Barlow Water
Improvement District
Pine Hollow Oregon

 

Notable News for BWID Customers

Notice of upcoming rate increases effective July 1, 2017 as follows:

Residential from $53.50 to $55.00
Capital from $36.00 to $37.00
Commercial from $60.00 to $61.50


New to the BWID web site! You can now set up an account to make on line payments! Click on the "Make A Payment" Tab to do this!

 


 

News Barlow Water Improvement
District Newsletter

Spring 2017

Here we are in 2017 and it’s almost May 1st., how the time flies! So glad to see the snow and ice a thing of the past, to me it seems like this winter has been longer and more challenging than past years. I appreciate the snow for the insulation factor it provides for our system, the water that comes with it, and its beauty, but I’m ready for summer!

We thought it would be interesting to recap the District’s activities and share several issues that are in the crosshairs for the future. This past year has been a very productive season and we continue to explore and implement various procedures, equipment, and future technology to ensure the District is providing the most efficient and cost effective service for our customers.
 

One great accomplishment we were able to get closure on was the recording of the District’s physical boundary through a correction to the District’s Articles of Incorporation. During the past year, we were discussing several of the Oregon Revised Statutes that address the governance of BWID. ORS Chapter 554, addresses the formation of corporations among other things, water supply districts. One of the provisions in this statute addresses the District’s authority to assess or charge members within the District’s boundary if they receive a defined mutual benefit, one being fire protection. Our Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws states everyone, within the District’s boundaries, are members, even those not receiving their potable water from BWID. These landowners are subject to a capital recovery charge for that “Mutual Benefit” based on the statutes. In light of this interpretation and after some research, it was discovered that our physical boundary was never recorded. In 2002, there was a revision filed to our Articles of Incorporation, which included several exhibits, one being a map of the District’s boundary. When the recorded articles and exhibits were recently examined at the County Clerk’s office, we realized the map was not recorded and that our boundary did not officially exist. With that unresolved, we took the necessary steps to file a “Correction to our Articles of Incorporation” and included the physical boundary and map of the BWID. Now that our boundary is of record, we will be addressing other issues such as assessing members within the boundaries that are not water customers, powers of the elected Board, and how membership voting comes into play when changes are necessary. We will keep you posted.

In regards to projects and operational needs, we were very progressive and able to meet the demands of the District using operating capital to stay on top of several fairly large capital expenditures. In June, we replaced the pump, motor, several lengths of pipe, installed an air line for static water level, and built a new pumphouse at Well #6. Over the past year, we have installed softstarts on Wells 4,6, and 7, that control the start up and shut down of the pumps and motors. This will not only give the District more service years from our equipment but will contribute to a minor savings on our electric bill. I am wrapping up the addition to the well house at Well #4 to relocate our chlorination equipment away from the electronics and control panels. The off-gassing of our disinfectant, Sodium Hypochlorite is extremely corrosive and can easily damage sensitive electronics.
We have employed the services of Tenneson Engineering to assist the District in updating and implementing the District’s Master Plan. This will include an updated map and a hydraulic model as we look at future replacement and repair, preparation of construction standards, assistance with shoring up the District’s water rights, and assistance seeking funding and outside sources of revenue to help offset the cost of future projects.
 

We now routinely monitor static water levels in three of our four wells, 4,6,and 7 and this year will most likely have the capability in Well #2. We have discovered several problems with this well and will be pulling the pump and motor to examine both and make whatever changes are necessary to have this well in top shape. We have also implemented a program to pull the flow meters at each well and send them in to have them checked for accuracy and if any repairs are needed. This will be done at seven-year intervals to ensure accurate water use reporting.
 

We continue to explore more reliable and consistent automation programs that monitor and control the water system. We are preparing to perform a radio signal survey to determine what conditions do or may interfere with radio transmissions. Over the last year and a half, we have been experiencing loss of communication and transmission between the sites and when this happens, the sites switch back to manual operation and are unresponsive to level control or any other command. It may that we need to convert over to different radios but we’ll keep you posted.

We completed a bulk water-filling site on Davis Rd this fall that will record and log all water use – it could be for construction, dust abatement, or for well drilling rigs – another form of revenue to BWID. We are also partnering with the fire department to design and construct an overhead water filling station at the fire hall where their equipment can drive under, fill, and respond to whatever activity requires the water.

One last point that seems to raise many questions is “Are you going to raise the rates this year”? There are many factors that influence our rates – power, testing, labor, repairs, and more, and the cost of operating the District has not decreased since I’ve been around. We have not increased our rates for the last two years, we felt that given several forecasts and keeping costs as streamlined as possible, we could absorb any increases with the current rate. We are also identifying system replacement / repair projects that will need to be funded either with existing funds or loans. If we use existing funds, do we implement a rate increase and bank the money until we have the funds to do specific projects? Or, do we pursue a loan and lump several projects together and then increase the rates to cover the payments? These are the unknowns we are faced with, but we want our patrons to know up front what is on the horizon and what would be driving rate increases if the Board chooses to do so.

Soon, you will notice our new signs that will be installed at the District lots around the lake advising the public that no vehicles are allowed and the District and personnel will be held harmless from any claims or activities resulting from their activities on the lots. Our only intent was to make the public aware that entry is at their own risk and not to limit access. Please enjoy the use of the lots and help us keep them clean.
 

We will also be holding our annual meeting on June 10th, beginning at 9:00 am. This meeting will include the canvassing of votes for vacant Board positions as well as the adoption of the 2017 / 2018 District Budget and any rate increases if proposed. If you would like to run for a Board position, please contact the office no later than May 8, 2017 so ballots can be prepared and mailed on May 10th. Currently, there are three board seats up for elections and if you are interested in playing a role in the future of Barlow Water Improvement District, please step forward and join the remaining board for what looks to be a very interesting future.
 

Check our website – www.barlowwater.net if you want to make a credit card payment – follow the “Pay Bill” link and set your own account up – there is a small fee for this transaction paid to a third party.

In closing, if you have been away from your residence here in Pine Hollow, please check for broken water lines, and if you need your service turned on, please call the office to make arrangements to do so. This winter has been tough on water lines and to check for leaks, make sure everything is off – inside and out, and watch your meter to make sure the dial is not turning. If it is, let us know and we’ll do our best to help out.