LPWWA Current News

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

Subscriber Hookup Update

Dear La Plate West Water Subscriber:
Thank you for your patience as we near completion of the Project!


In or previous letter of October 2019 on page 2, second paragraph we stated: “Remember: Your contractor cannot actually connect to the system without contacting LPWWA first. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for your service line to be inspected and ultimately accepted by LPWWA. Thank you for your help in keeping our water system safe!”


The pressure testing, flushing and disinfecting of the pipelines has not been completed. There is no safe drinking water available to use. LPWWA must inspect your connection after you have been given permission to hook up. If you have already connected then your meter cannot be tested, the lines flushed or disinfected! Our contractor for the construction will disconnect your line from the meter in order to complete their required work and State Bacterial Testing (Bac-T’s). Please leave your line to your house disconnected from the meter’s pipeline. Your line should be capped. We are not ready for you to hook up until we have safe, reliable water to distribute. Please wait until LPWWA lets you know its good to hook-up. Then call to schedule an inspect of your connection & system. LPWWA needs to insure there are no back flow situations. (Don’t fill in the meter’s pit hole either.)

If you are one of the few to have already hooked-up to the meter’s pipeline prior to LPWWA giving you permission to do so, any costs to hook back to the meter are your responsibility. Please help keep our system safe! Please call us after you have received the notice that water is good to go to schedule your inspection. This is still a month or more away for some, no firm date yet.


(970) 403-5790


With Safe Water In Mind,
Respectfully,
The Board of La Plata West Water Authority


Have you changed any of your contact information?
If so, please let us know.

Attention Current Subscribers:

Attention Current Subscribers: This is an exciting time, and you may begin to install your pipeline from your home! However, please DO NOT HOOK UP TO YOUR METERS! Please wait until LPWWA gives you approval to connect. We will inspect your connection as well. The construction contractor is still Testing, Flushing and Disinfecting the lines and the METERS. There is no water yet for consumption or use. The meters need to free from your line in order to test and clear the meter. We encourage you NOW engage your plumber to install your pipeline from your home to the meter pit. if you haven’t done so already. We will get in touch with you to schedule our inspection and let you know when it’s okay to hook-up.

Yours respectfully,
LPWWA Board

BOARD BREIFS – March 11th & 25th

Until further notice we will be holding our board meetings via phone/internet conference meeting.

• Construction has started back up – placing meters and connecting final stages of the line installation.
• The tank at Blue Hill has been filled with line pressure testing to begin along with water quality testing.
• The board has been working hard with a hired consultant on our base monthly rate. We are looking at different angles to keep the rate as low as possible.
• We have started looking at our options as to the necessary personnel/staff that will be required that have the proper qualifications that go with a water utility system.
• The Future Phase committee has been meeting on a regular basis to determine the future expansion of our water system.