UP THE CREEK
January 1, 2007
**** HAPPY NEW YEAR ****
We decided to start the new year off right (or wrong) with a FAQ - a list of frequently asked questions received over the past year. Some of the answers may prove to be helpful and accurate. If so, we will be as surprised as you are.
Q: Why must I pay a monthly bill when water is not being used? My meter is not even connected yet, for Pete’s sake.
A: The cost of operating and maintaining the system is the same whether or not you use water. If you are given a pass, the rest of the members will have to bear your share of the cost.
Q: Why don’t you take credit cards?
A: Credit card transactions (and electronic payment, direct deposit, etc.) are not free. If all our members used these services, the cost could be fairly passed on to everybody. If only a few use them, then the rest will have to help bear the cost.
Q: Why don’t you have a drop box in Cedaredge to save us postage?
A: Drop boxes are not free. And many of our members live closer to Hotchkiss or Eckert than Cedaredge. They might want drop boxes at those locations too. Then there is the very good chance of finding payments to DMEA, TDS Telecom, or Surface Creek Ditch and Reservoir Company in our drop boxes. Sorting out such mistakes is - you guessed it - not free.
Q: Is there a hidden theme in the previous FAQ’s?
A: Well, if it’s hidden, then we are being too subtle. The theme is that people naturally want to decrease their personal cost and inconvenience by shifting it to “the company.” When “the company” finds its costs increased because it provides extra services, it must go to the only money source available - our members. Those members who have no use for the services are ill disposed toward paying for them.
Q: What’s all this about Leon Lake?
A: Leon Lake is a Grand Mesa reservoir situated in Mesa County, on the north side. But its water is brought, via the Leon Tunnel, to Delta County, on our side. Until now, the legally allowable use of Leon water was for irrigation. In November, a decree was obtained allowing 2/3 of the reservoir to be used for domestic as well as irrigation.
Q: What does that mean to USCDWUA?
A: USCDWUA owns quite a bit of irrigation water, some in Leon, and some in other companies. Our Leon water is now available for domestic use; our non-Leon water can now be exchanged for Leon water, and thereby made legally available for domestic use.
Q: What, you mean we were never “legally” able to use it before?
A: We used it only at the discretion of the State Engineer and local water commissioner. We have been limited to about 30% - 50% of our irrigation water being usable for domestic. We can now use 100% of it.
Q: I heard the new decree was expensive and hard to obtain. Why?
A: The application in Water Court was contested by Ute Water Conservancy District. A settlement was reached before the case went to trial, but it was still very expensive. USCDWUA contributed $10,000 toward the legal expenses.
Q: What happened at the Annual Stockholders meeting?
A: What didn’t happen is that water rates were not increased, the price of a tap was not increased, and the Board of Directors was not changed.
Q: Boring. Why even have a meeting?
A: To enjoy Bonnie Kline’s wonderful home baked cookies, why else? Thanks, Bonnie.