Three Board Candidates Bios

Rosemary Barry 

My husband, Doug, and I have owned our home in the Acres for 18 years. Since we retired as elementary school teachers we spend about 5 months a year here enjoying

our home. We have grown to love the beauty, amenities and people in the Acres. I served on the board for ten years, six as president. I left the board in 2017. I continue to be involved with the AAPOA newsletter, website and new owner information.   During my terms, we completely renovated one tennis court, installed a volleyball net, completed a pavilion at the lake and celebrated the 50 anniversary of AuSable Acres in 2013 with a great picnic and fireworks display. 

I am running for a one year term to fill the seat vacated by Rick Bremer. I believe I can be of assistance to Pete DeFina and the rest of the board as they continue to do the important work that the AAPOA does in enforcing our Covenants and Restrictions so the Acres continues to be the beautiful place that we all want it to be.

 

Tricia Koch

My husband, Allan Watnik, and I have lived in the Acres part-time for a little over two years. We love the quiet solitude of living in the woods. We have met the most wonderful, kind people and made so many new friends. We do have ties to our home in Fairport, New York, but know that we will be full-time in the Acres when the time is right. 

I have lived in upstate New York for more than forty years and was actively involved in my neighborhood association while living in Rochester. I began my career as a Medical Technologist but when I found myself doing science experiments with my Brownie and Girl Scout troupes I decided to switch careers and became a high school Chemistry teacher for the next 23 years. My two daughters continue to bring me great joy. One of my daughters just bought a vacation home in the Acres and her sister is mom to our two beautiful grand-daughters. I enjoy quilting and gardening. I love the beauty of the Adirondacks, hiking and kayaking. 

The Acres is such a special place and I want to “give back.” I feel my life’s experiences will help me represent you on the board. I look forward to meeting many more neighbors and learning more about the AuSable Acres in the years to come. Thank you for your consideration.

Ian Ellbogen

My name is Ian Ellbogen.  My wife and I live and work in Montreal and we have owned our cabin on River Road for the past 18 years.  We are here most weekends and for longer periods of time quite often.  Our main activates include skiing—both varieties—and hiking the many trails and high peaks in the Adirondacks.

I am friends with several current and past Board members and have participated in past trail maintenance days and other work activities.  I have agreed to run for one of the vacant positions this year and if elected will continue to work to keep AuSable Acres a great place to own a house.

New Information from NYS DPS Regarding FWWC Rate Increase Request

To: Residents of AuSable Acres

From:  Pete DeFina, President of AAPOA

Re:  Recent communication with the Department of Public Service

On May 7th I received a call from Mr. Michael Horan who works for the Department of Public Service (DPS), which is the state governmental agency that oversees water companies such as Forever Wild.  As you are hopefully aware the DPS is in the process of reviewing the Forever Wild Water Company’s (FWWC) request for a rate increase.

He stated that the DPS received 50 public comments regarding this rate increase request.  If you would like to review these comments you can access the DPS site using the following link:  http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=18-W-0074&submit=Search

He stated that many of those comments were concerned about the use of the $50 surcharge that has been a part of our quarterly water bill since 2009.  To address these specific comments the DPS prepared a document titled “Summary or Revenues and Expenditures for Forever Wild Water Company, Inc’s Escrow Account from 2009 to 2017.

That $50 surcharge portion of our quarterly water bills has to be accounted for separately and held in an escrow account to be used for infrastructure purposes.  This account and the expenditures made from this account is overseen and reviewed by the DPS.  Mr. Horan asked specifically if I would share this document with the residents of AuSable Acres.  And, accordingly, the 18 page document created by the DPS is attached to this posting. Click on the attachment below and then click on the page that is showing and the entire document will open for you.

Summary of Revenues and Expenses for Forever Wild Water Company, Inc.’s Escrow Account from 2009 to 2017

 

 

 

Help Protect our Turtles


Notice: Please be on the lookout.  We have turtles crossing the roads in the Acres.  We ask everyone to use extra caution and watch for turtles crossing our roads.  We know at least one location on Ridgetop, by the first house on the right coming from AuSable Drive, where turtles are frequently crossing the road.  

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Also:  With the warmer weather and summer just around the corner hikers, bikers, and children will be out on our roads. Please be cautious and help keep our roads safe! 

Pete DeFina, AAPOA President

FWWC Requests Rate Increase

This was sent as a mass email on 3/27/18. If you didn’t receive it, here it is.

