We’ve Got Mail

mail 1118

Here is the first piece of mail received at our new address. It’s not the first piece to be addressed to us there: the county, which is an amorphous conglomeration of people and departments of somewhat underwhelming efficiency, sent two sewer bills to us at Riverwalk, but they don’t seem to have ever been delivered there.

So let’s unpack that last sentence. We can go back to the county later, so let’s head toward the end of the sentence. Sewer bills. Yes, we are receiving bills for a service we don’t yet have and which won’t even be hooked up until sometime next spring (a variable term that might really mean “July” in this instance).

It’s funny, because there was just a discussion about development within three miles of the county municipalities in last week’s Gunnison Country Times, and how developments “hopscotch” and make no provision for future alignment. I was going to say, And now Lynn and I will be part of that problem, but we currently live in the Palisades, which was developed hopscotch fashion in the 1960s, with lots of empty land between this subdivision and the rest of Gunnison. Now all that land has been mostly filled in (Dusty earlier this year completed a house on one of the final vacant lots), it is obvious that the Palisades streets are not in alignment with the rest of the city.

Many years ago the county recognized a few alignment needs, and it has since installed pipes to deliver water to Antelope Hills, where many not-rich people live but water was hard to come by, and it has put many of the houses to the north of Gunnison on a sewer system. This is preferable, and certainly much more sanitary than, oodles of septic systems.

As an aside, the county also ran sewer to a development next to Cranor Hill Ski Area, after it turned out the developer did make any provision whatsoever for sewage disposal. None. This was another not-rich area, and the state was threatening to levy fines of thousands of dollars per day against each homeowner. So the county stepped in to assist, even though it didn’t have to. (Although someone, county or state, should probably have inspected the development as it went in to make sure that sewer had indeed been provided for.)

One of the women who lived out there was one of these contradictory rabid anti-government people. And I call her contradictory first because her husband was employed by the federal (it means “government”) Bureau of Land Management, and second because as the process was working its way forward, slowly, she would write very angry letters to the Times castigating the county for not paying enough, for not working fast enough and generally not attending to her every need. Despite the part where the county wasn’t required to do anything, once again here was a “drown government in a bathtub” mentality expecting government to fix her problems. Quickly, and at no expense to herself.

Have I digressed?

At any rate, those of us with property in Riverwalk are part of the North Gunnison Sewer District, and for this privilege (which it is, really), we get to pay a quarterly fee whether we’re hooked up or not. Actually, once we get hooked up, we will get to pay more. I am hoping we are part of whichever phase that will cost $150 rather than $200 quarterly. Either way, it’s a lot more than we are paying for sewer within the city limits.

Now, let’s go way back to that sentence we were unpacking. (I didn’t get very far, did I? And yet dirty laundry is all over the floor.) The two bills the county sent to the Riverwalk address never seemed to have made it there. Lynn had to go to the county to ask about the first bill after I realized we hadn’t yet seen one. She may, in her job at the Post Office, have seen the second one and intercepted it, despite that she had requested a change of address when she was at the county finance office.

But the county sent both those bills to 142 Riverwalk. Now the same county (different departments, different buildings) tells us we are at 60 Riverwalk. And the same county told Gunnison County Electric Association (not affiliated with the county other than geographically) that our lot is 42 Riverwalk.

As I have mentioned, there are two other houses currently under construction in Riverwalk, where current addresses on the north sides of the streets have odd-numbered addresses. Except for the two under construction. For some reason the house on the north side has an even number, and the one on the south has an odd number, which is at odds with the houses already there.

I need to call the county — I’m guessing here, but I think I want Road and Bridge — and clarify before we change our address on too many things. We changed it to 60 on our well permit, and that’s the letter we got yesterday (and notice the box in the mail house is numbered “10” just to confuse things further), because we didn’t designate something correctly on the permit.

Now, the last time I called the county on what I assumed was a simple matter, I was the treasurer for the Gunnison Farmers’ Market. All I wanted to know was whether the county charged tax on groceries. The city does charge tax, the state doesn’t, but after examining several receipts from places around town, I couldn’t tell if the county taxed food or not. So I asked.

It turns out the county didn’t know either. One grocery was taxing food; the other wasn’t, and I was informed that the non-taxing grocery (okay, it was Safeway) wasn’t happy with me because they had to change all their tax calculations after the county finally decided that maybe it did, in fact, want to tax groceries.

Since becoming a county landowner, I have also had to explain the county’s Land Use Resolution to the county’s building department, since it didn’t understand the clearly-spelled-out difference between a building envelope alteration and a boundary line adjustment. I have a copy of the pertinent pages with boundary line information highlighted in pink and building envelopes in green if anyone would like it. Knowing that difference saved us thousands of dollars.

I doubt very much that anything beyond my sanity might be saved by clarifying house numbers in the subdivision, and I keep putting this off because I imagine I’m going to have to talk to 20 people. But just as SpongeBob needed his nametag to clarify his identity, I would like to know what my house number is going to be, and why other soon-to-residents of the same area are getting misinformation about their house numbers as well.

Wish me luck, Sancho Panza.

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