LPWWA Current News

June 2020 Update

  • CONGRATULATIONS, LaPata West Water Authority is pleased to announce that the final stages of construction are being completed with lines being pressure tested and treated.
  • The project is to be handed over to the Authority in early July and water to the meters will follow.
  • A future phase(s) engineer is in the works of being hired to take this project to the next level and to assure future tap holders we are continuing to work towards the future for our community’s sustainability. We are being encouraged to continue this project since the government wants to help fund water projects. Water projects are deemed essential and that is how we have been able to continue during this pandemic and complete Phase 1 of our water line.
  • A rate study has been completed and after many hours the board has come up with a monthly rate. This has been a very hard decision and one that has not been taken lightly.
  • We are in the stages of setting up our monthly billing system and will be sending out a trial statement for information only. This statement will share additional information regarding your billing and how the monthly rate is determined. We will be asking for you to respond so that we can get the billing set up to each subscriber need.
  • The board continues to meet through out the month to meet the immediate demand to get our water flowing and we appreciate the community support in these efforts. Our next meeting willth
    be June 24 . Please contact us to help us achieve our future goals.

WATER IS READY TO FLOW

CONGRATULATIONS! WATER IS READY TO FLOW

La Plata West Water Authority is pleased to announce that the water line/system will be flowing soon and in full use by July. We want to thank all of the subscribers for supporting this project and seeing it through! We will now be able to sustain our community for today and the future.

The LPWWA Board of Directors have been working hard with a rate study consultant to come up with the monthly fee that will allow us to set aside a modest amount of reserves for emergencies, meet our monthly payment obligation to USDA, and maintain operations of this part of the system that will serve 154 subscribers. We are a not-for-profit organization that has spent many hours trying to keep the rate as low as possible without compromising the operation of our new water system.

During the board meeting held May 27, 2020, the board of directors adopted the monthly rate of $175.00 per month which will include 3000 gallons of water. If a subscriber’s water usage goes over 3000 gallons, an additional $25 will be charged per 1000 gallons over the initial 3000 gallons allotted in the basic rate. We will be able to monitor the water line 24/7, and we will be able see where there are spikes that could be possible breaks or other issues.

The billing will be performed online, and you will be able to receive your monthly statement via e-mail or USPS mail. We will need to confirm with every user as to your preference so that we can update our information with current and correct data on our system. This system will also allow you to pay your bills online or pay by mail back to the Authority. Please contact us to verify current service address of water meter, current billing address for subscriber, phone number, and current e-mail address.

FAQ Phase 1

Water Rate FAQs
How will La Plata West Water Authority spend the water rate revenue it collects?

The money will be used to pay LPWWA’s (the Authority) monthly expenses. Annual expenses are projected to be $377,000 dollars during its first complete year of operations, or $31,400 per month on average. About 1/3 of the expenses cover operations and maintenance of the water distribution system, about 1/3 will cover monthly debt payments for the construction of the water system, and the remaining 1/3 will cover the cost of treated water. Additionally, the Authority’s contractual arrangements require it to set aside modest reserve funds for the first several years of operations.

Why do La Plata West Water Authority customers pay more for water than most other central water system customers in the area?

La Plata West Water Authority has to operate like a business, water rate charges are its only source of revenue. Many rural water districts impose a property tax to subsidize the revenues collected via water rate charges, but La Plata West Water Authority does not impose a property tax. Additionally, LPWWA’s expenses are divided among a smaller number of customers than most water providers have. For example, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has nearly 8,000 customers while LPWWA has just over 150 customers. Finally, LPWWA is a new system and the organization must make debt payments to finance the construction of the system. Most long-established water systems have long ago paid down the initial construction debt.

What happened to the subscriber fee I paid to LPWWA?

The subscriber fee was allocated toward paying for the capital investment costs necessary to build the water system. Subscriber fees were approximately $10,000. The total capital cost of building the LPWWA System was $5.6 million or currently $36,532 per subscriber. The additional capital investment of $10,960,000.00 above and beyond what the subscriber fees generated was provided by several federal and state grants. Were subscribers to have paid the full cost of the capital investment, those subscriber fees would have been $ 107,701.30 per subscriber. The intake structure was developed in 2009 and board members have been working non-stop to get this completed. Each subscriber gained a tremendous discount by signing onto LPWWA.

Will the monthly rates change over time?

The rates will need to be adjusted over time as conditions change, and it is unlikely that the rates will decrease significantly in the foreseeable future. Future planned phases of LPWWA’s distribution system would make its water accessible to a largercustomerbase,howeverthosephaseswillrequirecapitalinvestmenttoexpandthedistributioninfrastructure. The capital costs of future phases will be assigned to the subscribers in those future phases.

What is the difference between the base rate and the overage charge?

The base rate is $175/month for up to 3,000 gallons of water used during that month. The charge is $175/month regardless of how much of the 3,000 gallons a customer uses. Beginning at 3,001 gallons, an overage charge of $25 will be added for each 1,000-gallon increment.

A customer who uses between 3,001 and 4,000 gallons would be charged: $175 (base rate) + $25.00 (overage for 1,000 gallons) = $200
A customer who uses between 4,001 and 5,000 gallons would be charged: $175 (base rate) + $50 (overage for 2,000 gallons) = $225page1image59942656