2011 ORS § 568.450¹
Procedure for consolidating districts

(1) Proceedings to consolidate two or more soil and water conservation districts may be initiated by:

(a) Petitions to consolidate filed with the State Department of Agriculture by 500 electors or 10 percent of the electors, whichever is less, within the districts affected; or

(b) Resolutions to consolidate adopted by the board of directors of each district to be affected by the consolidation and filed with the department.

(2) The department shall prescribe the form for the petition. The petition must include, but need not be limited to, a legal description of the districts, name and contact information for the chief petitioner and the reasons for the proposed consolidation.

(3) If consolidation is initiated as provided in this section, the department shall hold a public hearing no later than 60 days after receipt of the petitions or resolutions. The department shall conduct the public hearing for the purposes of reviewing the petitions or resolutions, discussing procedures and requirements under ORS 568.460 (Referendum), 568.471 (Effect of consolidating districts) and 568.545 (Procedure for selection of directors of consolidated districts) and accepting public comment.

(4)(a) If all of the districts involved in a consolidation have tax levies, the districts shall hold a referendum election on the consolidation unless:

(A) No objections to the consolidation are received at the public hearing described in subsection (3) of this section; and

(B) No later than 60 days after the public hearing described in subsection (3) of this section, a two-thirds majority of the board of directors in each of the districts votes to approve the consolidation and the boundaries of the consolidated district.

(b) The permanent tax rate for the consolidated district shall be established as provided under section 11 (3)(d), Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.

(5) If none of the districts involved in a consolidation have tax levies, the districts shall hold a referendum election on the consolidation unless:

(a) No objections to the consolidation are received at the public hearing described in subsection (3) of this section; and

(b) No later than 60 days after the public hearing described in subsection (3) of this section, a two-thirds majority of the board of directors in each of the districts votes to approve the consolidation and the boundaries of the consolidated district.

(6) If a consolidation is between one or more districts having tax levies and one or more districts that do not have tax levies, the districts shall hold a referendum election on the consolidation. The ballot measure shall indicate that a single question is being proposed, consisting of whether the districts should consolidate into a single district for which the permanent rate limit specified in the ballot measure shall be adopted as the permanent rate limit of operating taxes for the consolidated district.

(7) The counties containing the affected districts shall administer the referendum election process as provided under ORS chapter 255. [Amended by 1965 c.155 §1; 1981 c.92 §21; 2005 c.281 §1; 2009 c.220 §16]