by Al Maxwell, chair
A long term plan is nothing more than a roadmap, or a guide. As new information or circumstances change, the monthly meetings of the board provide the essential guidance as we seek to do the what’s best for the district under our watch. As volunteers we’ve had to prioritize, according to our individual strengths and available time.
April 2017 to April 2018, Year 1
We have settled on four goals for our first year; stabilization, communication, voting, and education.
This year, we got into a tough spot early in the season with leaks on private property combined with a dramatically reduced pumping capacity. We could have avoided trucking water if we hadn’t had to deal with these. Our action will be to add another well to our input, and to add another tank for storage. We will be prepared.
Achieving the goal of a written code for finding leaks, combined with having zone meter stations, now allows us control over system leaks. We are now leak-free—we observe virtually zero water flow at hours where consumption is zero, like late at night. Leaks on private property, for which homeowners are responsible, will be easier to track with refurbished curb stops (the shutoff valves at the edge of homeowners’ properties.) We’ve made considerable progress in the last three months to that end.
We will take on the reuse and retesting of 5 wells this fall, when plentiful water returns. We have learned that we may use wells, even if they are currently low water producers; this information will contribute to establishing our database for well levels, and help us plan for increased future use of our aquifers.
We’ve also addressed the location and tagging of curb stops in these past 3 months. While we are not complete in this mission, we are sure that our efforts will provide security for future boards coping with the same problems we have experienced.
The historic use of the system has never been documented as thoroughly as it has been since January this year. We will be able to predict with reasonable accuracy the system’s needs and prepare for them well in advance of peak periods.
We have adopted policy guidelines regarding the synergistic use of emails and the webpage to provide more timely and complete information concerning system actions and reactions as the year progresses.
While the idea of the proxy vote seems to be a winner, we will work to make it more rigorous under the our Letters Patent and the Improvement District guidelines. Look for required steps in future articles.
Amended, November 2017: After further research into our Letters Patent and the Local Government Act, we will not be allowing proxy voting at future Annual General Meetings.
There is a wealth of generally unsorted historical documents concerning the VPID development, many of which are obsolete, superseded by later legislation or bylaws, or otherwise irrelevant. This winter, a committee of trustees will separate the wheat from the chaff, and post the most relevant diagrams, bylaws, and articles to enable owners to make reasoned decisions regarding their water and if applicable, their sewer use.
April 2018 to April 2020, Years 2 and 3
With the advent of new government, there may be an opportunity for improvement districts be eligible for improvement grants such as installation of water meters. We vow advocacy for this district and others in managing the water resources in a fiscally prudent manner by engaging senior governments in our work.
Change, to be effective, needs a feedback loop. To that end, once we have firmly established what is our program, we will invite owners to participate in a survey in September, 2018. A followup survey in September 2019 will provide benchmarks for our continued efforts. Of course, immediate feedback is always available by phone, email, remarks on the webpage, or by word of mouth in the neighborhood.
April 2020 to April 2021, Year 4
The work of the new metering committee has this timeline to report back. Prior to this, the findings of the committee will be made available on the webpage as they seek answers, pro and con, for the question which the water and sewer district defeated this year.