July 23, 2007 Minutes

Tularosa Village Hall

Tularosa Village Hall is in the center of town on St. Francis Drive.

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Village of Tularosa-Workshop-July 23, 2007

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Tularosa met in a Workshop setting on Monday, July 23, 2007 at 7:00 P. M. in the Court/Conference Room of the Public Safety Facility located at 609 St. Francis Drive, Tularosa, New Mexico.

Present: Mayor Ray S. Cordova, Trustee Patrick Garcia, Trustee Margaret Trujillo, Trustee Thomas McKean, Trustee Gloria Sainz as well as Village Clerk Dianna Brusuelas.

At 7:17 P. M. Mayor Ray Cordova called the meeting to order asking that all rise and join in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor Cordova asked the members of the Board to voice their concerns about the Water Rights issues in reference to the Tularosa Community Ditch Corporation and what the Board would support as a whole and what is fair and equitable.

Trustee Thomas McKean suggested starting with what the Village should be paying the Ditch Corporation. Trustee Margaret Trujillo suggested basing it on what it says on the Decree because the Decree is the law. Trustee Thomas McKean presented a copy of the 1972 Decree. Trustee Margaret Trujillo stated that Village Attorney Jeff Rhodes explained to her that you use all the Decree's and the Cause No.'s and the first Decree was around 1909.

Trustee Thomas McKean said that the 1972 Decree read that the Plaintiff shall pay 14.82% of the assessments made by the Defendant for the cost of maintaining and operating the Tularosa Stream System above the Plaintiff's point of intake, the costs shall include the Ditch Boss Salary and payroll taxes. Trustee Thomas McKean stated that the Village has been paying 14.82% of the total operational costs not just above the point of intake. Trustee Margaret Trujillo agreed.

Trustee Margaret Trujillo also referred to a letter written by Attorney Jeff Rhodes dated June 25, 2007.

Trustee Thomas McKean suggested writing a letter to the Tularosa Community Ditch Corporation requesting an operating expense budget before this years operating costs are paid identifying the portion above the intake. Trustee Thomas McKean said that the village had 41 acre feet in 1909, converted 6 3/4 in 1965 and 3 3/4 in 1972 which equals the 10 1/2 voting rights. Mr. McKean explained that the village still has 7.46 water right shares which are irrigation water rights not for domestic use; so when you add both together that is what gives the 17 plus voting rights. Mayor Ray Cordova felt that the confusion started when the village converted the 10.50; the Tularosa Community Ditch subtracted the 10.50 from the 17. 96 water rights leaving a balance of 7.46 but felt that the voting rights don't get lost. Trustee Patrick Garcia said that in other words the Decree is the bible. It was determined that one water right would equal 31 acre feet.

Trustee Thomas McKean stated that the Tularosa Community Ditch Corporation gave a list with 113 shares listed representing the Village and the Farmers. Trustee McKean stated that in the beginning there were 156 water rights and later on there were 163 and wondered why currently there were only 115. Mayor Cordova questioned as to why a person has to sell his water rights to the Ditch Corporation and not to anyone else. Trustee McKean said the statute says that for the Ditch Corporation to buy up a water right it has to be approved by the Share Holders. Trustee Margaret Trujillo questioned what happens to the water rights of the certificates that have been retired. Trustee Thomas McKean said he has asked that question and the answer was that there was not as much water flowing now as there used to be. The Mayor felt that there has never been a significant change in the flow. The question arose about the 50 or so retired certificates and if the water is not flowing as it used to why does the Ditch Corporation want to build a reservoir.

Trustee Margaret Trujillo said the Decree gave the Village 10.50 voting rights because the village converted the 6 3/4 and the 3 3/4 and the Decree needs to be amended to add the additional 7.0 that were purchased. Trustee McKean suggested going to court and seeing if the village would get the additional 41 acres feet in Cause 293.

Mayor Cordova suggested buying the Irrigation Water Right Share from the Narcissa Gallegos estate. Mayor Cordova also made reference to a letter written in January by Village Attorney Jeff Rhodes to the Tularosa Ditch Corporation but did not know if the letter had been responded to. Trustee Gloria Sainz asked if another Work Session could be held to explain what the village board had discovered and the Tularosa Ditch Board could defend their views so that everything could be corrected; and then go to court to correct the Decree. The Board discusses not supporting the Damn Project that the Ditch Corporation is supporting.

Trustee Margaret Trujillo said they needed to correct the voting rights to 17.96. Trustee McKean asked to convert the Stubblefield water right number 60 by writing the Ditch Corporation and asking them to convert it to the Village. Trustee McKean says the village does not have the green copies of certificates 47 and 64 and listed the irrigation water rights as 23, 36, 93, 98, 136, 136, 150, 156, 157 but stated that the village did not have the green certificates for 93, 98, 136, 136 and should request them from the Ditch Corporation, if the village is denied then the village would consult the attorney.

The written minutes are the official minutes of the meeting. The recorded tapes are part of the minutes only for interpreting any ambiguity in the written minutes. When the minutes are approved and signed the written minutes are the official minutes of the meeting.


Ray S. Cordova, Mayor



Dianna R. Brusuelas, Village Clerk

Minutes approved by the Board of Trustees at the Regular Meeting of September 18, 2007.