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.
One of our Board members, Mark Scott decided to retire this year. We want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for all his years of dedication and service to the Association. His seat on the Board was filled in August by Mike Fallert.
Extension on the Greenwood Rd project is almost done. The only thing we have to complete is the bore under the Railroad tracks on Clow Corner Road. Having the line looped will allow for a much better delivery of water and rather than shut everyone down in an emergency it will allow us to only shut down the affected lines and keep those not in the area of the break with water service. We also have a section of line we still need to install along Highway 51. Work on that line should be done this summer.
The Board is still working on a pay-as-we-go plan. All improvements to the system are done on a cash basis. We are not interested in accumulating any long-term debt and so far, we have been able to adhere to this policy
During 2021 Rickreall Water welcomed three new members with domestic hook-ups. We now have over 500 active members which includes 62 businesses. The total number of gallons sold during the past year was 104,076,600 gallons and it generated $418,535.10 in sales. While we asked the membership for voluntary water cutbacks during the late summer months, there were no mandatory cutbacks. Thanks to the efforts of the members, 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. You can tell if it has been estimated by looking at your billing card. Above the words “Return Service Requested” it will say “Reading was Estimated”. 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 or you have a locked gate that denies us access. 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 or more 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. Unforeseen 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 7 pm.
This year the annual meeting and election of Board members will be held on Monday, June 13, 2022 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. You can update your information on line at our email: [email protected] or you can call us at 503-623-2016.
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, cashier’s 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 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 as well as the name listed on the monthly billing card. *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 give us a call during regular business hours on Monday or Tuesday and we will be happy to help you. You may also email us at [email protected].
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 Mike Fallert
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)
Email: [email protected]
Remember you can always visit our website at rickreallwater.com for additional information.