June 2007

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June 1, 2007

IFAQS - Infrequently Asked Questions (which maybe should be asked more frequently)

Q:  How many dwellings may I connect to a USCDWUA water tap?

A:  One, eins, uno, éna, eden, erti, mid-ki, yksi, jeden, and.

Q:  And what?

A:  English, German, Spanish, Greek, Macedonian, Georgian, Somali, Finnish, Polish, Amharic for (1).

Q:  So what constitutes a dwelling?

A:  It means suitable for human habitation, with a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area.

Q:  But what if it’s a guest house that’s hardly ever used?

A:  The problem is, we don’t know whether it’s vacant or lived in, and really don’t want to come snooping around to find out. Our policy states that if it’s connected to USCDWUA, it needs a separate tap.

Q:  What is the rationale for this policy?

A:  To illustrate, suppose that we sell a tap to Smith for $10,000. The next applicant, Jones, gets one free. That practice would obviously be unfair, but it’s essentially the same as allowing an extra house on every tap.

Q:  Are we under watering restrictions?

A:  No special restrictions. Please observe your watering days on the calender printed on the back of this sheet. Also, do some math to predict what your water bill could be if you don’t exercise caution.

Q:  Are USCDWUA water rates regulated by PUC or other agency?

A:  No. Water rates are set by the Board of Directors, as provided in the bylaws. Proposed rates are included in the budget presentation at each annual meeting. At that same meeting, Board members are elected. So, your water rates are governed by a much more effective regulatory body than the PUC - you!

Q:  Who sets the membership fee, which is now at $10,000?

A:  The membership fee is proposed by the Board of Directors, and ratified by a vote of the general membership, either at the annual stockholders meeting or a special stockholders meeting.

Q:  I’ve got enough neighbors. Why not make the membership fee $50,000?

A:  Perhaps we all have a little of that sentiment. However, the Association is not chartered as a growth control agency, but as a water provider. While $50,000 might seem like a fair and just charge to slap on a newcomer, remember that your son or daughter may wish to build a home here too.

Q:  Why not increase the tap fee enough to cover the purchase of water, instead of your new policy of making the tap applicant chase down water to give you?

A:  In that case, the $50,000 suggestion might not be farfetched. It is not possible nowadays to predict the price or availability of water. To be safe, the tap fee would need to cover the highest known asking price for water, plus the expected need for capacity improvements to meet increasing demand. Some water is now on the market for $10,000 per acre-foot. What will it be next year?

Q:  Is this newsletter done?

A:  Rough on the outside, tender on the inside...guess so.


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