December 1, 2003

             By now, you should have received your letter of invitation to the Association’s annual meeting December 9. Included in the envelope was a proxy card. If you did not receive these, please let us know at 856-7199.

             If you do not plan to attend the meeting, please fill in the proxy card with the name of the member you wish to represent you, and sign the card. You may then mail it in, or give it to that person to bring to the meeting. Either way, it is important that you be represented, in order that we have a quorum for the meeting, and so your vote can count. Be sure the person you designate as your proxy will attend the meeting.

             At last year’s meeting, a motion was passed authorizing the Board and Management to proceed with plans to construct a water treatment plant. That process has been the main effort of 2003. It was discovered early that many agencies would be involved in permitting, reviewing, and influencing our plans. The major players have been:


1.    Colorado Water Judge - approve an alternate point of diversion from Surface Creek.

2.    Delta County Planning Department - issue a Specific Development permit, and boundary adjustment approval.

3.    State Forester - wildfire mitigation plan.

4.    Local fire department - fire mitigation and chemical spill mitigation plans.

5.    Delta County Office of Emergency Preparedness - fire and chemical spill mitigation plans.

6.    Bureau of Land Management - right of way to cross public land with the raw water line. This also required an environmental assessment.

7.    U.S. Fish and Wildlife - water depletion analysis to assess impact on Colorado River endangered fish.

8.    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - permit to dig in Surface Creek.

9.    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - review of the Association’s technical, managerial, and financial fitness to become an independent water company.

10.  Private land owners who provided easements and beneficial property trades.

              While none of the above presented any hard obstacle or objection to our plan, the wheels often seemed to grind exceedingly slowly, and invariably required another application, and another ream of documentation, each slightly different from the one before.

              But, at last, that phase is complete, and we have proceeded. The creek intake is finished. The raw water line route is ready to install pipe. The plant site is cleared, surveyed, and staked. The treatment plant design is nearing its final form. Power and telephone lines are installed. Unfortunately, the blessed moisture we have received lately has probably put a stop to further construction until spring.

              The challenge now is to figure out how to pay for it. That topic is expected to be a major part of this year’s annual meeting. So far, our investigation into grants has been discouraging. Most grants intended for water projects are reserved for municipalities or other taxing entities, such as special districts. We, on the other hand, are viewed as a private entity. At this point, it appears that a loan will be necessary, and that we the members will be paying it off.

              To get more information, and to voice your opinions, plan to be there December 9, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center in Cedaredge. Come early to check in. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00, with cookies and coffee afterwards.