Minturnites better have water meters
As many as 175 Minturn property owners may face a $400 final water bill for the month of June<and a complete shut-off from water services by July 1<if they continue to procrastinate in the face of an impending switch to metered water service.3It1s important for people to understand that very, very little time is left to avoid a huge expense and inconvenience, says Minturn Town Manager Alan Lanning of the town1s July 1 water-meter installation deadline.3Rubber is starting to hit the road and we need to have people respond, he says.Minturn1s 450 water tap users were first notified in late 1995 of the possibility that the town may switch to a metered water billing system for the town1s independent water delivery service. The Minturn Town Council adopted metered water billing in 1998 pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statute Water Meter Act of 1997, which requires towns with more than 600 water taps to meter water flow for billing purposes.While Minturn1s tap numbers fall below the state requirement, a 1998 settlement between the town of Minturn and a consortium of Eagle River water users made metered water billing a requirement to be fulfilled by the town.By Dec. 31 of this year, all Minturn water users will have to have a meter in place. If not? Their faucets will run dry.Lanning says the town government has been trying to inform residents about the impending switch and serious consequences if the deadline is missed, through a variety of ways. Notes attached to water bills, notices posted at the town center, stories and advertisement in the local papers 3have gotten us some responses but not enough to give us peace of mind, he says.In all, about 275 water users have gone through the process and installed water meters since 1998<leaving as many as 175 in a predicament that will get costly and inconvenient after June 1.In the process of complying with the 1998 settlement requirement to have the entire town on water meters by Dec. 31 of 2002, the town is prepared to saddle unmetered water usage with a hefty final bill of $400<$344 more than the usual $56 monthly water bill<for the month of June.Those without water meters will then face a complete shut-off from water services by July 1.Left high and dry, the unlucky procrastinators face an additional $300 to reconnect their water service<on top of having to pay $322.31 for a water meter to be back online for water.In short, waiting any longer won1t pay, Lanning says. Those without water meters by June will be punished with an additional $588, compared to those that get going and have a water meter installed before the summer deadline.In order to avoid a shut-off and expensive bills, water users are asked to do the following before June 1:? Tenants need to notify out-of-town property owners as soon as possible.? Property owners of homes or commercial buildings without water meters need to contact a plumber. The town has been working with Jerry Sibley Plumbing Company (827-5736) and Lionshead Plumbing & Heating (827-5511). Property owners are free to contact a plumber of their choice or undertake the installation themselves. Depending on the location of the water tap, a meter and installation will cost approximately $400.? Once a water meter has been installed, property owners need to provide the town with proof that a meter has been installed. Water meters not installed by a plumber are subject to town inspection. Call the Town of Minturn at 827-5645 for certification of water meters.? Property owners who cannot afford the $400 for a water meter are asked to call the town immediately.3We1ll set up a payment plan to assist anyone with this effort, Lanning says.For more information, call the town of Minturn at 827-5645.Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 602 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.