Water Bill - AB 109

http://elkodaily.com/news/local/spring-creek-sheriff-adding-an-animal-control-officer/article_28834f38-b6f4-5845-8f92-e95a1def357c.html


Having a nuisance issue? Dogs barking or loose? ATV issues? Here is the procedure so we can help.

Here is how you can report an issue so we can address the property owner right away as nuisance violation.

The information below is what we request you supply us. You can make a complaint several ways including calling 775-753-6295, email: coa@springcreeknv.org, or anonymous contact by using our online contact form here: 

http://www.springcreeknv.org/contact.html 

We ask you provide as much information as possible in the case as noted below.

Date of complaint
Address where issue is occurring
Issue in detail including the following:

If nuisance regards an animal complaint:

i.Description of animal
Breed
Color
Size (Sm, Med, Large)

ii.What type of nuisance is it?
Noise
Running at large

iii.Specific dates and times of occurrences

iv.Video, audio or photo documentation is helpful

If nuisance regards a noise nuisance in another form (music, revving car engines, etc.):

i.Specific dates and times of occurrences

ii.Video, audio or photo documentation is helpful

If nuisance regards an ATV or OHV issue:

i.Specific dates and times of occurrences

ii.Video, audio or photo documentation is helpful

All complaints remain anonymous, but if the issue persists and a hearing is required, then the complainant will be notified of the hearing and asked to attend to state their issues. They are not required to attend, however; their written, photo or audio/video evidence to support the complaint will be submitted to the COA for the hearing.

Traveling Merchant

What's Happening In The HOA?

As introduced AB 109 did two things:  Required the staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to travel to Elko at least once a year and conduct a consumer session.  Second, it required the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Attorney General’s office to intervene in all Spring Creek rate cases.  In the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee testimony by rate payers, the Chairman of the PUCN, Joe Reynolds and Eric Witkowski, and the Administration of BCP was well received.  BCP did submit a fiscal note for $40,000 which Mr. Witkowskii told the committee was added because the Governor’s budget had cut some of his funding for travel and hiring expert witnesses.  Mr. Witkowski also assured the committee that his office had sufficient reserves to cover anticipated costs associated with any Spring Creek rate cases.   There was no opposition to the bill.  The bill was voted out of committee and sent to the Assembly floor for approval.  During the floor testimony Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton moved the bill be referred to her committee on Ways and Means. 

The bill was finally heard in Ways on May 1st with no concerns expressed by the committee members except Chair Carlton who repeated the same questions she asked in the commerce and labor committee of both PUCN and BCP and received the same answers.  AB 109 has no fiscal impact on the state general fund or either of the two agencies.  Despite all the repeated efforts of Assemblyman Ellison, Senator Goicoechea and myself, Chairwoman Carlton would not allow the bill forward into a work session (which is the final hearing on a bill before it is moved out of committee).

After repeated pleas to Speaker Frierson, Majority Leader Teresa Benitez Thompson and Senate Majority Floor Leader Ford to process the bill word was received that the BCP fiscal note was still a problem.  Within a few hours Senator Goicoechea and Assemblyman Ellison had the fiscal note officially withdrawn by the Attorney General’s office.  Remember that during all previous hearing all legislators including Carlton were satisfied there was not a fiscal impact on the 2017-2019 State Budget.  I remain convinced that the fiscal note was a smoke screen for Carlton not to process the bill ever.  Because of the efforts of Ellison and Goicoechea, Republican leadership in both the Senate and Assembly made AB 109 a top priority.  Despite daily and sometimes twice daily contacts with democrat leadership the bill was not moving. 

Sunday afternoon, I met in person with Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benetiz-Thompson and asked point blank why 109 had not moved.  She told me democrat leadership will not process the bill under any circumstances.  I pressed the issue as to why and was told because rural republicans would not support tax increases.  Then she told me it was because of the fiscal note which I quickly reminded her was withdrawn.  Then she said it was that the BCP would have to use reserves.   Monday night at midnight the 79th legislative session ended, AB 109 was not processed and it died.

