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ASADA Nosara elects New Board of Directors
Old meter prices and water taps could return

By Fritz Elmendorf
At the Feb. 22 annual meeting of the water board (Asada) for the American Project, a new president was elected and outgoing President Rick Walker revealed some news for returning the ASADA to a sound financial structure.

In response to Walker’s request, the assembled water meter holders voted twice by overwhelming majorities to request that the previous rate structures for usage and new hookups be reinstated.  Walker said that he had been told two days before the meeting, by a lawyer representing the government’s regulatory agency for water, the AyA, that such a resolution might be recognized by the agency.

He expressed some guarded optimism that AyA would recognize the resolutions expressing the desires of the local water users. Otherwise, he said, the ASADA's efforts over the past two years to hire lawyers and consulting firms to pursue a more formal and bureaucratic process to gain approval for the higher rates was "stuck in the mud."

It was the AyA, as well as the government’s pricing regulator, ARESEP, that two years ago informed the local ASADA that it didn’t have the authority to charge the rates that are substantially higher than allowed for other ASADA that provide water to local communities. 

For two years, the Asada has asked water users to voluntarily pay the old rate, and 74% have done so. Along with substantial budget cutting, the ASADA concluded the last fiscal year with a $6,600 deficit, paid for out of current reserves of $90,000, according to Treasurer John Ermatinger. He reported that the deficit, out of a total annual budget of $216,000 last year, could be eliminated if the ASADA is successful in applying for an electricity rate reduction which it is entitled to. 

The annual electric bill from pumping water over an extended area to 3 tank fields and 550 users is just over $50,000 annually, and the ASADA is only legally authorized to charge a total of $60,000 in usage fees according to the normal rate structure. Voluntary payments totaled $144,000 of the budget, Ermatinger reported.

While the Asada has kept the water flowing amidst the budget cuts, it lacks the reserves to tap new water fields for future growth. Two established wells, one 40 years old, recently began sputtering, which caused water outages and threatens additional water outages until a new well can be dug. Walker reported that the system has held up better than he anticipated, and additional overnight shutoffs have so far been avoided. He has repeatedly pointed to water used for gardening as a burden on the system, especially when the system is under stress.

The new well, authorized at an emergency meeting of the ASADA, is expected to be online by the beginning of March.

The meeting concluded with elections, with about 45 of a total of 550 water meter owners present. Local real estate agent Chicki YanIz was elected president, for a two year term. Other officers are:
Vice President: Peter Burke
Secretary: Karen Haskins
Treasurer: John Ermatinger (imcumbent)
Fiscal: Lilly Adams
Vocals: Heida Cronquist, Carl Wells, and Olivier Von der Weid.


More Regional News

Mayor of Nicoya Takes a Rest For Health Problems

The mayor of Nicoya, Marco Antonio Jimenez, presented a disability notice on Monday, February 20th, before the Municipal Council because health problems impede him from exercising his labor for 22 days.

Fire in the Nosara River Mouth Was Controlled by Firefighters

On Wednesday, February 22, residents of the Nosara river mouth were surprised when they saw a fire coming between the bank of the river and the bushes. The fire was the result of a bonfire left the night before, and it took Nosara’s volunteer fire brigade two hours to extinguish it.

Water Outages in the American Project to Continue through February

Periodic extended water outages may last another ten days throughout the American Project while the Asada, or water system, struggles with sputtering wells, budgetary, maintenance and personnel issues.

Motorcyclist Taken to Hospital after Accident in Barco Quebrado

William Garita Jimenez of Barco Quebrado was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Nicoya on Wednesday morning, February 15th after being hit by a truck.

OIJ Investigate Cause of Tuanis Fire

On Tuesday February 7, agents of the OIJ (Judicial Police) from San Jose were at “Tuanis” furniture manufacturer, which was burnt to the ground last Sunday, looking for evidence to determine if the fire had been intentionally set.

Fire Destroyed Furniture Manufacturer "Tuanis" in Guiones

On Sunday February 5th, around 7 AM, the furniture manufacturer "Tuanis", located on route 160 in Playa Nosara, went completely up in flames. Nosara volunteer firefighters were the first to reach the fire, using water from the pool at The Village Foods.

New Law Looks to Organize Market in Liquor Licenses
• Municipalities Will Benefit

When it comes to profits from the sale of liquor, both the owner of the bar and the owner of the liquor license that the bar utilizes can take a big slice of the pie. But only 300 colones per year of the liquor license use tax goes to the municipality Why? Because the law that regulates these licenses dates back to 1936.

Better Late Than Never: The Montaña River Will Finally Have a Bridge

After Nosara and Ostional residents endlessly requested that the Government build a bridge over the Montaña River, it has finally become a reality. Since January 9th, machinery has been hard at work with breaking ground and opening the space needed to access the Bailey bridge.

Nicoya, Nosara and Samara Plan Projects for 2012 National Budget

Two motorcycles for the Public Force of Nosara, computers for schools in the district of Samara and new sidewalks for the park in Nicoya are the projects that have been selected for investing funds from the National Budget of Specific Items for 2012.

Danger at Samara Intersection
Bus Stop Locations Create Hazard for Drivers and Pedestrians

If someone isn't paying attention and using the proper caution, an accident could easily occur at the main intersection entering Samara, especially when buses are present, reducing visibility of oncoming traffic.

Municipal Power Struggle Hinders Budget for 2012

The Municipality will likely have to work with an adjusted version of the 2011 budget this year, according to Municipal Code article 98, since the 2012 budget was not approved by the General Controller of the Republic (CGR) due to issues with the proper approval procedure.


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