November 1, 2017
We, the Board of Directors of Haights Creek Irrigation Company (HCIC), have reviewed the expenses for the last fiscal year (November 1, 2016 thru October 31, 2017), the operating budget for the coming fiscal year (November 1, 2017 thru October 31, 2018), and repair/maintenance and capital projects which will most likely occur, during fiscal 2018.
ASSESSMENTS AND FEES
Using this information we have set the water share assessment for fiscal water year 2018 to be:
Secondary water user $46.51 assessment per water share
$94.61 annual water service per connection
$93.27 annual infrastructure replacement per connection
Agriculture water user $44.51 assessment per water share
$94.61 annual water service per connection
$93.27 annual infrastructure replacement per connection
For a shareholder owning one (1) share of HCIC stock with a single connection, the total assessment is $234.39, which is an increase over last year of $15.14 or approximately 6.9%. HCIC rates are still very competitive when compared with those of surrounding secondary water suppliers, and among the lowest along the Wasatch Front.
Should you find this amount difficult for your budget to pay in a single payment, please contact Tracie at the HCIC office (801-546-4242) to determine an alternative payment plan before January 15, 2018.
When determining the assessment and fee schedules for the upcoming year we also took into consideration:
1. During the 2017 Utah State Legislative session, bill §17B-2a-1010 was passed requiring conservancy districts with annual revenues above $5 million (Weber Basin) to (a) assess capital assets every 5 years, (b) dedicate revenue to “priority” assets, (c) establish a budget for “repair & replacement” of capital assets, and (d) create a dedicated fund for the “repair & replacement of capital assets. What does that mean for HCIC? As a major purchaser of secondary water from Weber Basin, costs of compliance are and will be passed on to HCIC in the form of higher water prices from Weber Basin. The 2018 increase was 6.9% above last year. HCIC has been alerted that next year’s (2019) will be in excess of 16.0% or 2.8 times this year’s increase!!
2. Hurricane Harvey, in Texas and Louisiana, has and is still having an adverse effect on the HCIC project budgets as well as in the operations budget. The disruption, of the petroleum supply for products that are resin based (HDPE pipe, PVC pipe, connections, etc.), has significantly increased the current cost of materials for both new installations and repairs/maintenance.
3. As was mentioned in last year’s shareholder’s letter, during fiscal 2016, HCIC submitted three “matching money” grant applications and was pleasantly surprised when all three applications were accepted by the funding agencies. Again, as was mentioned, this was both a blessing and a curse. The blessing, of course, was that money was granted to HCIC to use to upgrade and modernize our system without additional assessment to our shareholders. The curse was and still is trying to work within the bureaucratic processes to complete the projects. Two of the main projects (upgrade to Green Street reservoir – Fruit Heights and the moving of old main pipelines out of backyards into the street – Kaysville) scheduled for completion during fiscal 2017 were not completed. These projects were significantly delayed due to a change in the U.S. government environmental assessment approval processes. The environmental assessments were finally approved September 9, 2017 which will allow the construction portion of the projects to move forward.
4. During fiscal 2017 HCIC expenditures exceeded our 2017 budgets for repairs/maintenance and infrastructure replacement. Strategic valves were replaced, PRV’s refurbished/replaced, and leaks/blowouts were repaired. Capital projects completed include a new main water line in Green Road, as well as connections and usage meters along Green Road and at approximately 1250 East in Fruit Heights. Projects currently underway are: (1) continuing design for the upgrade and modernization of the Green Street reservoir; (2) additional analysis on the renewable electricity generation portion of the Green Street reservoir to determine its feasibility and if there is “payback” potential; (3) additional pipe lines, valves, connections and usage meters at other Green Street locations; and (4) the engineering, design and construction for the moving of old main pipelines out of backyards (rear lots) and into new lines within the streets/roads. Initial areas to be affected will be the areas of 600 East to 850 East from 200 North to 450 North.
5. As has been stated before, the Statewide Water Infrastructure Plan (Prepare 60 Initiative) has estimated spending for the replacement of aging infrastructure (pipes, lines, valves, etc.), in the Weber Basin watershed, will exceed $600 million by the year 2020 which is more than double the amount projected for new water supply and new infrastructure expenditures. Your company is a part of the Weber Basin area. Many sections of the HCIC system have been “in-the-ground” 50+ years and must be replaced/upgraded within the next few years. This is and will be an on-going effort.
