Irrigation district plans to sell 600-acre property - The Monitor: News

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Irrigation district plans to sell 600-acre property

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 5:05 am

RAYMONDVILLE — Delta Lake Irrigation District may sell a 600-acre property near La Sal Vieja, the salt lakes about 6 miles northwest of Raymondville.

The low-lying rural property borders the Corbett Ranch and part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Refuge. Hikers on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trails occasionally spot ocelots, bobcats and javelinas around the salt lakes, which also support what the agency considers among the largest populations of gull-billed terns in the United States. It’s located east of Sal Del Rey, another well-known salt lake.

Offers on the 600-acre property — asking price $2.5 million — will be accepted until 5 p.m. July 16. Proceeds from the sale will help the irrigation district repair infrastructure and replace open-air canals with underground pipes, said General Manager Troy Allen.

Until the 1970s, floodwater from the Rio Grande Valley would be diverted into irrigation district canals, which emptied into La Sal Vieja and the adjacent 600-acre property. Today, the Valley’s drainage system funnels floodwater into the Laguna Madre instead.

“The last time anyone’s aware of water getting in there was during Beulah,” Allen said, and irrigation district officials recently decided to sell the property.

In May 1938, rancher C.M. Corbett sold the property to the irrigation district, according to property records. For tax purposes, Willacy County Appraisal District estimates the property’s market value at $531,000.

Officials based the $2.5 million asking price on a recent appraisal of the Corbett Ranch, Allen said.

The irrigation district pumps water from the Rio Grande to farmers in northeast Hidalgo County and southwest Willacy County.

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