Stating "As usual, another bill makes no sense whatever," Steve Scott, President of the Elizabeth Parks and Recreation Board of Directors, addressed the first item of their public meeting agenda on August 16, 2011: a bill for water from the Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial Metro District.
The meeting, held in the Parks and Recreation Offices on Road 17 and Highway 86 in Evans Park, counted more spectators than Board Members and Staff.
At issue were two bills, dated August 1: one for $13,951.61; another for $474.43; and two other "corrected" bills, dated August 11: the first drastically reducing the amount owed to $1,431.88 with a "water standby" fee added of $40.80; the second reducing the $1,431.88 by $390.27 to charge $84.16. There was no accompanying documentation with the bills; and the meter readings on the bills were nowhere near accurate, according to Scott.
"This is like the $50,000.00 they tried to charge us last year," Scott explained, pointing out that a $13,000.00+ water bill every two months over a year's time could leave the Parks and Recreation District in tenuous financial territory, and is nowhere in line with what any other public entities pay for their water. "For all of Kiowa, fields and parks, they pay $20,000.00 a year."
Last year's dispute over billing was resolved; this "looks like we're going to have to close the park until it's resolved." The park referred to is between Wild Pointe and Legacy Academy, above Elizabeth, where the school is the chief user of the soccer and baseball fields there.
Besides the tremendous discrepancy in the bills and the incorrect meter readings, Scott pointed out that they were being charged for the entrance from the ball fields to Wild Pointe-a meter the District had shut off. "Someone opened that meter," he said, "and we weren't the ones." He pointed out that the meters had been previously used for construction and "everything else" as well, which made their readings suspect from the beginning.
Although "most negotiations with Nyquist haven't been bad," Scott remarks, "with the Metro District, it's been bad from day one." He reported that every time he meets with its representative, Denise Denslow, "there's a whole new conversation each time."
The Parks and Recreation District Board: Norma Homer, Joan White, Doug MccLeish, and John Cook, by consensus, agreed with Scott to stop watering until the matter was resolved and to draft a letter via the District's attorney, to address the issue. Once it's been addressed, the information will appear on the Elizabeth Parks and Recreation website.
Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial Metro District Puzzles Park & Recreation
Editor's Note:
If Nyquist's Water District management can't keep things straight in their own back yard, how in the blazes do you think they'd do managing a multi-jurisdictional and out of state pipeline? Or accurately accounting for water rights, usage, construction problems, etc.? I can see it now - a pipeline from Elbert County to Boston by way of Ray Wells non-existent rail road, clouding even more people's property titles.
by William C. Thomas