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Spring 2011 Newsletter

**3/12/11 Update**

Welcome to Vista Vu Water Users Association's newsletter. Our purpose is to keep you informed about important activities and projects that your Board of Trustees is undertaking on your behalf.

Okanogan PUD raises Irrigation Power Rates

New power rates that go into effect immediately will have a dramatic impact on our costs of providing irrigation water. The Horsepower Charge has doubled, from $1/HP to $2/HP,and will increase to $3 and $4/HP in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The effect will be to increase our power costs by 12% this year, 22% next year and 33% by 2013
The PUD will hold an Informational Hearing at 6:00 p.m. on Mar 24 at the PUD offices in Okanogan. Your Board will testify and protest the raises. It will be helpful to have as many members present at the hearing as possible.

System Improvements Underway

Your Board has been working behind the scenes over the winter getting ready to start two major system upgrades.

Domestic System Expansion

The Domestic system expansion was put on hold last Fall when the bids came in over the engineer's estimate and outside our budget. The work was re-bid this month with some tasks removed that will be completed using volunteer labor. The apparent low-bidder was Shannon Industrial, Coeur d'Alene, with a bid of $77,221, well within our budget. Pending our engineer's review of qualifications we expect to award a contract before the end of March and start work in April. The work should be completed in about two weeks.
While the work is underway we can expect some domestic water outages lasting up to 12 hours to allow pipe glue joints to cure and while disinfection of new lines and tanks takes place. We will try to give you sufficient warning to allow you to stockpile water in portable containers for hygiene and cooking. It is easy to flush your toilets with a few gallons of water from a pail.

Irrigation System Upgrades

The Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and related equipment to control the main irrigation pump have been installed in the irrigation pump-house. Butch Electric expects to complete connections to the power supply and pump motor during the next two weeks. We expect that the equipment supplier will program and test the VFD soon after the raft is put back in the river on Sat. April 2nd. and water becomes available. System start-up is set for Sat. Apl 16th. and we'll run for a full week to permit repairs to be made. After that we'll resume our normal 48 hrs on - 36 hrs off schedule.
The pump-house remodel is now complete: new roof, walls, sheathing, metal siding, door and insulation. Our thanks to Stu, Doug, Mike Stenberg, Jim Truitt, Cliff Elsbree, Danny Leonard, Dean Harrison, Ken Vanderstoep, Jim Shove, Jack Crane and others who've pitched in at recent work parties to get this critical work done on schedule.

Other Irrigation System News

We will complete installation of orifice plates this spring (Truitt's and Ostreich's). Expect some more fine-tuning to make small adjustments in flow rates. When the VFD is in operation you'll see virtually no variations in pressure and flow rates, regardless of who has turned their system on or off. Everyone will get their water right - nothing less, nothing more.

Scheduled Work Parties

Without volunteers to help with the routine as well as emergency work necessary to keep our systems running, the cost of your water would be significantly higher than it is. Every able-bodied owner is expected to contribute some of their time and energy to this community over the course of a year. If you can't do the physical work, those who can always appreciate someone bringing coffee and snacks to the work parties, running errands and helping with phone trees when emergencies arise.
Here are the anticipated work parties needed this Spring:

  • Mar. 18-19 Dig ditch for power line conduit at Preston's - 4-5 people (Contact: Doug Marsh)
  • Apr. 2 Install raft; replace conductor and install twist-loks; clean main tank; clean drain outside pump-house; clean up compound and spread gravel - everyone available (Contact: any Board member. Click on any link at bottom of this page.)
We need two more volunteers to help Cindy Rose with the phone tree we use for emergencies. This is an important function that needs back-up capability.

The Board of Trustees wishes Mike Nelson a speedy recovery from his recent heart attack. Out thoughts are also with his wife Chris at this time.

Annual Membership Meeting: Mar 15th.
7:00 p.m. at the Omak Gun Club

Our annual membership meeting is your opportunity to learn more about how your association operates and to express any concerns you may have. It is also the time when expiring Trustee positions are filled. Stu Skidmore's term as President expires this year and he has agreed to run for another term. Trustee Ken Vanderstoep is leaving for a teaching position in Mongolia in July and we'll need a replacement to fill his unexpired term. The Board thanks him for his service and good humor.
Our domestic system manager, Doug Hale, Alpine Environmental, will be there to talk about new regulatory requirements we must meet, including water conservation measures and cross-connection prevention.

Need a ride? Call or e-mail any Board member. We'll pick you up and take you home!

Bob Goodwin
Vista Vu Water Users Association

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For further information contact: Stu Skidmore, President; Doug Marsh, Vice President;
Bob Goodwin
, Secretary/Treasurer; Mike Stenberg, Trustee; or, Ken Vanderstoep, Trustee.

We welcome your comments on the website.