The Town of Orchard City has received an increase on its water bill from the U.S. Forest Service, along with an assessment for processing and what trustees consider a late payment fee.
But some of the town's trustees objected to the late payment fee.
That's because the feds have forgotten to send out the bill for three years.
The trustees hadn't budgeted for the unexpected bill of $3,173 that arrived this month from the Grand Valley Ranger District. "The amount represents land use rental fees for 2010 ($687), 2011 ($1,036), and 2012 ($1,056), for which you were not billed after the permit expired," said the district's letter.
"Because we had continued to bill other entities with expired permits and in an effort to treat permittees consistently, we need to collect the fees for those three years . . . Also included in that total is a one-time charge for cost recovery fees associated with preparation of the permit and the associated environmental document in the amount of $403.
"Please send the white copy of the bill for collection along with your payment in the envelope provided for your use by the due date."
The Forest Service charges the town annual rent for the ground used by its water collection structures on the national forest. The letter does not explain the annual increases.
Trustee Jimmie Boyd, a former water commissioner in the state engineer's office who has a lot of professional experience dealing with public lands water issues, suggested that under the circumstances the district ranger's office might be willing to discuss the late fee with the town.blog comments powered by Disqus