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A: Our water district is composed of three independently developed communities: Greatrock North, Rocking Horse Farms and Box Elder Creek Ranch. Each of these developments was built with independent water delivery systems with wells drilled and permitted to deliver water for each community. When the District assumed responsibility for the three developments it was decided to interconnect all three developments with the primary water treatment facility located in Box Elder Creek. This is where our reverse osmosis plant is located.
Within the boundaries of our three communities we have eight separate wells. Two are drilled into the alluvial zone; these are shallow depth wells less than 100 feet deep and are replenished over time with surface water. Three wells are drilled into what is called the Upper Arapahoe water basin underlying the Denver Metro area. These are deeper wells that are about 400 feet deep. Water from this aquifer is centuries old and is considered non-replenishable. That means this aquifer will eventually be unable to sustain the water demands of everyone pumping water from it. Lastly, we have three other wells drilled into the much deeper Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer located about 1,400 feet underground. Just like the Upper Arapahoe basin, this source is considered non-replenishable and will be unable to sustain the needs of everyone drawing water from it. This water, having been in the ground over a much longer time, has the highest concentration of dissolved minerals. We don’t use this water to send to your homes; we use this water for what is called augmentation purposes. Under the extremely complex water rights laws, for every gallon of water that we pull from our alluvial wells and Upper Arapahoe wells for our use, we have to pump a varying volume of water out of the Laramie Fox-Hills basin and discharge it into Box Elder Creek to compensate for potential damage we could cause to senior water rights holders located downstream from us.
We have gone to Water Court and had these individual wells consolidated into what is called a well field. That means these wells can be used to service the entire District, regardless of where they are located. This gives us more flexibility to use the water from the wells with the higher water quality for your homes and the water from our poorer quality wells for our augmentation requirements.
We take water from our alluvial wells and Upper Arapahoe wells, send a portion of it through our reverse osmosis plant, add a little chlorine, then blend it all together in our two 500,000 gallon tanks in Box Elder. From here, it is pumped to the homes in Box Elder or to the tanks in Rocking Horse Farms and Greatrock where it is then pumped to those homes.
A: The District is funded from a property tax mill levy, which is divided between debt service and operations, as well as monthly service fees and system development fees (a/k/a tap fees). For collection in 2014, the District’s Board of Directors has certified 46.840 mills for debt service and operations expenses. In addition, the District charges users monthly service charges which are comprised of a base rate of $40 per month plus usage fees based upon a property owner’s actual consumption during that month.
When a property is constructed, it is required to connect to the District’s water infrastructure. In order to do so, a water tap must be purchased from the District and a system development fee, which pays for the water tap and associated capital costs, is due. The District’s current system development fee (tap fee) (for 2014) is $12,300.
The District’s Board of Directors adopts a budget annually and sets its mill levy for the following year based upon the needs of the District. This meeting is conducted as a public hearing and property owners are encouraged to attend and provide comments. The District may change its fees, rates, tolls, penalties and charges at any time during the year without conducting a public hearing. To obtain a copy of the District’s most recent budget, please contact the District’s Manager (contact information set forth below).
A: Property taxes are determined by completing the following calculation for an individual parcel of property: Assessed Valuation x mill levy = Annual Tax Bill.
The assessed valuation of a property is determined by the County Assessor. For residential properties, the County Assessor determines the actual value of a residential property and multiples it by 7.96%, the assessment ratio in 2014. For example, if a property is valued by the County Assessor at $350,000, the assessed valuation is $27,860 ($350,000 x 7.96% = $27,860).
Once the assessed valuation is determined, the County Treasurer applies the total mill levy of all governmental entities which tax that parcel to the assessed valuation to determine the annual tax bill for that property. For example, in 2013, the total mill levy within the Greatrock North subdivision was 135.410 mills. Using the example above, if a home is valued by the Assessor at $350,000, the annual tax bill would be $3,772.52 ($27,860 x 0.135410 = $3,772.52).
It is important to note that the total tax bill is for ALL governmental entities taxing that property and is not solely for the District. As noted above, in 2014, the District’s mill levy is 46.840 mills. Therefore, using the examples set forth above, the portion of the annual tax bill attributable to the District is $1,304.96.
A: The District is a separate legal entity, has a separate Board of Directors, and does not have any formal relationship with the homeowners’ associations within the subdivisions (the “Association”). An Association is formed pursuant to its declarations for purposes of care and maintenance of any common elements created pursuant to that particular declaration, and collection of assessments and enforcement of covenants and restrictions imposed by the declaration. Any assessments due from owners to an Association are separate from and in addition to taxes and fees payable to the District.