You asked about next steps:  While I cannot speak for Senator Goicoechea or Assemblyman Ellison the consensus among all three of us is that both PUCN and BCP will voluntarily carryout the terms of the bill.  I would suggest you contact PUCN ask if they are still willing to come to Spring Creek voluntarily at least once a year for a consumer session.  Also contact BCP and ask upon your request that BCP intervene in SCA rate cases. 

For our part Capitol Partners is available to continue to represent the SCA on an as needed basis on a rate we can negotiate.  I want to assure you that we left no stone unturned in our efforts to win passage of AB 109 and as I indicated on several occasions we remained optimistic until last Sunday when Benitez-Thompson told me in person that the democrat leadership would not process the bill.


12.12.17: The SCA has sent additional permits out for the 2018 year and will continue the geese management plan.


​Canada geese are a valuable natural resource and a source of recreation to the general public, bird watchers, and hunters. Of all the waterfowl, geese are particularly opportunistic and can easily become accustomed to people. In many areas of the United States, resident Canada goose populations have increased dramatically since the 1960's. Flocks of non-migrating Canada geese have become established throughout many states. In urban areas, Canada geese have responded to landscape features that provide expanses of short grass for food, lack of natural predators, absence of hunting, and hand feeding by some people.

Although most people find a few geese acceptable, problems develop as local flocks grow and the droppings become excessive (a goose produces a pound of droppings per day). Problems include over-grazed lawns, accumulations of droppings and feathers on play areas and walkways, nutrient loading in the marina, public health concerns at the beach, aggressive behavior by nesting birds, and safety hazards near our roads. 


Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Types of Control Methods

There are many ways to discourage Canada geese from settling. No single technique is universally effective and socially acceptable. Persistent application of a combination of methods is usually necessary and yields the best results.

Goose problems in suburban areas are especially difficult because birds are not afraid of people and may become accustomed to scaring techniques. But don't rule out any technique that might be feasible; dogs under strict supervision can safely be used and controlled hunting has been successfully used at some golf courses. Once geese settle in a particular location, they will be more tolerant of disturbances and be difficult to disperse. No method works well with just a few attempts, and a comprehensive, long-term strategy is usually needed.

Control measures work in various ways. Some reduce the biological carrying capacity of an area to support geese by reducing food or habitat. Other methods disperse geese to other sites where, hopefully, they are of less concern. Some techniques reduce the actual number of geese to a level that people can tolerate ("social carrying capacity").

To effectively reduce goose damage, the Association, with the guidance of a wildlife biologist and other experts, needs to use as many methods as possible.


The geese management plan is almost complete for 2017. We will look for planning for the 2018 year.


Interested in helping on goose patrol with dogs or drones?


Please contact the SCA through the Contact tab at the top.


Water Meter Reading Issue

We have become aware that there are many frustrations from homeowners regarding Frontier Communications. We have contacted the Public Utilities Commission to ask for guidance and how we can help our residents get answers. They do not regulate the internet but will make sure it gets to the correct avenues as they have escalator groups to work with the companies and address the issues. Use the information and format below to document your issues and complaint:

Your Name:
Your Address:
Your Phone Number:
Issue:

Email it to: cjones@puc.nv.gov
OR Call 775-684-6119


 You can also contact the FCC and Bureau of Consumer Affairs to place a complaint:


FCC - https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us


Bureau of Consumer Affairs - http://ag.nv.gov/About/Consumer_Protection/Bureau_of_Consumer_Protection/





11.8.17: The PUCN formally denied GBWC appeal. GBWC can take them to court which we assume will be the next step. On page 24 of that order there are several paragraphs that have deadlines. The first is paragraph 3 that gives them 60 days from the issuance of the order to reprice the customers’ bills. Paragraph 7 gives them 90 days to submit an outline showing their compliance with the order in paragraph 3. Paragraph 8 gives them 150 days to show they have complied with the order. Paragraph 12 gives them 90 days to submit the final cost of participating in the docket and paragraph 10 gives them till November 15th to submit the steps they are taking to improve customer relations.They can only ask for reconsideration once.  Commission has 40 days to rule, if the Commission does nothing, it is deemed denied.  Then GBWC could sue the Commission in district court. In regard to attorney fees, the commission ordered that it still maintains the authority to rule on that in a general rate case. For comments, I asked BPS and they said only parties to the docket can file an answer to the petition for reconsideration.  If you are not a party, you can try to file comments and it will get sent to General Counsel to determine if the comments can go into the docket (late-filed) or not since the commenting period has already passed and there are no proceedings scheduled. We still are hearing from property owners that the issue continues with high bills. The PUCN is still encouraging residents to put in complaints if they find an issue. Senator Goicochea is working with the PUCN to get their engineers out here for a system review.