6. The Company’s “master planning” and project priority identification plan continues to indicate an on-going funding requirement in excess of funds available. As a Company, we are pacing the critical projects ahead of us, with monies currently available and monies which will and/or may become available. We elected not to seek additional “low-cost or no-cost” funding for fiscal 2017, but will most likely seek out these types of funding sources during this fiscal year.
REPAIR, MAINTENANCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
As was mentioned in items 3, 4 & 5 above, the categories of repair, maintenance and infrastructure upgrades are a major part of the Company’s budget and therefore affects each one of us; particularly during the upcoming fiscal year, as we begin to move from “backyard” main delivery lines to “in the street” main water lines and connections.
Major reasons for doing this type of infrastructure move include (a) aging water delivery lines that have above normal repairs, (b) back yard delivery lines are difficult to repair without major disturbances to existing fences, landscaping, structures, etc., (c) shut-off valves are often located within fenced-in yards and hidden beneath landscaping and/or homeowner structures thus difficult to locate and turn-off in an emergency, and (d) the home and basement flooding liability for the Company, homeowner and surrounding neighbors is significant.
We will concentrate this effort for 2018 in the areas of: 600 East to 850 East from 200 North to 450 North.
THE 2018 IRRIGATION SEASON & CONSERVATION ISSUES
The irrigation season which began in April of 2017, held great hope and anticipation for a great watering season. Reservoir supplies were the best in years – in fact some reservoirs even had water flowing down spillways and some minor flooding occurred. However, the summer rains did not come and it was hot – record heat; and usage, of the secondary water resource, was at an all-time high. The result, within the Weber Basin watershed area, we are going into the fall/winter months with water storage reservoir levels lower than expected but “normal” for the watershed. The winter water forecast? Depends on which weather channel you listen to – will it be good, bad or indifferent?
In Utah, especially along the Wasatch Front, populations are forecast to double by 2060. Water conservation is not optional! It is a must! Slogans such as: “Slow the Flow Save H2O” and Weber Basin’s advertising campaign of “Wasteful Watering – you need less than you think” or “Wasteful Watering – unmetered doesn’t mean unlimited” or “Wasteful Watering – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” or “Wasteful Watering – it isn’t just your neighbor” are today’s conservation reality.
One HCIC water share entitles the shareholder to irrigate 1/3 gross acre of area, in the amount of 1 acre foot of water, which equals 325,851 gallons of water for the irrigation season. That is a seemingly huge amount for lawn and garden irrigation. However, it does not take long to use that amount when you turn on your sprinkler system 3 cycles per week for the 26 week season. Should you find that your usage may exceed the allotted secondary water; contact the office immediately to work out a solution to the problem. Contacting HCIC before they contact you, will prevent a potential penalty and/or loss of irrigation service during the upcoming irrigation season. Excessive watering cannot be allowed if we are to conserve this precious resource.
For the irrigation season beginning April, 2018 the following conservation measures will be in effect. Additional measures/restrictions may be added depending upon the upcoming winter.
1.No watering is allowed between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm daily.
2.Daily watering of lawns, gardens, pastures, etc. and/or excessive watering durations are not allowed.
3.Excessive watering will not be allowed. Ignoring warnings may result in penalties and/or termination of service for the remainder of the irrigation season.
4.Agricultural users and those shareholders irrigating 2 acres or more, please schedule your watering times as HCIC must order water deliveries through Weber Basin 24 hours in advance. If HCIC does not have your schedule you may be unable to water at your “preferred” time.
We realize that agriculture and certain other organizations must be allowed some leeway for the irrigating of crops and other economic endeavors and this will be accommodated. The above watering policies, however, will be enforced. Those who fail to comply with the policies above will risk losing secondary water service for the remainder of the season and will be subject to additional charges.
ANNUAL SHAREHOLDERS MEETING & BOARD ELECTION
The annual Shareholder Meeting has been scheduled for 9:00am, February 10, 2018 to be held at the Kaysville Police Building. Shareholder business will be conducted at that time, including the election of two Board members. Official notice of this meeting will be sent at a later date. We urge you to attend.
Should you wish to be nominated as a candidate for the position of Board member, please notify Rodney Hill (telephone 801-546-4242) at the company offices before January 1st, 2018 to be included on the ballot.
The Board of Directors of Haights Creek Irrigation Company