NEWS

PLEASE SEE MEETING MINUTES AND BYLAW REVISIONS FOR LATEST UPDATES

JUNE 14. 2013

RAINBOW MEADOW RANCHOS WATER USERS’ ASSOCIATION
The annual meeting will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm MDT at the cabin of Del Polad on Deer Lane, last cabin by the totem pole.  There will be no pot luck.  Remember to bring your lawn chairs.
Dear Association Members:
In our 60 day letter we stated that we optimistically believed that it is was possible to have the spring development project completed and water available in the July time frame.  At the time this was a true statement.  We had the Engineering stamped construction plans in hand and from discussions with the Regional Office of the Utah State Dept. of Environmental Quality/Division of Drinking Water (DEQ) we expected approval from them.  We have subsequently received the signed letter of approval from the Salt Lake City HQ office of the DEQ.
On May 11, 13 we sent letters to potential construction firms to solicit interest in our development project.  We received letters of interest from 4 potential contractors and subsequently mailed the construction plans and bid schedule to the contractors.  On May 16th two of our Board Members met with the Forest Service with our final plan in hand to discuss development of the South Spring and obtain permission to do so.  They were informed that to perform further spring development we would be put on a waiting list that is 2 years out.  They are now working on requests that were requested during 2011.  Apparently development requires them to invoke the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements (i.e., investigate antiquities, hydrology & geology, etc.).  Their staff is minimal and two years behind in their work.  Also the permit to develop requires a $5K fee upfront to begin.  We didn’t know what to think, as we contacted them last fall and were only told to bring in the approved construction plans when we were ready to do the development.  They had the opportunity to tell us then that there was a waiting list, but chose not warn us.  We were also told that we had to submit the DEQ approved construction plans in order to be considered.
As a result of this roadblock we had no choice but to contact our potential bidders and tell them to put their efforts ON HOLD!
We also learned at this meeting that the RMR Forest Service permits for operating a spring on Forest Service land had expired in 1998 for the North Spring, & they didn’t have any record for a permit for the South Spring.  We also learned that an annual fee was required for these permits.  Obviously the fees had not been paid, probably since the permits were first issued.  We don’t know if these circumstances triggered the NEPA process or not.
Now on a positive note:  We had previously scheduled a meeting for June 4th with Dion Gardner of the Utah Division of Water Rights (DWR), whose office is in Richfield, Utah, to begin exploring what it would take to change a point of water diversion to Zelda Springs (near the old log cabin).  With the circumstances now foisted on us by the Forest Service, this meeting now took on a more urgent necessity.  Your Board met with Mr. Gardner June 4th and found that it was possible to file an application to include the Zelda Springs as one of our points of diversion for all our water rights on the Mammoth.  However, this process requires an application, with map & coordinates and a fee of about $350.00.  When the application is received, a 2 week public comment period begins, followed by a 20 day period where protests can be filed.  Protestors can request a hearing, which only occur twice a year, May & October.  Given we file the application and win any protest/hearing; the application would be approved for work to begin for spring development on Zelda Springs.  After the development a 5 year period follows within which proof of beneficial use and flow rates have to be established and approved by DWR.  Depending on the flow, and if acceptable a portion of RMR water rights will be allocated to Zelda Springs.  The concluding action by DWR when approving the point of diversion of our water rights to Zelda spring is to issue a certificate, thus certificating the spring/water rights.  This action serves to preserve all our water rights into the future, as though we were now using the water for beneficial use, which is required to maintain water rights.  Currently all our water rights are certificated.
The Board met in an impromptu meeting after our session with Mr. Gardner and voted to proceed with the application. IF EVERYTHING GOES WELL, meaning that if we get through the water rights process, make the changes to the construction plans (Mr Kade Bringhurst ,Alpha Engineering-our design contractor, stated that the changes would be minimal moving from one spring to the other), and go through the DEQ approval process again (requires a source protection plan, which existed for the South Spring).  If DEQ approves it is possible to begin construction work in the spring of 2014.
There are several good outcomes with this change, we don’t have to pay for the NEPA work, by not involving the Forest Service; even losing this year we gain 2 years over remaining in the queue with the Forest Service with the South Spring.  Even waiting until 2015 to get on their list, we would probably lose a year while they do the NEPA work.  But a major outcome by making the change application with the Division of Water Rights is that it starts the clock on using our water rights for future preservation.
We understand that the Association Members will be discouraged, as are we, because of all the time and work we have put in to date.  However, we believe that pursuing the water rights application process and developing a spring on RMR property has many benefits that make it the best option at this time.
Please support us with your dues payment as we will need the funds for the development of Zelda Springs.  It is a more complex spring and will cost somewhat more.  With the additional time we should have sufficient funds to complete the project next year if there are no more significant surprises.
As we stated in our last letter, until we receive the bid from the construction contractor who will actually perform the earth works we will not be able narrow the cost, but with the rough estimates from the design contractor we should be close with the dues accumulating from this year and last.
Remember this assessment of $200.00 per year is due prior to our annual meeting.

