2015 ORS § 568.481¹
Methods for initiating dissolution of district
- • notice of process initiation
- • plan of dissolution and liquidation
- • public hearings
- • dissolution order
- • referendum
(1) The dissolution of a soil and water conservation district may be initiated by any of the following methods:
(a) A petition by 500 electors or 10 percent of the electors within the district, whichever is less, filed with the State Department of Agriculture.
(b) A resolution of the district board of directors filed with the department. The district board may adopt a resolution described in this paragraph only if the board finds that dissolution and liquidation of the district is in the public interest.
(c) District board notification to the department that the board is unable to maintain a quorum of directors or that the district is unable to satisfy the legal obligations and liabilities of the district.
(d) An order of the department, if the department determines that the district is inactive, that the district board is unable to maintain a quorum of directors or that the district is unable to satisfy the legal obligations and liabilities of the district.
(2) The department shall prescribe the form for a petition for dissolution. The petition must include, but need not be limited to, a legal description of the district, name and contact information for the chief petitioner and the reasons for the proposed dissolution. No later than 60 days after receiving the petition, the department shall verify the petition signatures.
(3) Upon the initiation of a dissolution by any method, the department shall provide the district with written notice that the dissolution process has been initiated and shall request information from the district board for use in public meetings and public hearings.
(4) No later than 60 days after receiving a written request for information from the department, the district board shall provide the department with the requested information and a plan of dissolution and liquidation for the district. The information and plan shall include, at a minimum:
(a) The amount of district debt, a general description of the indebtedness and the names and contact information for persons owed, including but not limited to, payroll and other accrued liabilities;
(b) A brief description of the districts real property and interests in real property;
(c) A description of conservation easements held by the district;
(d) A description of the uncollected taxes, assessments and charges levied by the district;
(e) A description of personal property and other assets of the district;
(f) The estimated cost of dissolution; and
(g) A general description of all district contracts, grants and agreements, a description of receivables and payables for each contract, grant and agreement and a description of the work or other obligations remaining on each contract, grant or agreement.
(5) If the district is within the jurisdiction of a local government boundary commission, no later than 10 days after the district board provides the plan of dissolution and liquidation to the department, the district board shall provide a copy of the plan to the boundary commission.
(6) The department shall have full access to district records. If the district is unable to prepare a plan of dissolution and liquidation, the department shall review the district records and prepare the plan.
(7) The department shall conduct public meetings and public hearings as necessary to present the plan of dissolution and liquidation and to aid in the consideration of dissolution.
(8) If the dissolution is initiated by petition, the department may order the district dissolved without a referendum election if:
(a) No later than 60 days after the department receives the petition, the district board adopts a resolution to dissolve the district and the department determines that dissolution of the district is in the public interest; or
(b) No later than 60 days after holding a public hearing regarding dissolution of the district, the department finds that the district board is unable to maintain a quorum of directors or that the district is unable to satisfy the legal obligations and liabilities of the district.
(9) Except as provided in subsection (8) of this section, if the dissolution is initiated by petition, after holding a public hearing and giving notice of a referendum election, the department shall hold an election. The election shall be for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the district the question of whether the district should be dissolved, the indebtedness of the district liquidated and district assets disposed of, as provided under the plan for dissolution and liquidation. The election shall be held on the next special election date described in ORS 255.345 (Special election dates) for which the filing deadline can be met. However, an election may not be held unless the department has:
(a) Made provision for the district to pay to the department, to the extent practicable, the cost of the referendum; and
(b)(A) Obtained assent to the dissolution and liquidation from all known holders of a valid indebtedness against the district; or
(B) Made provision in the plan of dissolution and liquidation for the payment of nonassenting holders.
(10) The notice of election must contain a brief summary of the plan of dissolution and liquidation and state that the plan is available for examination at the office of the county clerk. Only electors residing in the district are eligible to cast ballots in the referendum election. An informality in the conducting of the referendum election, or in matters regarding the election, does not invalidate the election or results if notice of the election was given in substantial compliance with this section and the election was fairly conducted.
(11) If a majority of the ballots cast at the referendum election are in favor of dissolution, the department shall approve the petition and order dissolution of the district. If a majority of the ballots cast disapprove the proposed dissolution, the department may not order dissolution of the district.
(12) If a referendum does not approve a proposal to dissolve a district, the department may not accept the filing of a new petition for dissolution of the district until one year after the referendum election date. Upon the filing of a new petition for dissolution of the district, the department shall make new requests for information from the district board and hold new public meetings and public hearings as provided under this section. [2009 c.220 §18]