October 1, 2003

            Thank you to all who have been correcting your addresses for us. Please remember to do so for your physical meter address, even if your mailing address is a P.O. box. Also, be aware that some of the road names may not be settled yet. We recently heard that Nat Hart Road on Redlands Mesa is being changed to North Road. That is because it is the southerly route across Redlands.

            The Association is beginning to wrap up its fiscal year, which ends November 30. This focuses our attention on a couple of things. One is the “past due” list. We try to avoid referring to these as “delinquent” accounts, because none of our cherished members are delinquents, but some do suffer from a wee lapse of memory from time to time. Those cases will be receiving increasingly strident letters demanding payment, as we work to clean up the books a little before the end of the year.

            Perhaps a little perspective would help folks who are having trouble deciding whether the water bill should be paid. Consider that your average annual layout for drinking water is $312. That represents less than one percent of the median household income in Delta County. It is less than most of the following: satellite TV, extra telephone line for fax, modem, or kids, (single telephone line, for that matter), cell phone, electricity, loan payment for new ATV, new motorized snow sled, or new Dodge Ram with 24 valve Cummins turbo diesel. It’s not that we have anything against any of these lifestyle perquisites. But if you are going to beg for leniency on a past due water bill, and you do it from a paid-up telephone, or ride to our office on a new Harley, our sympathy might not meet your expectations.  

            Another thing looming large this time of year is the Annual Membership Meeting. That will be Tuesday, December 9. There will be plenty of discussion of the progress on the new water treatment plant, and a corresponding discussion of the water rates necessary to pay for it. Over the next couple months, you will receive more reminders of this event.

            Chilly weather is not too far off. If you are planning to live a few months away from your Colorado home, take the precaution of winterizing the house. That means more than just turning the water off. Water must be drained from all your plumbing, perhaps forced by air pressure. Traps and toilet bowls must be protected with anti-freeze. And the water meter itself should be taken loose and drained. Then we all can be joyful when you return.

            But the thing about this season, far surpassing the insignificant points of human commerce mentioned above, is the pure splendor of October. It is the month of deepest blue skies, of pure, still air, and perfect temperature. When the Oak and Aspen have done their best, then it is time for downstream trees like the Cottonwoods. The black branches of a Cottonwood against blazing yellow is the essence of autumn. And they last forever. Almost. Eventually, of course, winter gets here, and that’s another kind of beauty, perhaps not so universally appreciated.