Water is one of those things we tend to take for granted, until some low-grade stuff puts our triple venti soy no-foam Latte a little ... off. In a blessed community like ours, it’s easy to forget the value of what comes for “free” from the tap.
In this nation of superior water service, we are fortunate that our own Eagle River Water and Sanitation District is remarkable even among its peers. The ERWSD system is, in many ways, more complex than Denver Water’s, but still maintains exceptional water and wastewater standards at competitive rates.
But new water quality regulations are coming down the creek. These new regulations require expensive upgrades to ERWSD facilities. As these upgrades are required, there is no discussion about whether to pay for them, or even who pays (we users, of course). The only question is how and how much.
You’ll have received a mail-in ballot from ERWSD with two questions (Issues A and B) related to paying for these improvements. You’ve seen other letters and opinions encouraging you to pass both of these measures, and this letter is no different.
Many of us are repeating this message because the ballot measures are (necessarily) written in arcane legalese. See, the ballot language seems to read like this: “Should the water district go into debt and charge you a tax to pay off the debt?” Without better information who wouldn’t think, “Gee, do I want my government going into debt that I get to pay for? Let me think about that before I laugh myself into the poor house.”
But the water district has actually chosen the least expensive of two options to pay for these required updates. One way or another, you and I will pay for them — this is just the least expensive way to do it. Both of these measures must pass for the district to operate in the most economical way possible in this situation, and neither measure allows the district to levy any new tax without a vote in the future.
I urge you to vote yes on ballot measures A and B, and remember to mail in your ballot (with postage) to ensure the lowest cost solution for the district and its customers.
And while you are marking that ballot, I hope you will take the time to consider each of the candidates hoping to serve their community by managing the most valuable resource we have. I live in Minturn and sit on the Town Council there, and I hope you’ll vote for me to represent our entire valley community.
In the near future Minturn will re-create the historic Bolts Lake (just past Maloit Park) as part of the Battle Mountain Development. Along with existing Eagle River and Cross Creek flows through Minturn, this water storage will have tremendous impact upon our entire community’s water future. I ask for your vote so I can continue the work of the district board and staff in creating that future.