Why I’m Still Opposed to the Drainage District Fees
Grand Junction residents aren't exactly doing cartwheels at the idea of forking over $36 to the Grand Valley Irrigation District. When it comes to paying the bill, I held out as long as I could, but out of fear of being turned over to collections, I went ahead and paid.
I paid the $36 fee after receiving my second notice, the one featuring the footnote explaining I will be turned over to collections if the bill is not paid by the end of August. My desire to get out of paying the bill is not simply an act of defiance. Not hardly. From where I stand, I've already paid this bill, and then some.
Located directly in front of my house, roughly 12 feet from my front door, you'll find a detention pond. What is that? According to stormwaterpartners.com, a detention pond is:
A stormwater detention pond is an open basin built by excavating below ground or constructing above-ground berms or embankments. The detention pond temporarily stores stormwater runoff and slowly releases it through a specially designed outlet or control structure." - stormwaterpartners.com
Take a look at the first two photos above. During rainfall, snowmelt, or even when someone over-waters their lawn or washes their car, excess water flows down the street, into a culvert, and then down the chute to the pond. Once there, it slowly drains over a period of hours. THERE ARE NO STORM DRAINS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. This is it.
Why, then, am I opposed to paying the bill to the Grand Valley Draining District. For starters, I already pay $75 a year in fees to maintain this pond. That is in addition to mowing it, pulling the weeds, fixing the sprinklers, and fertilizing the lawn. This pond is on an easement in front of my property. I don't own it, but I am required to take care of it.
For the record, I'm not complaining about the $36 fee from the Grand Valley Draining District. I understand it. My problem stems from the fact I'm already paying $75 for this drainage pond, and now have to pay an additional $36 in fees to the district. I probably wouldn't care, but we have no storm drains in my neighborhood.
I did a little looking on Google Maps. The closest storm drain to my house is .2 miles away. Unless water magically starts flowing uphill, no water from my street will ever reach this drain.
From where I sit, the $75 I'm already paying, combined with the $36 in fees from the Grand Valley Drainage District, coming in at a total of $111 in annual fees, is a tremendous amount of money to pay to accommodate Grand Junction's 9.42 inches of annual rainfall.
Secondly, when it comes to the matter of irrigation, I'm getting burned here too. I already pay irrigation fees, but receive no irrigation water. All houses in my subdivision pay a small fee, even though seven out of seven houses on the block receive no access to irrigation.
I'm unclear as to how I'm going to handle this situation. Obviously, getting turned over to collections and having my credit destroyed is out of the question. Perhaps the next step is to dig through the numerous pieces of propaganda I've received from the drainage district and see if I can get in touch with the right person.
In the meantime, a lawsuit filed by the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce against the Grand Valley Drainage District continues. As it stands now, it looks like this matter could very well drag into 2017.