Unfortunately, the annual picnic has been cancelled again this year. Although it is probably safe to get together, we felt that people would feel better about forgoing the picnic again for another year. We are all tired of the whole Covid thing but there was still question about the mask requirements and then the entire logistics of social distancing at a picnic was taking the fun out of the entire thing. We apologize and I hope you all understand.
With this in mind, the proxy voting will be handled the same way as last year. Return your proxy vote on or before July 17th and you will be entered into the drawing for one-month free water bill.
This year’s Good Neighbor Award has been being awarded to Mick English.
My name is Mike Wheeler, a resident of Foxcliff South and I nominated Mick English for Mapleturn Utilities Good Neighbor of The Year Award.
Shortly after I moved here, I met Mick and have remained friends ever since. I had heard about his business and have seen many of his successful projects in the Foxcliff North and South areas as well as the Foxcliff Golf Course. But these projects successes are not the reason I nominated him. It is the manner to which they were handled. His graciousness to all involved, his professionalism, his knowledge he uses to implement his work and his responsiveness to make serious customer issues, seem less serious are just some of his attributes. I also know of his positive treatment of his employees. These examples are why Mick is usually the first call made for help.
So, after speaking to other residents and board members of the Foxcliff North and South communities and past and present members and employees of the Foxcliff Golf Course, I/We believe he is a most deserving candidate.
In line with last year, we have named two other individuals to be recipients of our Community Affairs Awards.
Community Affairs Award - For Outstanding Work in Business
Doug Molin has been active both as the rehabbing manager for most of the downtown Martinsville properties during the last several years as well as being involved directly as a recent board member or indirectly as a Foxcliff North resident for many years. Members of his family were also involved in the downtown Martinsville rehab work, but Doug was managing the overall efforts. Before retiring, Doug was in charge of the large regional Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Centers in Chicago & Atlanta.
Community Affairs Award - For Outstanding Work in Government
Gary Oakes was a long-time board member for Mapleturn Utilities including during the design and construction of the Wastewater Treatment plant as well as a long-time past resident of and committee member for Foxcliff North. Before retiring and being involved in local community activities by being on several boards he was the president of several large precast concrete plants. Recently he has accepted a position in the Martinsville city government as Director of Planning and Engineering where he has been tasked with overseeing & implementing contracts for long overdue important infrastructure improvements (like water & sewer upgrades) as well as improvements related to new I69 construction such as the impending improvements to South Street as it leads to the new bridge over I 69 into the existing Grand Valley shopping center.
Do not forget!! If you have a sprinkler system for your lawn, you need to have your backflow preventer tested and certified before using it. This is very important to protect everyone from possible contamination of the water supply in the event that there is a pressure reduction in the water supply mains (main break). Also, verify with your inspector that they will sending us a copy of the certification form for the office records. Mapleturn is required by law to maintain these records for 3 years.
Since the last newsletter we have repaired a couple of leaks, installed new service to three homes and have had the Ramsgate lift station completely refurbished.
Also, the North and South pools have been filled. Mapleturn has always been happy to supply the 280,000 gallons of water to fill the pools. And I want to thank both North and South for filling the pools slowly. Moving that much water quickly can un-balance the entire system. This year went very well.
Due to the Covid pandemic Mapleturn had adopted a policy of not actually turning water service off to any home due to non-payment. We are now re-instituting the turn “off” policy as it was before the emergency occurred. If you foresee any issue with payment, please just let us know and we are more than willing to work with you. We understand this situation has led to some trying times, but just give us a call.
To recap the process: Bills are generated and mailed by the 1st of the month. Payment is due on the 17th of each month. On the 18th the late notices are automatically computer generated and mailed. Then nine days later, on the day before the shutoff day, we hang orange tags on the doors as a reminder to pay your bill before noon the following day. Then the next day, starting at noon, we shut the valve and hang a red tag saying that we have turned your water off and that there will be a $41 reconnection fee. Water will only be turned on during normal work hours.
As a point of reference: April’s billing, we gave 65 late notices, 20 orange tags and 8 red tags!!! What would happen if we did not make the extra trip to hang the orange tags?
We have been having issues with getting billing delivered in a timely manner. Many people have elected to receive their bill by email. They receive their bill the day that it is generated, on the 1st. We can send both the email and the hard copy if you desire. If you would like to start this service, just let us know.
Musings of a new board member
Like most of us, I used to think that clean water was a given. You turn on the faucet and there it is. This is generally true if you live in an urban area, but we live in a beautiful rural area with lakes, woods and abundant wildlife. Most people who live in a rural setting must accept the problems associated with a private water source, which always includes the uncertainty regarding the quality and availability of their water. However, we have the good fortune of being both customers and members of a modern rural water association.
Mapleturn Utilities is a not-for profit entity that provides the highest quality water that is tested on a regular basis and meets rigorous government standards. Mapleturn Utilities personnel receive the same training, follow the same procedures and use the same tests that are used by all water utilities in this state, but we have some advantages. Our primary advantage is that we get our water from a stable aquifer and not a reservoir. We don’t have to worry about algae blooms or reservoirs filling with silt, and we will have water even in serious droughts. Also, our water mains are fairly new and contain no lead, unlike the systems in many American cities. This is going to be a big issue in the coming years.
So, the next time you turn on that faucet, be aware that one of the reasons we can live here is because of the infrastructure provided by Mapleturn Utilities, an important, integral part of our community.
As summer continues and the Covid restrictions subside; spend some time outside talking to your neighbors again. Have A Good Summer.
Wow, it sure has been a strange and very trying year with the COVID 19 virus, lockdowns, working from home, no school and everything else. And now with the holidays upon us we may be facing restrictions on gatherings and travel. With all of this, however you can still be assured, it will pass. In the meantime, take precautions and be safe.
I would like to ask you for a favor. You have noticed that our guys have been working throughout this pandemic. Obviously, they are considered essential workers but even at that, they would still be here because they are dedicated to providing you with good quality, safe drinking water. All I am asking is that you smile and wave when you see them and tell them thanks if you get a chance.
You may have also noticed that there are a couple of new faces around. I would like for you to welcome Hunter Rohland and Kent Garrison as new additions to our staff. David Ice, who is our water and wastewater operator, is leaving us in December to start his endeavors at grad school.
Kent will be taking over the duties for David. And Hunter will be working with Larry and Rocky to begin learning the ins and outs of how all these systems work. If you have not noticed our staff is getting older and approaching retirement. It is imperative that we begin to bring in the next generation water professionals to allow for a smooth transition for the utility. Although, this is outside of our normal operating budget, the MU Board understands the vast amount of knowledge that our guys possess and how important the transfer of this knowledge, through these mentorships, will be.
This year we have repaired the normal number of water main breaks. However, we did see an inordinate number of service line breaks, some ours and some the homeowners. We think it was due to the extremely dry weather causing the ground to move as it dried out. This summer we replaced close to one hundred new electronic meters bringing us ever closer to having them all done. We will be continuing this throughout the winter. We will be calling to set up appointments for those with meters inside your homes.
It has been a busy year and it was unfortunate that the virus caused us to cancel the annual picnic, but we all look forward to a much better year to come.
So, from all of us at Mapleturn Utilities we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, and safe, New Year!