Happy New Year from the Board of Directors and employees of Rickreall Community Water Association.
This year, we have been busy as usual making sure you have good clean water to drink and that it is delivered to you at the best possible price.
Extension of the mainline on Greenwood Rd. S. is making progress. It now extends to Clow Corner Road which allowed 6 homes to connect to the water system. Work will resume this spring/summer as the weather permits and we will continue to work towards looping the line on Highway 51.
The Highway Well property was fenced this past summer and provides added security to the location. Keeping our water supplies safe and secure for the membership is one of our main priorities.
The Rankin Well was refurbished this past summer and put back on line. Because of ongoing problems in the past it had not been used for several years. We are happy to say that it now provides us with an additional water source which allows the other wells to not be pumped as hard during the summer months.
As many of you know, several surrounding cities had to deal with water problems this past summer because of algae blooms in their water source. We know this caused concern for many of our members. Algae blooms take place in systems that are served by surface water. Since our water comes from underground wells, we do not have this problem. Please know that in the event of a major problem we would make every effort to contact our members in a timely manner.
The gravel pit fight came back into sight during the month of December. A public hearing was held on December 4th with Polk County in front of the Polk County Hearings Officer. Several of you attended the hearing and provided additional testimony as well as letters and emails to the commissioners on behalf of the Water Association. The hearings officer should be making a final decision at any time. We will try to keep you posted of any new developments. Thank you to all the members who have taken time to join in this fight.
Please know it is our goal to keep your best interest in mind at all times. Our policy is to pay for improvements as they are done. We are not interested in creating long term debt. Despite all the work we have done this past year, we have been able to adhere to this policy.
During 2018 Rickreall Water welcomed twelve new members with domestic hook-ups. We now have over 500 active members which includes 1 schools and 62 businesses. The total number of gallons sold during the past year was 99,837,330 gallons and it generated $381,524.53 in sales. There were no mandatory cutbacks during the summer months and we were able to keep up with demand.
While reading meters each month, we make every attempt to be on the look-out for any possible leak you may have. We do this by comparing water usage from month to month. When a problem is suspected, we do everything possible to notify you in a timely manner so it can be taken care of. Despite our best efforts some leaks get by us, and it is not until you call that we realize there is a problem. Please note that we do not know where the leak is, nor do we know where your private water lines run. As a courteousy to you, we are simply alerting you to a potential problem. You should also remember that all leaks on the customer’s side of the meter are the customer’s responsibility. If you need help shutting your water off, we will be happy to come shut it off at the meter for you. If you do not already have one, you may consider having a shut-off valve installed on your side of the meter. By doing this you have the ability to turn the water on and off as necessary without assistance. Should you decide this is something you are interested in, please give our office a call and we will be glad to quote you a price.
You should be aware that despite our best efforts, meter readings are very seldom done on the same day of each month. Although we try to keep it consistent, bad weather, weekends, holidays and emergencies can make reading either a few days early or a few days late. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and ask for your understanding regarding this matter.
Sometimes rather than actually reading your water meter, your usage may be estimated for the month. This is done when excess groundwater has caused your meter box to flood and we are unable to see the meter. Estimations may also be done during freezing weather when meter boxes are frozen shut. If your bill has been estimated and you feel it is too high, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss it with you. If possible, we will make another effort to get an actual reading.
Every once in a while problems arise within the system that causes water outages. Please know that when this happens we do everything in our power to solve the problem and restore your service as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this sometimes takes several hours. Broken water lines are not a quick fix. Before anything can be done, we are required to have locates done by all the other utility companies in the area. This alone can take at least two hours or more. While this is happening we are busy turning off valves, draining the lines, getting parts together and assembling a crew. Once locates are done and the water has been drained, the real work begins. Depending on the severity of the problem this can take several hours to accomplish. Now that the work is done, the next step is to turn the water back on, flush the lines, and take samples. With this said, we would like to remind you that we only have one phone line, and while your call is important, and we appreciate hearing from you, it is just as important that the phone line remain open so we can make arrangements to get the problem fixed in a timely manner. When possible, we have started to leave updates on our answering machine. If you get a message in this manner please know we are busy working on the problem and are not available to talk on the phone. In other words, please be patient- we are doing our best to fix the problem, it just takes time and we are probably just as frustrated as you are. Unforseen problems and extreme weather conditions are a good reason why you should always have bottled water on hand.
