Arch Hurley allocates water for Quay

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The Arch Hurley Conservancy District board of directors agreed to allocate six inches of water at its meeting Tuesday night.

Chairman of the board Larry Perkins said the allocation would help ranchers and farmers who are members of the district in their planning for crops and in the presentation of their programs to lending institutions.

The board said it would release the water when it had received requests for 40 cubic feet per second of water from members who had paid their assessments.

Depending on the crops planted, an owner’s land management program and the number of acres a member owns, the water released could provide, for example, from several inches of irrigation to less than a inch, in say, a sprinkler system.

In March conservancy members will receive their assessments.

In its first meeting with a new general manager, Bill Conrad, board members provided a list of goals for Conrad.

Top priority was given to:
• improving the efficiency of the irrigation system and the development of an action plan to accomplish improved efficiency
• measuring the water flow so that it could be accurately gauged and accounted for at the release point at Conchas Dam and then again at the project.

“We’ve got to deliver water and to get (it) done efficiently,” Perkins said.

The drought has been hard on many and some are struggling to make another crop, Perkins said.

Other goals included:
• an open invitation to ditch riders to attend board meetings and, perhaps, providing reports, approved by Conrad, for presentation to the board.
• an update of employee records and corresponding insurance records
• a program for employee training
• use of portable measuring devices that can be used for the lateral canals that provide irrigation.
In other business before the board:
• Attorney Albert J. Mitchell, Jr., responded to the board’s request for a proposal for an attorney to serve as the board’s legal advisor. The board agreed that it would meet at a later date to interview and discuss professional legal services with Mitchell.
• Quay County Fire Marshal Don Adams asked if Arch Hurley would sell some of its U.S. Army vehicles, that Arch Hurley acquired through a U.S. government surplus program, to the rural fire stations so that they could be used in the fighting of brush fires. Adams that they were efficient in fighting brush fires.

The board took no action but agreed to consider the request and investigate the proper procedures for such a sale.
l Forty-nine acres of water rights were agreed to be sold, pending the proper paperwork and agreement of sale.

l Mike Latham, who has developed a Web site for the district, said the district’s Web site was up and active and that he would work with the district’s staff to update items.

Perkins said that new information to be included on the site, would need to have the board’s okay and asked Conrad to investigate how districts in the state managed their Web sites. The Web site is www.archhurley.org.

For information and views about the Arch Hurley Conservancy District, members and observers of the county’s irrigation project now have several Internet resources.

The district is launching its own Web site at www.archhurley.org. The board voted last year to have Mike Latham create its Web site for a cost up to $2,000.
Another Web site, which also features Quay County’s irrigation project, is at www.archhurley.com. Its slogan is: “A site for all people who use water from Conchas Lake and irrigate within the Arch Hurley Conservancy District.”
Pete Tatschl of San Jon, who is a frequent observer at Arch Hurley board meetings, is the site’s owner and editor.
“It was launched Dec. 12,” Tatschl said.

“When it looked like the issues of licensing (water rights) was going to come up, I thought people needed to have more information. There are 600 members in the district and it’s hard for them to get any detailed information except maybe in the coffee shop,” said Tatschl.

Tatschl said his site is not officially connected to the district or to its site.