Chapter 89.16 RCW

RECLAMATION BY STATE

Sections

89.16.005Short title.
89.16.010Declaration of purpose.
89.16.020Reclamation account createdComposition.
89.16.040Payments from accountReclamation districts specifiedRehabilitation of existing projects.
89.16.045Loans from accountContractsRepayment.
89.16.050Powers and duties of director of ecology.
89.16.055Additional powers and duties enumeratedPayment for from reclamation account.
89.16.060Contracts with United States.
89.16.070Contracts with districts.
89.16.080State lands may be includedProcedure.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: Throughout this chapter several references are made to the "reclamation fund" and "reclamation revolving fund"; such fund was abolished and the moneys therein transferred to the "reclamation revolving account" in the general fund. See 1955 c 370 § 1; RCW 43.79.330. As to the references to officers and agencies, see note following title digest.


Short title.

This chapter shall be known and cited as the "State Reclamation Act".
[ 1919 c 158 § 1; RRS § 3004.]



Declaration of purpose.

The object of this chapter is to provide for the reclamation and development of such lands in the state of Washington as shall be determined to be suitable and economically available for reclamation and development as agricultural lands, and the state of Washington in the exercise of its sovereign and police powers declares the reclamation of such lands to be a state purpose and necessary to the public health, safety and welfare of its people.



Reclamation account createdComposition.

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter the state reclamation revolving account, heretofore established and hereinafter called the reclamation account, shall consist of all sums appropriated thereto by the legislature; all gifts made to the state therefor and the proceeds of the sale thereof; the proceeds of the sale or redemption of and the interest earned by securities acquired with the moneys thereof; and all reimbursements for moneys advanced for the payment of assessments upon public lands of the state for the improvement thereof. Moneys in the reclamation account may be invested by the state treasurer pursuant to RCW 43.84.080.
[ 2012 c 187 § 9; 1973 1st ex.s. c 40 § 1; 1972 ex.s. c 51 § 2; 1959 c 104 § 2. Prior: 1919 c 158 § 4, part; RRS § 3007, part.]



Payments from accountReclamation districts specifiedRehabilitation of existing projects.

From the moneys appropriated from the reclamation account there shall be paid, upon vouchers approved by the director of ecology, the administrative expenses of the director under this chapter and such amounts as are found necessary for the investigation and survey of reclamation projects proposed to be financed in whole or in part by the director, and such amounts as may be authorized by him or her for the reclamation of lands in diking, diking improvement, drainage, drainage improvement, diking and drainage, diking and drainage improvement, irrigation and irrigation improvement districts, and such other districts as are authorized by law for the reclamation or development of waste or undeveloped lands or the rehabilitation of existing reclamation projects, and all such districts and improvement districts shall, for the purposes of this chapter be known as reclamation districts.
[ 2013 c 23 § 555; 1981 c 216 § 2; 1972 ex.s. c 51 § 3; 1959 c 104 § 4. Prior: 1919 c 158 § 4, part; RRS § 3007, part.]



Loans from accountContractsRepayment.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the director of ecology may, by written contract with a reclamation district, loan moneys from the reclamation account to said district for use in financing a project of construction, reconstruction or improvement of district facilities, or a project of additions to such facilities. No such contract shall exceed fifty thousand dollars per project or a term of ten years, or provide for an interest rate of more than eight percent per annum. The director shall not execute any contract as provided in this section until he or she determines that the project for which the moneys are furnished is within the scope of the district's powers to undertake, that the project is feasible, that its construction is in the best interest of the state and the district, and that the district proposing the project is in a sound financial condition and capable of repaying the loan with interest in not more than ten annual payments. Any district is empowered to enter into a contract, as provided for in this section, and to levy assessments based on the special benefits accruing to lands within the district as are necessary to satisfy the contract, when a resolution of the governing body of the reclamation district authorizing its execution is approved by the body: PROVIDED, That no district shall be empowered to execute with the director any such contract during the term of any previously executed contract authorized by this section.



Powers and duties of director of ecology.

