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CHAPTER 7.

(House Bill No. 21)

AN ACT

PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF ASSESSMENT DISTRICTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPPLYING POWER TO USERS PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PUMPING WATER FOR IRRIGATION OF ARID LANDS. PROVIDING FOR A JUDICIAL HEARING ON THE PUBLIC CHARACTER OF THE OPERATIONS OF SUCH DISTRICTS AND WHETHER OR NOT THE SAME CONSTITUTES A PUBLIC USE. PROVIDING FOR A HEARING UPON THE BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT. WHAT LANDS WILL BE BENEFITED AND SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE DISTRICT. PROVIDING FOR NOTICE OF SUCH HEARING ADDRESSED TO ALL OWNERS OF LANDS OR INTERESTS IN LAND AND TO ALL PERSONS IN ANY WAY INTERESTED IN OR AFFECTED BY THE ORGANIZATION OF SUCH DISTRICTS AND FOR APPEAL BY ANYONE FROM ALL OR ANY PART OF THE DECISION OF THE TRIBUNAL DETERMINING ALL QUESTIONS PRELIMINARY TO THE ORGANIZATION OF THE SAME. PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS BY THE DISTRICT AND FOR OTHER MEANS OF RAISING REVENUE FOR THE PROPER CONDUCT OF THE BUSINESS OF THE DISTRICT. PROVIDING FOR THE LAYING OF THE BURDENS OF THE DISTRICT ON THE INTERESTED PARTIES AND MEANS FOR THE COLLECTION OF LEVIES FOR REVENUES.

PROVIDING FOR THE INCLUSION OF
LANDS WITHIN THE DISTRICT. FOR THE
CONSOLIDATION OF SUCH DISTRICTS
AND GENERALLY FOR THE ELECTION
OF OFFICERS OF SUCH DISTRICTS AND
MEANS AND METHODS AND THE MAN-
NER OF CONDUCTING THE BUSINESS OF
THE DISTRICT. AND DECLARING AN

EMERGENCY.

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of

Arizona:

Section 1.

Assessment districts for the purpose of securing power for use primarily for the pumping of water for irrigation may be formed in the following manner and by the following proceedings:

For the purpose of organizing such a district, a petition shall be filed describing a body of land situated in any one or more counties of the State of Arizona, which petition shall accurately define the exterior boundaries of the tract or tracts, or otherwise describe the lands to be included in the proposed district. The body of land thus to be organized as such district need not be composed of contiguous tracts. The petition shall pray that the described body of land be organized into an assessment district under this act and must be signed by at least one-third of the number of resident freeholders within the body of land proposed to be organized as such district, but in no case more than twenty-five subscribers to the organization petition shall be required. The petition must be filed with the board of supervisors of the county in which the proposed district is located and if parts of the proposed district are situated in more than one county, then the petition shall be filed with the board of supervisors

of that county in which is situated a larger part of the lands proposed to be so organized than in any other county.

Section 2. The petitioners shall give such security or make such deposit as the board of supervisors of the county may require of them conditioned upon the payment of all costs if for any reason the district should fail of organization.

Section 3. It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors with which any such petition is filed at the next regular or special meeting thereafter or at a special meeting called sooner for the purpose, to fix a date for a hearing on said petition, naming in their minutes the day and date thereof, the place of hearing, which shall be at the office of the said board of supervisors, unless the board shall determine for the convenience of the parties to hold elsewhere in the county. At said hearing the board of supervisors shall proceed to determine first the question of the public use of the operations of the proposed district. The board shall determine whether or not the lands in the proposed district are arid lands, whether they are fertile and reclaimable, whether there is a supply of water which can be made efficiently available by the use of the proposed power system, and whether on the whole, the development reasonably certain to result from the introduction of power, is of such interest and benefit to the whole district as to impress it with the character of a public use. It shall not be necessary to determine that any underground volume of water is certainly sufficient to irrigate all the lands in the proposed district but it shall suffice if the volume of water is large enough to supply such an amount of the land within the district as will make the results of the introduction

of power a public use and a benefit to the whole district and reasonably certain to enable the system when in full operation to be self-supporting. Nothing in this section or in this act shall be construed as declaring what is or what is not a public use or as limiting the evidence or the scope of the investigation of the board hearing the matter. The board of supervisors hearing the same upon such petition shall have full power to determine the question of the public use involved in the operations of the proposed district, and they shall consider and make their findings by taking into consideration all circumstances, facts and reasons pertinent to the question of the public character of the operations of the proposed district. If there are any such questions upon which there are facts of common knowledge of such probative weight as to make a prima facie case, it shall not be necessary for the board of supervisors to take evidence upon that point and they may take judicial knowledge of the same but they shall hear and consider all competent testimony or evidence offered with reference to the question.

For the purpose of determining the public use of the operations of the proposed district, the board of supervisors hearing the matter is hereby invested with judicial powers and its decision shall be binding upon all persons interested unless reversed on appeal as hereinafter provided and if modified or affirmed it shall be thus binding.

If the board of supervisors hearing the matter shall determine that the operations of the proposed district involve a public use they shall then proceed to the question of calling an organization election for the submitting to the qualified electors of the question whether the proposed lands

shall be organized into a district contemplated in this act. If the petition be found to comply with the provisions of this act and all the proceedings be also in compliance with the same an election shall be called as prayed.

If the board determines to call an organization election they shall then proceed to hear any and all objections which have been made to the inclusion of lands by owners or others interested therein. Owners of lands proposed to be included within the district or any person interested therein, if they desire to be excluded therefrom or to be relieved in whole or in part from bearing the burdens of the district, shall file with the board of supervisors hearing the matter written statements of their objections, stating in an informal way but giving full particulars of their grounds for asking to be excluded from the district or for asking to be relieved from any or all of the burdens of the district and they shall not be excluded unless it be shown that they will not be benefited by the operations of the district. The burden of proof shall be on the objectors and they shall be required to give proof of their rights as claimed in their filed objections.

All persons who have not been included in the proposed districts as defined in the petition shall have the right to appear before the board as parties interested in and affected by the organization of the district and shall have the right to pray their lands be included. If the land thus sought to be included in the district is all patented land and the owners petition to that end the lands thus proposed shall be included by the board of supervisors if this can be done without materially increasing the cost of service and in this they shall take into account the shape of the

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