Letter: Vote ‘yes’ for water-district funding | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Vote ‘yes’ for water-district funding

Dear Editor:

As a past board member and past president of the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, I would like to urge the voters in Snowmass Village to pass Ballot Issue 5A, which would enable the district to keep our aging water and sewer lines in good condition.

Having lived here for just over 40 years, I have witnessed the aging of the system, with valves starting to freeze up, pipes breaking at joints and sewer lines clogging, among other maladies. None of us who live here wants to go without water over Christmas because of a line break and a valve too decrepit to shut off, as actually happened to me several years ago.

Replacing aging water lines that are prone to leaks or breaks is the cornerstone of water conservation. This practice protects local streams by reducing the amount of water diverted. Replacement of leaking lines not only reduces the volume of water treated but decreases the incremental cost to treat water by saving energy and chemicals needed to process water. These savings are passed on to the consumer through lower rates.

The answer is to monitor the valves and lines carefully and replace them as they start to wear out. Funding ballot issue 5A will provide the resources to do it. We are extremely fortunate to have the dedicated management and staff capable and willing to do it if we give them the tools.

To limit the overall fiscal impact to residents within the district, the timing of the proposed new mill levy has been selected to occur after the expiration of the existing mill levy established 10 years ago to fund wastewater-treatment improvements. The net effect would be an increase of 0.838 mills, representing a monthly tax impact of 56 cents per $100,000 of a home's market value — a small investment with significant returns to our community.

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The district currently maintains some of the lowest water rates in Colorado relative to its peer districts and would like to keep it that way. Extending the existing mill levy would allow the district to address its highest-priority infrastructure needs without having to increase water rates significantly.

Please vote "yes" on 5A to assure low water rates and reliable service for years to come.

Dave Spence

Snowmass Village

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