The Gasparilla Island Water Association’s annual membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at the Boca Grande Community Center.
As approved by GIWA’s membership at the last annual meeting, we began charging in April of 2011 the $12 monthly assessment to fund relocating our water and sewer mains when the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority constructs new bridges on the causeway.
We have already accumulated $195,000, with an additional $24,575 added to the fund each month.
GIWA’s necessary relocations at the two fixed bridges were bid through GIBA to be included with the contract to replace the bridges, but those bids were significantly higher than estimates. A careful review of the bid did not explain the discrepancy; therefore, we are soliciting bids from local contractors to complete our portion of the work. We will have a report for the membership at the annual meeting.
GIWA recently finalized renewing their 10-year water withdrawal permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. A condition of that permit is for GIWA to reduce their daily average per person use from 176 gallons a day to 150 by 2019. An area that we see could go a long way towards reaching that goal is better control of irrigation during rainy periods when GIWA’s water flows show that many are still watering.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure it is equipped with a working rain shutoff device, which overrides the system when enough rain has fallen. Rain shutoff devices have been required by Florida law on all automatic sprinkler systems installed since 1991.
We have some exciting news for improvements that we plan to implement in 2012 that will help customers get a better level of service. First, we will begin utilizing an emergency communication network provided by CodeRed, which will allow us to promptly notify our members of an emergency, such as a precautionary boil water notice via telephone calls, text and e-mail messages.
Beginning January 2, 2012 you will be able to sign up for your preferred method of notification at mygiwa.com.
Secondly, we plan to take advantage of new technology with meters that will store information. Many of you have experienced a high water bill that cannot be explained. With the new meters, your data can be downloaded, and we can pinpoint when the unusual usage occurred which in most cases will allow you to determine exactly what did happen.
We have a couple of test meters in service now and they have been very useful in identifying problems which saved the homeowners money and conserved water.
Since meters begin to under-register with age, we currently change meters when they have been in service more than 10 years. We will keep that current plan, but since we feel these meters are so valuable to members, beginning this spring we will allow our members to have their meter replaced early at a prorated cost. For most members, the prorated cost ranges from $8 to $72, depending upon the age of the meter. Members with larger meters would pay a higher prorated cost.
Our mission is to deliver safe, high-quality water to our island at the most economical price possible. We look forward to seeing those of you who can attend the annual meeting.
Leslie DiazPresident, GIWAView More images >>
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