Sheridan folks not your enemies
November 16, 2011
I am a Sheridan Acres resident. I know that in some East Valley residents’ eyes that makes me an opponent, perhaps even an enemy. But I am, in the end, a neighbor. Many county residents have some reasonable concerns about water system consolidation. They want to know why they should pay for Sheridan Acre’s mistakes. But if they take the time to examine some of the assumptions underlying that question we might yet be able to reach a neighborly consensus.
Were my water bills last summer over $350 a month for water last summer because of some “mistake” I made? Before I purchased my Sheridan Acres home, I had the house’s plumbing and wiring and structural integrity inspected. I purchased homeowners insurance, fire insurance, mortgage insurance and buyers insurance. I thought I was pretty well set. But I totally forgot to examine the community water system’s tank and well. I did not peruse its latest water quality reports or investigate the layout of its water mains. Was that that my “mistake”?
Douglas County has a long history of problematic water systems. These water systems were all approved by commissioners that Douglas County voters elected. Those commissioners have been considering some form of consolidation to address those problems since before those East Valley homes were built. Did the East Valley folks make a “mistake” by buying homes in a county where the risk of consolidation was so high?
Like it or not, we’re all in this together. The mistakes that have been made, were made by the entire county. The homes standing vacant on my block, depress East Valley home prices too. The fire danger that is increasing in the Foothill area because we can no longer afford to water our landscaping, is increasing the fire danger in the East Valley too. The cost of fighting any resulting fires will be borne by all county taxpayers. Imagine if a West Nile outbreak were to strike one part of the county. Which would serve county residents better: Blaming the victims (who made the “mistake” of being bitten), or start spraying the mosquitoes before they spread further?
I applaud the commissioners for requesting an examination of consolidating the valley water systems into a single system. Let’s solve these community water system problems by moving forward as a community.
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