Pueblo Board of Water Works and St. Charles Mesa Water District amend agreement

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From the Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The latest proposal would allow Bessemer shareholders to sell water to users outside Pueblo County, but would restrict leases of water obtained by the Pueblo and St. Charles water boards…

Pueblo and St. Charles Mesa have agreed to first use water within their service areas in Pueblo County, unless service areas expand beyond county lines. Any water not needed would be leased to remaining shareholders on the Bessemer Ditch. If no leases within the ditch or county are possible, Pueblo and St. Charles Mesa could lease the water anywhere in the Arkansas Valley, but not outside the valley. Other shareholders on the ditch would not be restricted in selling water to anyone outside the county or the valley. In the first draft of proposed changes, use was limited to Pueblo County. The requested change came from the Bessemer Ditch board, Hamel said. “(The amended agreement) commits us to lease back our shares,” said Executive Director Alan Hamel. “This reflects the board’s commitment to agriculture and the economy of Pueblo County.” The board also makes commitments in the St. Charles Mesa agreement that safeguard other shareholders on the ditch, Hamel added…

Bessemer Ditch shareholders will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. May 11 at the Pueblo Convention Center to consider changes in the bylaws and articles of incorporation. The changes made in the proposed bylaws satisfy some of the objections raised by shareholders over an earlier version of by-law changes, but there is still organization opposition to any change in bylaws. Some claimed restricting future sales to Pueblo County would lower the value of Bessemer shares and create a monopoly for the Pueblo and St. Charles Mesa water boards. “We still don’t want to change the bylaws,” said Leonard DiTomaso, who was elected to the Bessemer Ditch board in January along with Mike Klun on promises to oppose sales of water outside the ditch boundaries and support farming on the ditch. “That means forever and ever. What’s this land without water? We really don’t want to concede any points.”

More Coyote Gulch coverage here, here and here.

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