November 1, 2002


 These wonderful autumn days that we (I, at least) wish could last forever are ending nevertheless.


              And with them ends the fiscal year of your Association. November 30 was decreed in the olden days to be the last day of business for the year. We don’t ask why. We just do it. This means that the next two newsletters will be hectoring you on two main subjects: (1) get your water bill caught up, and (2) come to the annual meeting.

            Item (1) is aimed at those few of you who have been less than meticulous in clearing your account each month. The business arrangement between the Association and its members is fundamentally simple: the Association supplies its members with water; the members in turn reimburse the Association for the cost of doing so. Those who choose not to honor this arrangement simply place the burden on the backs of those who do. It is only rarely, and with extreme reluctance, that the Association elects to discontinue its contribution (the water). These occasions are fraught with bitterness and inconvenience, but always result in the bill getting paid. Please take heed.

            Item (2), the Annual Stockholders Meeting, is the place where you learn about and control the destiny of your Association. You will learn where your money was spent this year, and where it is proposed to be spent next year. You will meet the Board of Directors, and vote to retain or replace them in office. You will participate in all discussions and cast your vote on issues of vital importance. And, you will be served coffee and cookies as a reward for your efforts.

            This year, an issue will be presented that is probably the most important in the Association’s history. Since the formation of USCDWUA, we have been in various contractual agreements with the Town of Cedaredge. In 2000, these were consolidated into one document which defined our joint ownership, operational responsibilities, cost sharing, and other aspects of our relationship. It was hoped that this new agreement would improve relations between the two entities, and give USCDWUA a stronger voice in planning and operating our joint facilities.

            Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Over the past year, there has been a growing realization that the needs and goals of the two entities are fundamentally different. We have been in disagreement on a number of issues, with no resolution in sight.

            In view of this, the staff and Board have taken steps to enable the Association to operate independently. A parcel of land has been purchased for a treatment plant site. An engineering study has confirmed the feasibility of the site. Plans are proceeding to build a USCDWUA water treatment plant, connect it into our system, and withdraw from the arrangement with Cedaredge.

            This concept has drawbacks and advantages. There have been many lengthy discussions at Board meetings, attempting to identify just what they are. There are many questions that you are sure to have, and they need to be satisfactorily answered.

            Now you see why you should attend this annual meeting. It will be held on December 10, 2002 at the Cedaredge Community Center, at 7:30 p.m. A formal notification with a proxy form will be mailed to you in November. If you cannot attend, please return the proxy, naming your representative at the meeting.

            We hope to see you there. This one will be interesting.