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Mancos water district continues reservoir title transfer

This summer, the Mancos Water Conservancy District has continued investigating a possible title transfer for the Jackson Gulch Project, Superintendent Gary Kennedy said Wednesday.

The district has been pursuing a transfer of ownership from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, so that the district could be the sole owner of the reservoir project. It’s a lengthy process that could take five years or more and requires an act of Congress, Kennedy said.

One issue with the transfer is what would become of federal lands that have been withdrawn to become part of the project, Kennedy said.

“Our concern is that if we took the title, that land would stay with the project, instead of going back to the Forest Service,” he said.

The MWCD board also has had general discussions about other issues regarding the transfer, including liability.

No funds have been committed to the title transfer, and the process is still in baby steps, Kennedy said. Either party — the Bureau of Reclamation or the MWCD — can withdraw from the process at any time, he said.

Some funding may come through in the next three to four years for the project rehabilitation effort, Kennedy said. The next item the district is focusing on rehabilitating is the reservoir inlet chute.

The cost to get those chutes into top shape would be about $1.2 million, which could be funded by both Bureau of Reclamation grants and MWCD funds, Kennedy said. The district has put in a request for funding to the BOR, he said.

A contractor is on site working on rock mitigation around the project site, especially in West Mancos Canyon, Kennedy said. People are asked not to go in the canyon when there is work taking place there, and signs are posted around the site to make people aware, Kennedy said.

The district hosted its 75th Anniversary with a barbecue on July 16. Kennedy said the event went well and about 50 people attended.

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