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If you are a landowner within the Three Mile Irrigation gravity fed system, then you may have noticed that you have new charges from the Bitterroot Irrigation District (BRID) on your property tax statement.

This may be a little bit confusing since BRID has not communicated to you directly about what these charges are for or what you can expect to get for those tax dollars.

In a District Court order filed June 21, 2018, you and over 400 other landowners became owners of this irrigation system. We were also designated as a sub-district of BRID, which allows BRID to charge us differently from other irrigators served by BRID.

In that court order, the “landowners shall form an organization capable of entering into operational agreements with BRID on behalf of the sub-district.” Since early 2018, a small group of Three Mile Irrigation System owners have been meeting to make sense of our new status, and make decisions as good stewards of this remarkable asset.

We are the first irrigation sub-district in Montana so this is uncharted territory for both BRID and the Three Mile Irrigation System owners. We are considering what kind of organization we want to become, what rules and standards we want to govern ourselves with, and how to negotiate a productive and transparent business relationship with BRID.

To learn more and become involved in this dynamic process, please check us out on Facebook for monthly meeting notices and updates: https://www.facebook.com/Three-Mile-Irrigation-Subdistrict-361134197629531/

— Trish Foster, Stevensville

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