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RELIEF TO WATER USERS ON FEDERAL IRRIGATION PROJECTS

An act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to extend the time for payment of

charges due on reclamation projects, and for other purposes. (Act March 31, 1922, ch. 119, 42 Stat. 489)

[Sec. 1. Extension of time for payment of construction charges—Interest on extended charges. ]—That where an individual water user or individual applicant for a water right under a Federal irrigation project constructed or being constructed under the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), or any act amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto, is unable to pay any construction charge due and payable in the year 1922 or prior thereto, the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to extend the date of payment of any such charge for a period not to exceed one year from December 31, 1922: Provided, That the applicant for the extension shall first show to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Interior, by a detailed, verified statement of his assets and liabilities, an actual inability to make payment at the time the application is made and an apparent ability to meet the deferred charge when the extension expires; also in cases where water for irrigation is available, that the applicant is a landowner or entryman whose land against which the charge has accrued is being actually cultivated : Provided further, That similar relief in whole or in part may be extended by the Secretary of the Interior to a legally organized group of water users of a project, upon presentation of a sufficient number of individual showings made in accordance with the foregoing proviso to satisfy the Secretary of the Interior that such extension is necessary: And provided further, That each charge so extended shall draw interest at the rate of 6 per centum per annum from its due date in lieu of any penalty that may now be provided by law, but in case such charge is not paid at the end of such extension period, any penalty that would have been applicable save for such extension, shall attach from the date the charge was originally due the same as if no extension had been granted. (42 Stat. 489.)

NOTES

Amendment. This section amended by section 1, act of February 28, 1923 (42 Stat. 1324), making the extension two years instead of one.

Regulations.-- For departmental instructions, see regulations of April 3, 1922, 48 L. D. 618, C. L. 1100; and of March 7, 1923, 49 L. D. 472, C. L. 1197. C. L. Nos. 1200 and 1209 supplement C. L. 1197. See also C. L. 1120, May 24, 1922; C. L. 1132, June 26, 1922; C. L. 1139, July 5, 1922.

C. L. 1166, October 14, 1922, relates to collection of delinquent accounts.

C. L. 1222, May 23, 1923, and C. L. 1225, June 1, 1923, state the policy of the Secretary regarding administration of the relief law.

C. L. 1299, April 25, 1924, relates to the authority of the Secretary to extend time of payment of water charges.

RELIEF TO WATER USERS ON FEDERAL IRRIGATION PROJECTS 263

C. L. 1093, March 23, 1922, promulgates instruction on the bill H. R. 9606 (afterwards act of March 31, 1922).

Miscellaneous references.-For departmental construction of laws relating to contracts between Bureau of Reclamation and irrigation districts, see opinion of September 29, 1923 (50 L. D., 142); also opinion of December 31, 1923 (50 L. D. 227).

Sec. 2. [Secretary authorized to furnish water to landowners or entrymen in arrears in payment of operation and maintenance or construction charges. ]—That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized, in his discretion, after due investigation, to furnish irrigation water on Federal irrigation projects during the irrigation season of 1922 to landowners or entrymen who are in arrears for more than one calendar year in the payment of any operation and maintenance or construction charges, notwithstanding the provisions of section 6 of the act of August 13, 1914 (Thirty-eighth Statutes, page 686): Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve any beneficiary hereunder from payments due or penalties thereon required by said act: Provided further, That the relief provided by this section shall be extended only to a landowner or entryman whose land against which the charges have accrued is actually being cultivated. (42 Stat. 490.)

NOTES

Amendment.-Section 4, act of February 28, 1923 (42 Stat. 1324), amends this section by changing the words season of 1922" to seasons of 1922 and. 1923."

Extension of time for payment of charges not authorized. The provisions of this act, which affords relief to settlers on reclamation projects with reference to operation and maintenance charges, simply relax the requirements of section 6 of the act of August 13, 1914, by permitting the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, to furnish irrigation water, during the time specified therein, to landowners or entrymen who are in arrears for more than one calendar year, and nothing contained therein authorizes the extension of time for the payment of such charges. (Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Districts Nos. 1 and 2, 49 L, D. 301.)