AGENDA:
1.     Bruce Church will review all the regulatory requirements that a non-profit 501 3-C corporation, permit holder, water rights holder & DEQ permit holder must comply with.
Barry Miller will be addressing the progress on the water rights application.
Review of the action items needed to continue progress toward development of Zelda spring will be presented by a Board Member.
Ted Fincher will review the situation with the South Spring and Forest Service requirements.
Del Bean will address Communications and make the Treasurer’s report.
Also remember to keep operating expenses (postage costs) to a minimum, we are asking all lot owners to provide their email    addresses to Secretary Del Bean at bean126@aol.com.  Future communication will be sent via email whenever possible.
RMR has a website that contains current information for all lot owners.  This includes minutes of Board, general membership and other pertinent meetings, as well as other important news about our water situation.
Check it out at www.rainbowmeadowwaterusers.com.  We also have a Facebook page for more comments and information.  To access this, you must have a Facebook account and search for Rainbow Meadows Ranchos.
Elections:  It is important that all lot owners come to the meeting to be informed of our progress, and elect new board members.
We have become concerned with the ability to maintain sufficient corporate memory to keep RMR out of regulatory trouble as exemplified by the Forest Service permits and several other requirements that RMR has not met.  When we have an operational spring there will be continued DEQ requirements to meet.  There is now quite a list of administrative requirements that the RMR Corporation has to meet.  Therefore the Board believes that it is in RMR’s best interests to change the RMR bylaws to extend the terms of the elected Board Members to 3 years, a transition plan is explained as follows.
To effect this transition, the terms of Del Bean and Ted Fincher will expire this year as scheduled. Those positions will be up for election to a 3-year term. The expiring term of Del Polad will be extended for one year, by appointment by the RMR Board. Next year, in 2014, two of the three positions which would have expired will be extended for one year. The third position will expire and be up for election to a 3-year term. Del Polad’s extended term will also expire and be up for election to a 3-year term. In 2015, the two positions that had been extended one year in 2014 will both expire and be up for election to 3-year terms. At that point, the transition to 3-year terms will be complete.  A chart showing this transition is included below.
Del Bean has been serving as our secretary and treasurer, and has performed her duties admirably. At the expiration of her term this year, she will no longer be available to serve on the board. We ask that all association members consider if they or another member may be available and willing to be nominated to serve on the board, with an eye toward fulfilling the duties of secretary and treasurer. This would need to be somebody who is competent at taking minutes of all meetings of the board and members, handling the banking and bookkeeping duties, and be conversant enough with computers to both keep the association web site up to date and utilize the efficiencies of computers for communication with members. We know there is a lot of talent out there among the members. We are confident a capable person will come forward to help continue the progress that has been made.
Transition Chart for 2-year to 3-year Terms
Board Position
July 2011
July 2012
July 2013
2014
2015
July 2016
July 2017
1
Del B
2
Ted F
3
Del P
extension
4
5
extension
6
extension
2-year term
1-year extension
3-year term
PLEASE COME TO THE ANNUAL MEETING AND SUPPORT THE BOARD IN WHAT HAS BECOME A LABORIOUS TASK OF PRESERVING OUR WATER RIGHTS AND TO BRING WATER TO THE DEVELOPMENT!
Please send your check for $200.00 payable to Rainbow Meadow Ranchos to:
Del Bean
1150 N. Buffalo Dr.  #2079
Las Vegas, NV 89128Please note that this is a different address from last year.

Sincerely RMRWUA Board Members:
Bruce W. Church, President
Del Polad, Vice President (term expires)
Del Bean, Secretary/Treasurer (term expires)
Margaret Wilgar, Board Member
Barry Miller, Board Member
Ted Fincher, Board Member (term expires)

SEE WATER INFO SECTION FOR REPORT ON SOUTH SPRING

**********************************************************

ANNUAL LETTER

RAINBOW MEADOW RANCHOS WATER USERS’ ASSOCIATION

The annual meeting will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm MDT at the cabin of Del Polad on Deer Lane, last cabin by the totem pole.  There will be no pot luck.

 Dear Association Members:

Your Board has been hard at work, since our Association meeting last July, striving to make progress on our capital project to bring us water and save our water rights.  Upon completion of the Board’s research to establish a water treatment capability we learned that the expense and continued maintenance of the equipment was not cost effective when compared to developing the South Spring.  Our efforts have focused on this option.  Actions to date included site visits with our design contractor (Alpha Engineering, of St. George, UT)  obtaining requisite water samples and analysis (by the way the analysis passed the requirements for our Association with flying colors), development of an engineering concept & plan for spring development & running a pipeline to a point of distribution.  Numerous meetings/communications with the Utah State Dept. of Environmental Quality, (DEQ) have been held and are still ongoing.

