by the Water Candidates
Recently the Water District Candidates (Election, May 6th 2014) were asked to respond to the issue of “Unfunded Mandates” imposed on the customers of ERW&SD. This new EPA/Colorado State Government Mandate – resulted in the Water Districts customers having to take on an additional $25 Million dollars in Debt…in the form of a long term Bond…the Water District customers are obligated to pay.
All the candidates were asked…(when elected) what are you going to do to protect the Districts customers from future “Unfunded Mandates”?
Their (verbatim) answers below – printed in the order receive back (emailed back) here at the ECT.
Incumbent and current Chairman of the ERW&SD Board – Rick Sackbauer.
Dear Eagle County Times:
As Chairman of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District I fully recognize that the regulations being imposed upon the District by the Federal and State Government constitute unfunded mandates – except that the State is attempting to make available grants to assist in the implementation of these regulations. I further recognize that there is a large body of scientific evidence that nutrients from the District’s three sewer plants, and from other sources, can negatively impact our streams.
The real issue, then, is balancing our community’s interest in protecting Gore Creek and the Eagle River from pollutants, which is so important to the quality of life of those of us who live and recreate here.
We, along with the Colorado Special District Association, have had substantial contact with the Colorado Department of Health and our Legislators over achieving the proper balance. Ann Terry, the Executive Director of the Special District Association, and her lobbying staff have worked diligently with us. This has aided the District in recently receiving $1.4 million in grants from the State for the improvements currently planned.
Every effort has been made to scrutinize the proper level of capital construction necessary to achieve the best result in maintaining (hopefully enhancing) the quality of our streams . . . through the proposed Bond Question and Grant Revenue Question currently on the Ballot which was mailed to our customers this past week. A Yes Vote on these two Ballot Questions will provide at least $1.8 million in savings on the debt the District must incur, and will allow the District to accept and retain other grants which we expect the State will make available.
I assure you, all of these issues have been carefully researched; and the proposal presented to our voters is the best solution.
Eagle River Water and Sanitation District
Candidate for Director District 1
M.I.A – the rest of the Water District candidates. The ECT folks did receive a few election Post Cards from some of the candidates wanting our vote, but they chose “not to respond”. If the Chairman of the Board was willing to respond to our reasonable questions – why not the other candidates?
FACTOID: The most recent ERW&SD meeting on record was held on Thursday, March 27th 2014. Fact is…only ONE candidate (on your election ballot) attended that meeting – that being current ERW&SD Chairman – Rick Sackbauer. Rick was contacted via email at the same time all the other candidates were contacted – in an effort to have District electors – see what their position is on the current (and future?) Unfunded Mandates. Recall this Unfunded Mandate resulted in the new $25 Million Dollar bond issue by the District.
Interestingly – current ERW&SD Board Member – Steve Friedman (Beaver Creek Resident and board representative) stated publicly at the February 27th Board Meeting that…”the first line of taxpayer protection is electing representatives who are good stewards of public money.”
The ECT agrees with Mr. Friedman. The problem the ECT has – is outside of candidate Rick Sackbauer…we can’t seem to get a response to a reasonable/financial question effecting the Districts customers and voters!
Indeed Mr. Friedman, who are you voting for?