Disclaimer This information on this sheet is not presented to you as being either 100% complete or accurate. It represents the best information we now have.
Purpose The purpose of this meeting is to elect officers for the LHWA
Until this is done no other business, issues or concerns can or should be discussed.
Please .. Except for brief questions of clarification, do not bring other issues and concerns to this meeting. After the officials have been elected, then it is their option to proceed or not.
History The water rights associated with Las Haciendas Estates are the most valuable resource that have been enjoyed by you, the property owners of Las Haciendas Estates. To a large extent, the management of this water resource has been absorbed by only a few members who have given their time, expertise and even personal funds to pay bills and resolve water and well issues as they have occurred. Typically, these few individuals have spent years taking care of the business of Las Haciendas water without much participation or even acknowledgment by other members of this Community. In this context, then, we thank Rudy Pacheco and Heather Ginn for their work over the past years.
Briefly Las Haciendas Estates exists in Taos County as an "island" surrounded by the city. There are approximately 42 members and each member has a "non-transferable" water right to approximately 350 gallons per day. The water you have belongs to you the owner. The cost of this water is now $75 per lot .. each quarter. Please note that this cost is substantially less than a similar resource provided by the Town of Taos. Further, the quality and purity of the water has been outstanding over the decades that our two water wells have existed.
You are now asked to consider the consequence of this resource being shut down
Some home owners have private wells and some do not. In addition, almost all home owners have their own septic system, each with a drain field which may not meet current code requirements. A private water well must lie 200 feet from either of our two Las Haciendas Community wells and at least 100 feet from any drain field. Because of this, half-acre lots would probably not be able to legally "drill a well. " In addition, you should know that original metal trunk-water lines (estimated to have been installed 50 years ago) have continued to supply water to home owners .. but .. many sections have already been broken and replaced. The cost of repair of these trunk-water lines is the responsibility of the Las Haciendas Home Owners Association. Trunk line replacement will be costly and very inconvenient to home owners .. no matter when and who does the work.
The cost of replacing these trunk lines can only be reasonably met by applying to the State or Federal Government for funds by either the LHWA or the Town of Taos. Whether monies are available, in a timely manner, is not known.
Situation Currently all offices of the LHWA are vacant and **no** LHWA business can be legally transacted. These offices include: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and in addition, two board members are be needed. Further:
- Approximately $1,500 remains in the general fund
- Approximately $13,000 is outstanding i.e. unpaid by 9 members of LHWA
- Bills to be paid are:
- Recurring monthly power bills to Kit Carson.
- Repair bills.
- Water Operator bills (with submitted "extras.) Note: A Certified "Water Operator" for each community water system is required by the State.
- Other bills required by the State of New Mexico to meet testing inspection requirements and water consumption.
- Checking account fees.
Summary It appears .. that unless the offices of the LHWA are filled and revenue is not obtained then:
- It is highly unlikely that another meeting of this type -- and with a quorum-- can be called to meet again.
- The two water wells of the LHWA will be closed down .. within a short time.
Every property owner will be affected .. even those who are absent-owners; those who have private water wells; and those who have not been paying for their water usage .. because:
- The LHWA will cease to exist and considerable effort will be needed to acquire corporation status as we now enjoy as LHWA.
- The loss of this community water resource will immediately cause a precipitous drop in our property values
- Properties in Las Haciendas without a water source cannot be sold.
- Renters will probably leave the Las Haciendas area.
- Properties which do not have private water wells will probably have to obtain a water storage system and contract to have water trucked to their property.
- Effects related to services that are normally assumed by home owners, have yet to be determined. (e.g. insurance and fire protection services)
Side Issues At this time, no other issue can be resolved or even discussed until the LHWA has a slate of authorized officers. For example:
- To be included in the city --aside from the funds needed to accomplish this senario-- can later be considered. The city has stated that they cannot consider this option for two to three years or until the Abeyta Water Compact has been finalized.
- Creating a policy --and voted on by members in good standing-- to recover monies owed to LHWA.
- Long term replacement of components of the water system.
Finally ... We know all of you have many important things on your plate.
However, it is important to keep in mind .. where you would be without water.
Please remember, this is serious .. and the solution/s cannot be passed on to others. We expect each home owner to make a contribution. Later - after the immediate crisis has passed, the elected officials can and should review how to proceed -- but not now!