A big Thank-you to all the members who take the time to call in and report possible leaks. The more eyes we have watching for problems the more efficient we can run the system, and the less water we waste. Keep up the good work!
We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the customers who take the time to insulate their meters prior to freezing weather. Because of your diligence we have very few if any frozen lines or meters. If you are unable to insulate your meter on your own, please give our office a call and we will arrange to do it for you at no charge.
Be sure to keep in mind that all members are invited to attend our monthly Board meetings. If you have something you would like to discuss with the Board, please call ahead so we may put you on the agenda. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at the Association office. Meetings begin at 6 pm throughout the year with the exception of the annual meeting which begins at 8 pm.
This year the annual meeting and election of Board members will be held on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Association office located at 9775 Church St., in Rickreall. This is your opportunity to meet the Board of Directors and ask any questions you may have. The two directors who will be up for re-election this year are Ron Blacketer and Gary Halleen . If you or someone you know would like to run against one of these men, nomination forms will be mailed to you within the next few months. Board members are elected for a three year term and are expected to attend the Board meetings each month.
NOW FOR A FEW NOTES FROM THE OFFICE:
As in past years we would like to remind you of the importance of notifying the office in the event you change your phone number or you have an alternate phone number for emergency purposes. During times of water outage or emergency situations we make every effort to contact you and let you know what is going on. Without an updated phone number, this is virtually impossible. Please know that any information you give us is kept in the strictest confidence and will not be given out without your prior consent.
Also, if you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time please take a minute and give us a call. This enables us to keep an eye on your meter and be mindful of any potential problems you may have while you are gone. It is also a good idea to supply us with an emergency contact in case of problems. If you choose to do so, you may also pay your bill in advance to avoid any late charges you may incur while you are gone. Please call Emma to make payment arrangements.
In Regards to paying your water bill:
- Checks are posted as of the date they are received in the office not the date shown on the check or the date they are canceled by the Post Office.
- Please note: we take checks, cash, money orders cashiers checks, and credit cards. Please be aware that if you use a credit card as payment, you will be assessed an additional 5% processing fee that will be added to the amount you owe.
- Payments received after 3:30 pm on Monday or Tuesday will not be posted until the following business day.
- Payments are due the last Monday of the month following billing.
- In the event you can not pay your bill on time because of unforeseen problems, please take a minute to give us a call and let us know. Please do not wait until a shut-off letter is sent. We understand that things happen in life and we will do everything within our power to work with you.
- If your water is shut-off for non-payment you will be required to pay your bill in full plus pay a $150 reconnection fee in order to have your service restored. Restoration of service will be done within 24-48 hours.
- For those of you that use on-line bill pay, please allow a little extra time as it often takes an additional week to reach us and be processed. If you have more than one account with RCWA we would appreciate it if you would pay them with separate checks. Also be sure to include account numbers on your check.
- For your convenience a payment drop box has been placed on the front of the building. Because of Security purposes we ask that NO CASH be put in this box, only checks and money orders.
If you have any questions regarding your Association, please feel free to drop by the office on Monday or Tuesday or give us a call during regular business hours and we will be happy to help you. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing us to serve you.
The Board of Directors:
Officers: Directors: Office Personnel:
Ron Blacketer; President Gary Halleen Doris Rocha
Claude White; Vice Pres. Tom Thomson Emma Bleich
Kevin McCarron; Secretary Mark Scott
Office Location: 9775 Church Street. Rickreall, OR 97371
Hours: Monday and Tuesday 8am-4pm
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 44., Rickreall, OR 97371
Phone: 503-623-2016 (office) 503-999-4286 (cell)
Thanks to Board Member Gary Halleen, we now have a web site that offers a variety of information about the Association. You can visit us at rickreallwater.com