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Water districts bid to reinstate case against Tigard denied

HILLSBORO - At a hearing on Monday, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Kohl denied the Tigard Water District's motion to reinstate its case against the city of Tigard. The case claimed that the city did not give appropriate notice for a Tigard Water District Board meeting in June 2007.

On Aug. 23 the water board filed a complaint in Washington County Circuit Court against the city and three former commissioners asking that the board's June 25 meeting be declared an improper public meeting because it had not been properly noticed and that any decisions made at that meeting be declared in violation of Oregon law.

At the June meeting, which was the last one for three of the commissioners, the board voted to amend a 1994 intergovernmental agreement between the city and the water district by modifying the voting procedure from a unanimous to a majority vote on the Intergovernmental Water Board, which has representatives from the water district and the cities of Tigard, Durham and King City plus an at-large representative.

Also at the June 25 meeting, the former board voted to approve a change in ownership of two parcels of real property - the Tigard Water Building and the Canterbury property - from ownership by the water district in fee title to a co-tenancy ownership among the four government members of the Intergovernmental Water Board.

The water district board later dropped the three former commissioners from the complaint.

The Circuit Court dismissed the district's lawsuit on Jan. 25, citing the district's failure to act on the case within the court's 28-day order. The court found that the district had ignored the requirements of a civil rule and that reinstating the case in these circumstances would, in effect, gut the rule.

The Tigard Water District has the option of appealing the ruling to the court of appeals.

The Tigard Water District serves about 6,200 customers in the unincorporated Bull Mountain area.

Until a Dec. 21 water district board meeting, during which the board severed its relationship with the city, the city had been providing such services as staffing and providing notice for the board's meetings, collecting the revenue generated by water district customers, maintaining the water-distribution infrastructure and storing records.