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

Notice of AAPOA Board Elections in July, 2018

Every year three AAPOA board seats are up for election. The election will be held at our July 7th General Membership Meeting. The term is for three years. The seats are currently held by Joe DeMarco, Paul Longenderfer and Phil Dooley. Joe isn’t running again and the others probably will run for reelection. There is at least one vacancy to fill.  You can be a part time or full time resident. There are about 5 board meetings and 2 General Membership Meetings (one in July and one in the fall) a year. Any AAPOA member who might consider this important position should send a bio (president@ausableacres.org)  by April 1, 2018 that can go in the spring issue of our newsletter. If you wish to discuss the role of a board member, or have any other questions, please contact the AAPOA at (518) 217-8519.  Thanks for your consideration.

Rosemary Barry