http://elkodaily.com/news/article_e089bf3d-e782-545a-9cae-bd424493515f.html 


9.19.17: “Within 60 days GBWC shall reprice each Spring Creek Customer’s water consumption for the months of January through October, 2016, at the lowest Tier 1 rate of $3.47 per 1,000 gallons.” (only residential). 

There are also various compliances in the Order.  “GWBC shall report to the Commission by November 15, 2017, and annually on November 15, through year 2020, regarding the steps it is considering and taking to improve its relationships with its Spring Creek customers…”

 The Chairman and Commissioner are unable to attend the meeting tomorrow.  My manager, the hearing officer and myself will be at the consumer session tomorrow night.


June 2017: Water Meter Reading:

The PUCN has its regular agenda item this morning at 10. GBWC's Pahrump division is item number 3C for the IRP case. The draft order dismisses the application because they did not properly notice the customers and also orders a show cause proceeding to determine if administrative fines are appropriate.  Here is one quote from the draft order:

I would speculate that this docket is why we have not seen anything yet on the SC issue. The commission, staff and BCP are clearly upset with them.

The PUCN Commission had their final hearing a few weeks ago regarding the water meter issues we are facing in Spring Creek. The PUCN staff and BCP really put in the time to understand the issues and express their continued concerns to the Commission that there is likely more customers effected in this case, as well as pointed out there are really no strong programs for staff training and policies and procedures in place as well as the lack of customer service and satisfaction in our area. 

The next steps are Commissioner Pongracz will write a draft order.  In the last section, there will be Commission Discussion & Findings and then it will say “it is ordered that..” &  that’s where you’ll want to look for the outcome.  Then the Draft Order will go on an agenda to be voted on by the Commission.  Upon an approval by the entire Commission, the order will come out which will order the company to do whatever it entails.  So we have to wait for that draft order to become an item on an agenda.   

Overall this is a step in the right direction to help our Spring Creek community deal with the water issues we have been facing for years. This is only one small step in a large process to fix the problem once and for all. 

Key Highlights:
Lila Glaser Testimony: Q: Does staff agree with refund methods that GBWC has proposed as resolution in this matter. A: No. Staff believes that any refund amount should be calculated and potentially refunded to every Spring Creek customer…

Yasuji Otsuka Testimony: Q: What are you recommendation to the Commission regarding the issues outlined.. A: I recommend that the Commission find that the BBWC’s two comparative analyses of field technicians’ meter reading practice do not provide conclusive evidence to support its assertion that the meter reading problems: (1) are limited to only on particular field tech; and (2) started in June 2016.

Yasuji Otsuka Testimony Page 12: …GBWC should have investigated if there were any process, procedure and control issues related to the claimed fraud practice. However it appears that GBWC did not even try to do. This is disconcerting and does not demonstrate serious management attention towards identifying the root cause(s) of this problem.

http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/puc2/Dktinfo.aspx…
Docket 16-12006Type your paragraph here.

6.14.17

The PUCN Commission had their final hearing yesturday regarding the water meter issues we are facing in Spring Creek. The PUCN staff and BCP really put in the time to understand the issues and express their continued concerns to the Commission that there is likely more customers effected in this case, as well as pointed out there are really no strong programs for staff training and policies and procedures in place as well as the lack of customer service and satisfaction in our area. 

The next steps are Commissioner Pongracz will write a draft order.  In the last section, there will be Commission Discussion & Findings and then it will say “it is ordered that..” &  that’s where you’ll want to look for the outcome.  Then the Draft Order will go on an agenda to be voted on by the Commission.  Upon an approval by the entire Commission, the order will come out which will order the company to do whatever it entails.  So we have to wait for that draft order to become an item on an agenda.   