The Board engaged Alpha Engineering on the 14th of February, 2013 by contract to complete the design & construction plans for the development of the south spring and submit them to DEQ for approval.  The Board reviewed the construction plans and approved their submittal to DEQ.  We received communication from DEQ that the project was given a “Project Notification Form (PNF) number within which we proposed construction beginning on June 1, 2013 & being completed by July 1, 2013.  The State has returned comments to us on our plan, which we believe are minor in nature and should be satisfied by the time you receive this letter.  We optimistically believe that it is possible to have the spring development project completed and water available in the July time frame.

We will be proposing and discussing a phased approach to fully complete the protection of our water rights and future development of “Zelda” spring.  The current plan is to apply for a change in our point of diversion from the North Spring to Zelda Spring and then develop Zelda spring, piping the water to the point of distribution.  If this can be accomplished we will be successful in not only protecting the Association’s water rights, but having good clean untreated spring water for our use.  By developing the springs the maintenance problems are greatly minimized, no treatment is required and we should have a permanent solution to our water needs.

Until we receive the bid from the construction contractor who will actually perform the earth works we will not be able to project with certainty what the assessment will be for the coming year(s).  This assessment is due prior to our annual meeting.  We anticipate that by the deadline of communicating with the Association members in the 30 day letter that we will have the bid and necessary information to reaffirm the annual assessment.  We are preparing to contact potential bidders as of this writing.

Our dues assessment projection at this time based on cost estimates and budget constraints, to accomplish the basic plan on Development of the South Spring along with other operating costs, e.g., insurance, is a minimum assessment of $200.00 for this year.  To accomplish our goal of protecting all of our water rights we have the option of continuing with $200.00 as an annual dues assessment until we have accumulated sufficient funds to develop Zelda springs (estimated to be $30-35k, because Zelda is more complex than the South Spring) which will take 3 years or until July 2016.  However, our water rights expire for the North Spring (aka Horse Pasture Spring) in 2015.  We understand that we can apply for an extension.  We propose putting it to a vote of the membership at the July meeting to up our annual dues assessment to $300.00 per year for 3 years to allow us to finish the development of Zelda Springs, thereby retaining our water rights in a more timely fashion.  With about 60 members per year paying $300.00 we can accumulate a gross of $18,000.00 per year and should be able to continue with the project and have it paid for by the summer of 2015.  We should be able to refine these costs after seeing what the bid is for the actual construction of the South Spring.

Upon completion of the spring developments the annual assessments should drop to a minimal charge, basically covering the costs of opening and closing the spring connections, paying for insurance, web costs and miscellaneous administrative costs (i.e., annual incorporation renewal, etc.)  Suggest you visit the web site and view the May 8th Board meeting minutes and the anticipated budget for this year.

We have scheduled a meeting June 4th with Dion Gardner, Richfield office for the Division of Water Rights to discuss applying for a change in our point of diversion and general discussion about our water rights.  Barry Miller is taking the lead in this action and will brief the membership on our status at the July Membership meeting.

In an attempt to keep operating expenses (postage costs) to a minimum, we are asking all lot owners, if they haven’t done to date, to provide their email addresses to Secretary Del Bean at bean126@aol.com.  Future communication will be sent via email whenever possible.

RMR has a website that contains current information for all lot owners.  This includes minutes of Board, general membership and other pertinent meetings, as well as other important news about our water situation.  Check it out at www.rainbowmeadowwaterusers.com.  We also have a Facebook page for more comments and information.  To access this, you must have a Facebook account and search for Rainbow Meadows Ranchos.

Elections:  It is important that all lot owners come to the meeting to be informed of our progress, and elect new board members.

Other RMRWUA routine business, e.g., treasurer report, budget and future funding requirements will also be discussed.

PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible to vote at the Annual Association meeting plan on paying your annual dues assessment of $200.00 before the meeting begins.  As last year you will be given a token identifying you as a paid eligible voter.  Only after a confirming vote by the membership to increase the 2013 dues will they be adjusted.

Please send your assessment check payable to RMRWUA to:

Del Bean

1150 N. Buffalo Dr. #2079

Las Vegas, NV 89128

 

Sincerely RMRWUA Board Members:

Bruce W. Church, President

Del Polad, Vice President (term expires this year)

Del Bean, Secretary/Treasurer (term expires this year)

Margaret Wilgar, Board Member

Barry Miller, Board Member

Ted Fincher, Board Member (term expires this year)

 

 

 

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