PATENTS TO DISABLED SOLDIER ENTRYMEN

An act to amend the act of March 1, 1921 (Forty-first Statutes, page 1202), entitled "AD

act to authorize certain homestead settlers or entrymen who entered the military or naval service of the United States during the war with Germany to make final proof of their entries." (Act April 7, 1922, ch. 125, 42 Stat. 492)

[Homestead and desert-land entrymen, incapacitated in World War, may make final proof and receive patent without further reclamation.] – That the act approved March 1, 1921 (Forty-first Statutes, page 1202), be amended to read as follows: “That any bona fide settler, applicant, or entryman under the homestead laws of the United States, or any desert-land entryman whose entry is subject to the provisions of the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), who, after settlement, application, or entry, and prior to November 11, 1918, enlisted or was actually engaged in the United States Army, Navy, or Marine Corps during the war with Germany, who has been honorably discharged and because of physical incapacities due to the service is unable to return to the land, may make final proof, without further residence, improvement, cultivation, or reclamation, at such time and place as may be authorized by the Secretary of the Interior, and receive patent to the land by him so entered or settled upon, subject to the provisions of the act or acts under which such settlement or entry was made: Provided, That no such patent shall issue prior to the conformation of the entry to a single farm unit, as required by the act of August 13, 1914 (Thirtyeighth Statutes, page 686): Ånd provided further, That this act shall not be construed to exempt or relieve such applicant or entryman from payment of any lawful fees, commissions, purchase moneys, water charges, or other sums due to the United States, or its successors in control of the reclamation project, in connection with such lands." (42 Stat. 492.) Textual note.-The substance of this act is codified as section 238, title 43, United

States Code.

NOTES

Regulations.-See General Land Office instructions of May 29, 1922, 49 L. D. 135. Cross reference.-See notes under act of March 1, 1921 (41 Stat. 1202).

264

IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND FARM LOANS ON FEDERAL

IRRIGATION PROJECTS

An act to provide for the application of the reclamation law to irrigation districts.

May 15, 1922, ch. 190, 42 Stat, 541)

(Act

[Application of reclamation law to irrigation districts Individual water-right applications dispensed with.]— That in carrying out the purposes of the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, and known as and called the reclamation law, the Secretary of the Interior may enter into contract with any legally organized irrigation district whereby such irrigation district shall agree to pay the moneys required to be paid to the United States, and in such event water-right applications on the part of landowners and entrymen, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior, may be dispensed with. In the event of such contract being made with an irrigation district, the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, may contract that the payments, both for the construction of irrigation works and for operation and maintenance, on the part of the district shall be made upon such dates as will best conform to the district and taxation laws of the respective States under which such irrigation districts shall be formed; and if he deem it advisable, he may contract for such penalties or interest charges in case of delinquency in payments as he may deem proper and consistent with such State laws, notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the reclamation extension act approved August 13, 1914 (Thirty-eighth Statutes, page 686). The Secretary of the Interior may accept a partial payment of the amount due from any district to the United States, providing such acceptance shall not constitute a waiver of the balance remaining due nor the interest or penalties, if any, accruing upon said balance: Provided, That no contract with an irrigation district under this act shall be binding on the United States until the proceedings on the part of the district for the authorization of the execution of the contract with the United States shall have been confirmed by decree of a court of competent jurisdiction, or pending appellate action if ground for appeal be laid. (42 Stat. 541.)

Textual note.—The above section is codified as 'section 511, title 43, United States Code, with the following changes : The first word "That" is omitted ; the words "the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, and known as and called," are omitted; the words sections 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 of the reclamation extension act approved August 13, 1914 (Thirty-eighth Statutes, page 686)," are changed to read “sections 471, 475, 478, 492, and 493 of this chapter"; and the words in the proviso reading "under this act" are changed to read "under this and the two following sections."

