Voters have approved a request by the Dolores Water Conservancy District to freeze the mill levy at the current rate of 0.483.
According to the Montezuma County election office, 2,706 voted in favor of the measure, and 1,729 voted against it, or 61 percent to 39 percent.
The district sought to avoid the ratcheting down effect on the district’s budget because of fluctuating property values.
“Passage of Ballot Issue 4A will really help the Dolores Water Conservancy District provide a stable water supply for our farmers and communities going forward,” said DWCD general manager Mike Preston. “We want to offer our deepest appreciation to the voters for supporting this measure.”
Preston said passing the measure allows DWCD to better secure grant money, which is important to keep McPhee Reservoir and delivery systems in good shape. He said the funds will allow the district to face growing challenges of protecting water rights, and dealing with drought and emerging threats to McPhee Reservoir, such as an invasion of quagga mussels that could damage water delivery systems and kill sport fishing.
Setting a permanent tax mill levy allows the district to stabilize its income relative to area growth and retain any additional income it receives.
According to the district, “changing laws and regulations at the federal and state levels, including BLM and Forest Service management plans, require increased vigilance, negotiation and legal involvement to protect established District water rights.”
Ballot Issue 4A is a waiver to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), known as “deBrucing.”