Frequently Asked Questions

I'm a Crystal Springs Customer and I want to know:

Q: Is this going to cost me money?
A: No.  The Water Quality division has limited funds available to help municipalities and Fire district type organizations to investigate, survey, valuate and ultimately even purchase water systems for their use.

Q: Will my rates go up?
A: No.  We are currently paying a reasonable rate that, with proper management, should sustain the ongoing operation and maintenance of the water system for it's users.

Q: Are you folks (the committee and/ or Prudential Committee) in this for the money?
A: No.  We are all volunteers, and we don't receive a penny for our time.

 

I'm an East Montpelier resident, but not a Crystal Springs customer and I want to know:

Q: Is this going to cost me money?
A: We certainly don't intend for it to.  The only potential cost to East Montpelier residents that we are aware of is the loss of tax income from the Crystal Springs property, which will likely be offset by the members of the Fire Disrict in the form of a 'Payment in Lieue of Taxes' or PILOT as part of our regular monthly water bill.

I want to know why my property is/ is not included in the boundaries of the Fire District:

We went through a careful and thorough review of the water system, and what properties are currently connected to the water system.  Working closely with the Select Board, and using that information as a starting point, we drew the boundaries of the fire district to be neither overly inclusive, or overly narrow.  We included a few properties that were surrounded by included properties.  We also received a few requests to have properties that are not currently connected to the water system, but are nearby, included in the Fire District, which we worked with the East Montpelier Select board to include.

My property is/ is not currently included in the Fire District, and I would like it removed/ added:

Per statute, the boundaries of the Fire District can only be changed by the East Montpelier select board.  The FD has no authority to modify the boundaries in any capacity.

What's the process?

We're learning (and making this up) as we go, so you'll have to bear with us a little.  But the process as we see it so far is something like this:

  • Form a Fire District
  • Adopt Bylaws and Rules and Regulations
  • Apply for (and hopefully receive) a planning and development grant, so we can:
  • Get a full engineering survey of the water system done
  • Get an appraisal of the water system
  • Work out a budget for immediate, near-term and future improvements
  • Work out a transfer/ purchase plan with the current owners
  • Hire a contractor for the day-to-day operations of the water system
  • Execute the purchase of the water system
  • Take over day-to-day operations of the water system
  • Bring the system into compliance with State Water Quality standards and regulations
  • Begin planning for improvements and system maintenance
  • ...
  • ...
  • and so on...

What's happened so far? (Current as of 1/11/2011)

  • We've formed a Fire District, with the approval of the East Montpelier Select board.
  • We've done an RFP for the water system evaluation, and awarded it to an engineering firm.
  • We've applied to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Water Supply Division for a planning loan, and are currently awaiting approval. 

What happens next?

Once we are (hopefully) given the approval of the Select Board to form a Fire District, then we can begin the other work.  Even though forming the organization before we have a deal or even an appraisal worked out feels a little like putting the cart before the horse, it's the only way to go about this process.  Until there's a legal entity with whom engineers, contractors, or the sellers can enter into contracts with, we're nothing more than an idea, and we have no legal standing, no bargaining power, and no ability to apply for Planning and Development grants or other money to move forward.

Additional questions can be addressed to the East Montpelier Fire District Committee Chair, Steve Gilman, by sending him e-mail at steve.gilman@comcast.net