NOTES Payments of water users charges. This act does not modify the act of February 21, 1911 (36 Stat. 925), and existing contracts entered into under the act of February 21, 1911, may stand as made or be modified under the same authority 88508-37-18

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IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND FARM LOANS

which authorized their execution. Likewise, new contracts may be made there. under without resort to the court proceedings specified for contracts under the act of May 15, 1922. (Departmental opinion, September 29, 1923, 50 L. D. 142.)

Previous contracts not subject to court confirmation.—This act has no retroactive effect upon contracts theretofore made under proper authority, and such contracts are not, therefore, dependent for their validity upon the court confirmation specified in the proviso. (Idem.)

Dates for payment of charges.—The Secretary of the Interior, in whom the extension act of August 13, 1914 (38 Stat. 686), imposed the authority to fix the date for payment of operation and maintenance charges in connection with irrigation projects as of the date fixed for each project, may for sufficient reason change the due date for future payments and modify the contract without violation of either the letter or the spirit of the act of May 15, 1922, and without invoking the procedure therein provided for confirmation of contracts under the latter act. (Idem.)

The act of August 13, 1914, provided for the payment of irrigation construction charges upon a specified date, the only authority for change of which is contained in the act of May 15, 1922, and where the latter act is invoked to change the date of payment under a prior contract, the procedure described therein must be followed in order to give validity to the amended contract. (Idem.)

For opinion of the solicitor for the Interior Department regarding authority of Secretary to extend dates of payment of water charges, see C. L. 1299. April 25, 1924. Decision M-11120, re lower Yellowstone project, holds that certain extensions of water charges can be made under contract with an irrigation district. Decision M-12181, re Strawberry Valley project, holds that similar extensions can not be made under contract with a water users' association.

Penalties on account of delinquent water charges.—Under contracts with irrigation districts under act of May 15, 1922 (42 Stat. 541), and also under the Warren Act of February 21, 1911 (36 Stat. 925), penalties on account of all classes of charges shall be credited to the reclamation fund generally and not to the project in connection with which they arise. (C. L. 1186, January 3, 1923. This circular amends C. L. 960 (standard clauses for contracts with irrigation districts), by adding a sentence to Clause (H) thereof.)

Areas in excess of 160 acres.--Irrigable lands in excess of 160 acres, in the sole ownership of a corporation, and lying within an irrigation district contracting with the United States to pay the cost of a reclamation project apportionable to the part of the project within the district and which irrigable lands are shown by the general trend of the evidence to be benefited by an irrigation project so that their value becomes enh ed thereby, are properly included within the irrigation district and assessable accordingly, as the basis of special improvement taxation is property benefit independently of ownership conditions or of the inability under the Federal laws of the owner to receive water for more than 160 acres. (Shoshone Irrigation District v. Lincoln Land Co., Fed. Dist. Ct. of Wyoming, memorandum decision of Aug. 8, 1930, Shoshone project. See New Recl. Era, October, 1930, p. 196.)

See also 51 Fed. (20) 128.

Assessments.-A landowner consenting to dispose of excess holdings, could not, after the construction of works making water available for irrigation, escape assessment on the ground that excess lands retained were not benefited. (Lincoln Land Co. v. Goshen Irr. Dist. (Wyo. 1930), 293 Pac. 373.)

Proxy voting at election proceedings.-By decision M-26438, of the solicitor dated March 21, 1931, and approved by the department on the same date, it was held that section 963 of Wyoming Compiled Statutes, 1920, as amended by section 2 of Wyoming Session Laws of 1925, permits and requires the election by an irrigation district to authorize a contract with the United States to permit voting by proxy, each voter to be entitled to one vote for each acre of land owned. (53 I. D. 334.)

Acceptance of proofs and payments on reclamation entries in projects within irrigation districts.-On reclamation projects operated by irrigation districts or water users' associations not delinquent in payments to the Government, the superintendent of said district or association is authorized to accept certifications as to cultivation, reclamation, and payments as to lands within the boundaries of

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