May 2, 2013, Edgemoor Neighborhood Meeting Notes
We opened with introductions and answers to the question: What should be the primary purpose of the Edgemoor Neighborhood Association? The responses were varied – from maintaining the character of the neighborhood by protecting our immediate environment (concerns about everything from coal trains to tree cutting to critter protection to crime) – to communication and a sense of continuity. It’s good to think about why we do things.
Our speakers were Anitra Acceturro, Water Conservation Program Director and Eric Johnston, Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Bellingham. They explained the water metering program to us, and although my water has been metered for the past year, I learned a lot.
In 2007, the State of Washington passed a requirement that water in all cities of our size be fully metered by 2017. In the case of Bellingham, that meant 15,000 meters. The city began rolling out the program last year, and 2013-2014 is Edgemoor’s year. The entire city will be metered by the end of 2016.
The first step in the process is to install the boxes for the meter and assembly, and all but 19 properties in Edgemoor have that finished. The large steel plate in your yard covers the box, and it is important that you not cover it up. There is also something that looks like a large bolt in the center of the plate, which transmits water usage to a database on an hourly basis. This is how the meter is “read” and can also be used to help determine whether there is a leak…or you can turn off all water in your house and pull up the lid to see if the meter is still moving. Just be careful to not damage the wire going from the meter to the “antenna” in the lid. COB will know if it isn’t working.
In June and July, the meters will be placed. Homeowners will be receiving a post card notifying them of the approximate date of installation, and a sticky note will be left on your door when it is completed. Billing based on the meter will begin in January of 2014. There is a water use calculator online at http://www.cob.org/services/utilities/water-calculator.aspx if you are interested in how much water you use. At the bottom of that page, there is a link to this page, http://www.cob.org/services/utilities/bill-payment.aspx, which takes you to the rates page.
At this point, a household cannot access their use through their own account on a daily basis, but eventually that will be possible. In addition, there will probably be a change to use rates for sewer bills as well, but both these changes will happen after all meters are installed throughout the city.
John told us about the draft TIP – check his Nextdoor post for a link to it.
We postponed consideration of the bylaw changes due to a shortage of board members.
National Night Out is coming up August 6th. The idea is that if we know our neighbors, we are more likely to notice if there is something wrong next door or across the street. This can help control crime, because the “bad guys” really don’t want us to notice them. Rather than trying to put together one large gathering, the Edgemoor Neighborhood Association is encouraging neighbors to have “block parties”, as several areas in the Neighborhood already do. If these happen on August 6th, so much the better, but what is most important is simply that they happen. For more information about the program, go to http://www.cob.org/services/safety/police/night-out.aspx. At the bottom of that page, you can “register” your gathering, if you wish, and can request that someone from the police and/or fire department attend.
Office Jeremy Harper, with the Bellingham Police Department Anti Crime Unit, attended the meeting last night to check. He brought us up to date on what has been happening around the city. The Sehome Neighborhood was hit with a large number of burglaries, but they have 2 suspects in jail and have recovered a significant amount of property. He emphasized the importance of reporting suspicious activity, car prowls, break ins, etc. With enough information, they can actually calculate the probability of where the next break in will occur. No piece of information is too small. Also, they recover property which no one claims. If it is reported, they have a better idea of the extent of a problem. The Public Service Officer (PSO) is a good way to report such crimes… call 360-778-8800 and ask to be transferred to the desk officer for a report. If that doesn’t work, the non-emergency line to 911 is 360-676-6911 and you can request an officer telephone you for a report.
Our annual meeting will be held at Lairmont Manor June 13 , 7 to 9 pm. Watch for your postcard in the mail, and if you don’t get one, call a board member or email me so we get you on the mailing list. Speakers have not yet been finalized, so watch Nextdoor for updates. Elections will be held for up to 6 board positions. Beverages will be provided…bring finger foods for snacks after business.
Sandy reported 16 heron nests and few eagles at the heron rookery this year, so there could be a good hatch.
If you couldn’t attend, we missed you – if you did attend, we hope you found it informative.
This is a summary of the meeting, not the official minutes. Those will be posted at a later date.