemigation permit fees and allow electronic flow meters.
The hearing will be held during the board’s regular meeting March 10, which begins at 10 a.m.
At their February meeting, board members approved sending the new rule proposals to a public hearing.
Chemigation is when farmers inject chemicals into the irrigation water flow for delivery through their pivot systems.
Chemigation has always been part of the URNRD rules but revised language to adhere to state statutes has been added over time.
The program is designed to be self-supporting without the use of tax dollars.
Each year, URNRD technicians inspect more than 2,700 chemigation units to ensure proper installation, operation and registration.
A calculation by staff indicated the present permit cost of $20 annually no longer covers the cost of inspection.
As a result, the rule change forwarded to the hearing would increase the cost for chemigation permits and renewals to cover costs, which are estimated at $40. The new fees in the rule would be phased in over the next two years.
Presently, the cost for a new permit stands at $20. The rule would increase the cost to $30 in 2015 and to $40 in 2016.
Renewals, which presently cost $20, will remain the same for 2015. In 2016, the renewal cost will increase to $40.
In addition to the chemigation rule changes, wording was changed regarding the type of flow meters used by farmers.
Presently, the rule requires the use of a meter that has a mechanical impeller.
The change being proposed would allow the use of battery-powered electronic meters to measure usage.