Bureau Of Reclamation Distributes $2.6 Million In O&M Fees To Klamath Project Irrigation Districts

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: March 10, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation announces that Klamath Basin irrigators will receive final reimbursements for operations and maintenance (O&M) fund costs for water for 2001, when irrigation water was not delivered.

"The O&M reimbursements were deposited to accounts of the irrigation districts this week and should be distributed to individual irrigators almost immediately," according to Dave Sabo, manager of the Klamath Reclamation Project.

"Additional funds intended to compensate the districts for their administrative costs in dispensing the funds to individual irrigators are now being calculated," Sabo noted. The administrative burden that the districts would assume was not anticipated when the Federal monies were approved. The expected costs for the districts range from approximately $10 to $8,500.

"We are grateful to Congressman Walden for his efforts in securing these funds for the farmers and ranchers of the basin," Sabo said. Walden, representing Oregon's Second District, was instrumental in the passage of Public Law 107-349, authorizing refunds of monies collected by Reclamation in 2001.

For additional information, contact Rae Olsen, Public Affairs Officer, Klamath Basin Area Office, at 541-880-2543, TDD 541-883-6935, or Reclamation’s Public Affairs Office in Sacramento, California, at 916-978-5100, TDD 916-978-5608.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.