Overall this is a step in the right direction to help our Spring Creek community deal with the water issues we have been facing for years. This is only one small step in a large process to fix the problem once and for all. 


4.28.17

The water meter reading consumer session happened on April 19th. You can read the Elko  Daily article here. If you would like to make comments or read the water companies testimony you can also find that below.


If you would like to make comments in the docket, the information is below as well as if you want to file comments with the BCP as part of testimony. From here, the water company made their testimony as noted in the links below. The PUCN staff will now make their testimony and it will go in front of the commission in a pre-conference hearing in June. We will know what way the commission would like to go from here: 

http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/PUC2/Dktinfo.aspx?Util=
Click water and wastewater on the left and click on docket 16-12006. 

Please mail all comments to:

Public Utilities Commission of Nevada

1150 E. William Street

Carson City, NV  89701

The comments must have the Docket number, address and signature of the person filing the comments in order for the comments to be included in the record of the Docket.  Since they are available for public view, advise not to include account numbers or anything else they don’t want public to see. 


You may also electronically file comments in the Docket by going to the PUCN website http://puc.nv.gov – Under Filing & Fees – Electronic Filing and Payment System.  If you have problems filing your comments this way, please contact the PUCN’s Business Process Services at 775-684-6198.                                      

Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline:  702-486-3132

The Hotline is updated on a regular basis.  Have a pen or pencil handy and make the appropriate selection when prompted. 

Email:  aginfo@ag.nv.gov


2.23.16

Water Meter Reading Community Meeting Update: We recently connected with the PUCN regarding next steps for a community meeting to address issues with Great Basin Water Company. They will be scheduling this meeting in the next few weeks which will include PUCN reps. This is good news! Once we know the date and where, we will inform the residents.


1.26.17

An update regarding the water meter reading issue! Good job for speaking up and letting your voice be heard!

Yesterday, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada Commissioners reviewed the water meter reading issue as the Commission meeting. General Counsel’s memo was approved and the issue will be set for further proceedings so the Commission can dive deeper into this issue. No late fees, the company must defer from collecting any of the amounts in dispute. General Counsel also proposed that the company notify all customers, not in a bill stuffer but actually notify, that this proceedings is happening. –that was included in the memo and approved by the Commission.

The Chairman expressed great concern about Nevadans being affected by these high bills. He said he realizes this eats into people’s family budget. He was very concerned that the public interest is protected and wants to get to the facts to ensure there is resolution for our Association members and make sure this does not happen again.

I would direct everyone to get on the service list for the docket # 16-12006. You will be notified on anything gets filed into it.

You can listen to the Commission meeting by clicking this link: http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/puc2/CommissionInfo.aspx . Then select ‘view’ next to ‘audio recording of agenda meeting’. It should come up on windows media player and you’ll be able to skip over beginning parts. You can listen to this agenda item at about 1 Hour and 12 Minutes.

It is encouraging to know that the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the PUCN regulatory staff and the Commission are taking this serious and listening to the property owner voices.

Agenda Item: http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/…/AXImages/Agendas/02-17/6833.pdf ; Item 5B


We have heard a lot of frustration from property owners on this issue and thanks to the Elko County Commission and the support of the Spring Creek representative, Rex Steninger, the traveling merchant ban for the Spring Creek Association is moving forward. 

 It shall be unlawful for any person with the intent to sell or solicit goods and/or services, also known as door-to-door sales, to call in person at any dwelling or business or at any other place
within the boundaries of the Spring Creek Association. Any person who intentionally violates Section (F) is guilty of a misdemeanor. Political, religious and charitable organizations are exempted.

Process:
1. Call dispatch at 775-777-7300 and report the solicitor.
2. Call or email SCA so we can follow-up on the issue at 775-753-6295 or email frontdesk@springcreeknv.org.

https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/127498/NO_2017-05_Spring_Creek_Door-to-Door_Sales.pdf

Spring Creek Association 

Call Us:  +1.775.753.6295

Frontier Communications Issues

Nuisance Issues - ATV, Dogs Running Loose or Barking

Keep informed on what is happening in our HOA by click the links below. From water issues, road maintenance, programs and events, you can find it in these monthly updates!


Geese Management