The Kennewick Irrigation District adopted 2010 assessments Tuesday, the final step before issuing water bills this spring, after just one person -- a former board member -- balked.
Dale Walter challenged the proposed assessments because he believes they're excessive.
"KID is now assessing, from 2009 and forward, $1,690,635 for the pressurized systems when it had not incurred more than $952,000 in costs as provided by the KID accounting in the last three years," Walter said in a letter provided to the board Tuesday.
Walter said his annual assessments from 2005-08 rose from about $80 to nearly $109 an acre, but last year and this year they will be $170.
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"I believe these rates are well over a reasonable and equitable amount being passed on to the KID customers," Walter said.
The KID has about 21,000 customers in its 55,000-acre district.
Walter said KID's tiered rate structure that began last year fails to comply with a standard defined by a state attorney general's opinion.
"(The requirements are) that the assessments must be in proportion to the benefits accruing to the land assessed," Walter quoted from an attorney general's opinion.
KID's district treasurer Clark Haueter argued that having irrigation water makes properties in the district more valuable than those that do not have it.
Walter asked about a right to appeal the assessments.
Brian Iller, the agency's attorney, said taking the issue to Benton County Superior Court is the only choice left for Walter.
In other action Tuesday, the KID board picked officers for the year.
KID will keep John Jaksch as board president, and chose Gene Huffman, who recently completed his first year on the board, as vice president. He replaces John Pringle.
Pringle does not plan to run for re-election this year, Jaksch told the board.
Jaksch appointed David McKenzie chairman of the operations and engineering committee, Huffman chairman of the realty committee and Director Patrick McGuire chairman of the finance committee.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org