To: AuSable Acre Home owners
From: The AuSable Acres Property Owners’ Association

RE: Rate Increase Request of the Forever Wild Water Company (FWWC) to the Dept. of Public Service

If you are a current customer of the FWWC you should have received a 3-page letter from the company regarding their request to the Department of Public Service for a rate increase.

Since their rates have remained unchanged since the beginning of 2010 they may well be able to justify an increase in their base rate. However, their request to the Department of Public Services (DPS) for an increase of 81.6% is certainly alarming.

The DPS must approve all rate requests prior to any increase going into effect. They have the ability to approve, reject, or modify this initial proposed request. The DPS may also consider the fact that, in addition to our basic rate, we are all currently paying an additional annual surcharge of $200 ($50 quarterly).

The AAPOA Board has drafted and is submitting a separate detailed comment to the DPS outlining our concerns.

As individual customers, we urge you to also comment directly to the

DPS. It is important that the DPS hear the concerns of individual customers regarding this request.

How to Respond

There is a website– http:/www.dps.ny.gov that you can access. If you select the “search” tab and insert the following case number: 18-W-0074 you will be directed to the appropriate page.

You can also send written comment to: Kathleen Burgess, Secretary to the Commission Department of Public Service
3 Empire State Plaza, 20th floor
Albany, NY 12223

Comments are being accepted as of this date through April 29th. The DPS is likely to make a ruling on this rate increase request by Mid-May or shortly thereafter.

How to Post a Comment

Posting a comment is not difficult. When you go to the DPS website and put in the case number (see above), the main page regarding the FWWC’s request will appear.

There are several tabs. One tab for titled “filed Documents” is where you can see all of the information that the FWWC filed with the DPS. Another tab titled “Public Comment” is where you can read previously posted comments by other people.

Commenting: Again, once on the DPS’s website (www.dps.ny.gov), and have typed the case number (18-W-0074) into the “search” tab you will be at the main page where you can post your comment. On the bottom right side of the main page you’ll see a tab titled “post comments.”

Clicking on that tab directs you to a page that will allow you to enter your name, address, phone, email address, and room for you to write a comment (Up to 4000 characters, if you’re feeling really wordy). After your comment is written simply press the post comment button at the bottom and you’re done.

If you need some suggestions regarding what to write look at the previously posted comments for ideas. Also, below are some talking points that might prove helpful. The DPS does look at these comments. It is important for individual customers of the FWWC to make their feelings known to the DPS.

TALKING POINTS:

  1. The total increase that the FWWC is seeking is 81.6%. They are seeking a raise from our current base price of $334.75 annually to $608.02 annually. An annual increase of $273.27.
  2. This annual increase of $273.27 DOES NOT include the $200 surcharge. If the full rate request is granted and the surcharge is kept in place it would bring the total annual cost of our water service to $808.02 ($202.01 quarterly, or $67.34 monthly).
  3. According to a document that the FWWC filed, the average National cost of water service is $464 per year. The annual cost in New York State $609.72. Our current annual rate, including the surcharge, is $534.75. The FWWC is asking to increase that total cost to $808.02, an amount that is out of line with most other water companies.
  4. It’s important that the DPS pay attention to our total cost (base rate + surcharge) as they deliberate on this rate increase request.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  1. The FWWC has been collecting the $200 annual surcharge since July of 2009. They claim 379 connections which at $200 per year yields something in the neighborhood of $75,800 per year or around $644,000 since July of 2009.
  2. The advantage of the surcharge to us as customers is that this money can only be spent for approved infrastructure improvements to our water system. Our system certainly needed and has

benefitted from improvements that have been made out of this fund

since 2009.

  1. The most recent improvement was the construction of a much

    needed replacement water tower that services most of the Acres. Since its construction much of the surcharge is now going to pay off the loan that was secured by the FWWC to pay for the tower’s construction.

  2. We have not seen any accounting for the surcharge money which has been collected since July 2009, so we really do not know how much has been spent and what remains available in that account.

    Again, it is important that the DPS considers our total cost—basic rate + surcharge.

We hope that you find the above information helpful. Water is essential to our lives and we need a viable company to deliver that service to our homes. But, we also need to keep the cost of that service affordable. It is important that during the next several weeks you express your feelings to the DPS as they begin their deliberations regarding this rate increase.

Sincerely,
Pete DeFina, President AAPOA