Arch Hurley to seek new manager

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The board of the Arch Hurley Conservancy District agreed to seek out a new manager on Tuesday.

Following a closed session, the board voted unanimously to terminate the employment of Bill Conrad, general manager, said Larry Perkins, chairman of the board.

Following Conrad’s manager evaluation, “it was the board’s opinion that the level of management wasn’t there. There were a lot of things that we thought could be handled better,” Perkins said.

Conrad’s termination was effective Tuesday, Perkins said.

Conrad, who is from Logan, was selected in late January and his salary was set at $45,000.

The board agreed that it would advertise locally for a replacement as early as Saturday, Perkins said.

The board would like to find a candidate who is familiar with the area and the challenges the district faces, particularly in a drought, Perkins said.

Earlier at its meeting, the board heard a presentation on an ongoing audit of Reclamation Reform Act (RRA) forms and compliance by the district from representatives of the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

In their brief report, it said there are six potential administrative bills, sometimes called fines, of $290 each for paperwork that the bureau had conducted, said Kelli Triplett, RRA coordinator, based in BOR’s Salt Lake City, Utah, office.

The report also stated that “there are various trusts and entities below the forms submittal threshold for which Reclamation has requested additional information directly from the landholder. If the landholder does not respond, they will be ineligible for Reclamation irrigation water starting in 2008.”

The district has had the advantage of having a long-term employee, Jan Dunlap, who has worked at the district for 25 years. Dunlap, who retired earlier this year, has since come back to work at the district. However, the district needs to find a replacement and back-up person who will be skilled in RRA record keeping, Triplett said.

Keys to compliance with RRA, according to the report:
• Ensure RRA forms are sent out as early as possible and set a cut off date for AHCD to receive them.
• Enforce a policy of no form, no water. Educate water users and district staff (including ditch riders) of this policy.
• In the past, AHCD has completed the forms for its landholders, which can create a liability for AHCD. The landholders need to take responsibility for the information contained on their forms. AHCD may want to set up appointments with their landholders to assist with forms completion, especially those with more complex landholding structures.
• Continue to educate landholders on their RRA responsibilities.
• Work with RRA staff to understand the district’s responsibilities.