In carrying out the purposes of this chapter, the director of the department of ecology of the state of Washington shall be authorized and empowered:
To make surveys and investigations of the wholly or partially unreclaimed and undeveloped lands in this state and to determine the relative agricultural values, productiveness and uses, and the feasibility and cost of reclamation and development thereof;
To formulate and adopt a sound policy for the reclamation and development of the agricultural resources of the state, and from time to time select for reclamation and development such lands as may be deemed advisable, and the director may in his or her discretion advise as to the formation and assist in the organization of reclamation districts under the laws of this state;
To purchase the bonds of any reclamation district whose project is approved by the director and which is found to be upon a sound financial basis, to contract with any such district for making surveys and furnishing engineering plans and supervision for the construction of its project, or for constructing or completing its project and to advance money to the credit of the district for any or all of such purposes, and to accept the bonds, notes, or warrants of such district in payment therefor, and to expend the moneys appropriated from the reclamation account in the purchase of such bonds, notes, or warrants or in carrying out such contracts: PROVIDED, That interest not to exceed the annual rate provided for in the bonds, notes, or warrants agreed to be purchased, shall be charged and received for all moneys advanced to the district prior to the delivery of the bonds, notes, or warrants and the amount of such interest shall be included in the purchase price of such bonds, notes, or warrants: PROVIDED FURTHER, That no district, the bonds, notes, or warrants of which have been purchased by the state under the provisions of the state reclamation act, shall thereafter during the life of said bonds, notes, or warrants make expenditures of any kind from the bond or warrant funds of the district or incur obligations chargeable against such funds or issue any additional notes without previous written approval of the director of ecology of the state of Washington, and any obligations incurred without such approval shall be void;
To sell and dispose of any reclamation district bonds acquired by the director, at public or private sale, and to pay the proceeds of such sale into the reclamation account: PROVIDED, That such bonds shall not be sold for less than the purchase price plus accrued interest, except in case of a sale to an agency supplied with money by the United States of America, or to the United States of America in furtherance of refunding operations of any irrigation district, diking or drainage district, or diking or drainage improvement district, now pending or hereafter carried on by such district, in which case the director shall have authority to sell any bonds of such district owned by the state of Washington under the provisions of the state reclamation act, to the United States of America, or other federal agency on such terms as said United States of America, or other federal agency shall prescribe for bonds of the same issue of such district as that held by the state of Washington in connection with such refunding operations;
To borrow money upon the security of any bonds, including refunding bonds, of any reclamation district, acquired by the director, on such terms and rate of interest and over such period of time as the director may see fit, and to hypothecate and pledge reclamation district bonds or refunding bonds acquired by the director as security for such loan. Such loans shall have, as their sole security, the bonds so pledged and the revenues therefrom, and the director shall not have authority to pledge the general credit of the state of Washington: PROVIDED, That in reloaning any money so borrowed, or obtained from a sale of bonds it shall be the duty of the director to fix such rates of interest as will prevent impairment of the reclamation revolving account;
To purchase delinquent general tax or delinquent special assessment certificates chargeable against lands included within any reclamation district obligated to the state under the provisions of the state reclamation act, and to purchase lands included in such districts and placed on sale on account of delinquent taxes or delinquent assessments with the same rights, privileges, and powers with respect thereto as a private holder and owner of said certificates, or as a private purchaser of said lands: PROVIDED, That the director shall be entitled to a delinquent tax certificate upon application to the proper county treasurer therefor without the necessity of a resolution of the county legislative authority authorizing the issuance of certificates of delinquency required by law in the case of the sale of such certificates to private purchasers;
To sell said delinquent certificates or the lands acquired at sale on account of delinquent taxes or delinquent assessments at public or private sale, and on such conditions as the director shall determine;
To, whenever the director shall deem it advisable, require any district with which he or she may contract, to provide such safeguards as he or she may deem necessary to assure bona fide settlement and development of the lands within such district, by securing from the owners of lands therein agreements to limit the amount of their holdings to such acreage as they can properly farm and to sell their excess landholdings at reasonable prices;
To employ all necessary experts, assistants, and employees and fix their compensation and to enter into any and all contracts and agreements necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter;
To have the assistance, cooperation and services of, and the use of the records and files in, all the departments and institutions of the state, particularly the office of the commissioner of public lands, the state department of agriculture, Washington State University, and the University of Washington; and all state officers and the governing authorities of all state institutions are hereby authorized and directed to cooperate with the director in furthering the purpose of this chapter;
To cooperate with the United States in any plan of land reclamation, land settlement or agricultural development which the congress of the United States may provide and which may effect the development of agricultural resources within the state of Washington, and the director shall have full power to carry out the provisions of any cooperative land settlement act that may be enacted by the United States.

NOTES:

Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.



Additional powers and duties enumeratedPayment for from reclamation account.

In addition to the powers provided in RCW 89.16.050, the department of ecology is authorized and empowered to:
(1) Conduct surveys, studies, investigations, and water right examinations for proposed reclamation projects or the rehabilitation of existing reclamation projects that may be funded fully or partially from the receipts of the sale of bonds issued by the state of Washington.
(2) Support the preparation for and administration of proceedings, provided in RCW 90.03.110 or 90.44.220, or both, pertaining to river systems or other water bodies that are associated with existing or proposed reclamation projects.
(3) Conduct a regulatory program for well construction as provided in chapter 18.104 RCW.
Funds of the account established by RCW 89.16.020 may, as appropriated by the legislature, be used in relation to the powers provided in this section, notwithstanding any other provisions of chapter 89.16 RCW that may be to the contrary.

NOTES:

Effective date1993 c 387: See RCW 18.104.930.



Contracts with United States.

The department of ecology shall have the power to cooperate and to contract with the United States for the reclamation of lands in this state by the United States, and shall have the power to contract with the United States for the handling of such reclamation work by the United States and for the repayment of such moneys as the department of ecology shall invest from the reclamation account, under such terms and conditions as the United States laws and the regulations of the interior department shall provide for the repayment of reclamation costs by the lands reclaimed.



Contracts with districts.

A diking, drainage, diking and drainage, and irrigation district, and improvement districts thereof through the parent district, or such other district as is authorized and organized for the reclamation or development of waste or undeveloped lands, may enter into contracts with the director for the reclamation of the lands of the district in the manner provided herein, or in such manner as such districts may contract with the United States or with individuals or corporations, for making surveys and furnishing engineering plans and supervision for the construction of all works and improvements necessary for the reclamation of its lands, and for the sale or delivery of its bonds, and may issue bonds of the district for such purposes.



State lands may be includedProcedure.

Whenever in the judgment of the department of natural resources any state, school, granted, or other public lands of the state will be specially benefited by any proposed reclamation project approved by the department of ecology, it may consent that such lands be included in any reclamation district organized for the purpose of carrying out such reclamation project, and in that event the department of natural resources shall be authorized to pay, out of current appropriations, the district assessments levied as provided by law against such lands, and any such assessments paid shall be made a charge against the lands upon which they were levied, and the amount thereof, but without interest, shall be included in the appraised value of such lands when sold or leased.