Streamline - Winter 2011 - (Page 8)
BY MYRICA W. KEISER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Are We Important?
IT CONTINUES … the fight with Congress and our Senate to continue the much needed funding for all rural water state associations. We ask ourselves: Is it important? Just what does this mean? Who understands it? Who does it affect?
In the last four to six years, this nation’s economy has taken such a huge hit that it feels like everything is spiraling totally out of control.
Is it important? Jobs all across the nation are being lost. Families are losing their homes and their livelihood. The cost of food, clothing, gas and housing – living – has drastically changed, and there appears to be no end to it anytime soon. So we sit back and ask ourselves: Is continuation of the funding that important? Just what does it mean? Could rural water face the loss of all funding? Who understands the system as to where the funding comes from? It can be confusing as Congress talks about backlogs this year, next year, etc. They talk about earmarks, appropriations, rural development, the farm bill, etc. Just who will it affect? If VRWA and the 49 other state associations loses funding, will they be missed? Will anyone notice? These are questions that we are asked every day. I have been with rural water since 1987, and though the fight to continue funding has always been there, it has never been as severe as it is today. In the last four to six years, this nation’s economy has taken such a huge hit that it feels like everything is spiraling totally out of control. For example: Take the loss of our Training Program. Through the appropriations of EPA, we received funding to provide on-site
technical assistance and training at NO COST to the small rural water systems throughout the Commonwealth. Now that the funding is no longer there, in order for us to assist these systems, to provide them the training they need to keep their licenses, we need to charge a fee. Now, these small systems also have taken a hit by the economic downslide, and their budgets for training have been cut. Now the operator, in order to keep his license, must pay out of pocket for training. This operator also has most likely taken his own hit with no pay increase and a cut in medical insurance. Are you sensing the downward spiral, or better yet, in this case, a “circle”? VRWA is based on its vision statement: “To be the leading professional organization that adapts it assistance and training to ensure services exceed the ever-changing needs of members.” To assist and ensure … these two words are the backbone of this organization and all other 49 state associations around this nation. To assist and ensure all small rural water utilities are maintained, properly equipped, have licensed operators and, most importantly, provide “safe, clean drinking water.” So it is extremely important that the funding continues because it will affect thousands and will be missed. It will affect you! So as we sit back and attempt to figure out what the language means, we here at VRWA ask a huge favor of you. Send us your letters of appreciation. Tell us how much we have assisted you and saved you financially. This is extremely important as we travel that road to D.C. this January to visit with Congress and ask them to secure our funding. With your support letters, we can show them firsthand just what accomplishments this state association has made. Can we count on you?
8 STREAMLINE • Winter 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2011
From the President
From the Executive Director
Farm Tours for Source Water Protection
Preparing Yourself for an Emergency Response
One Step Ahead: Tappahannock Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
Improving Virginia Waters – VACS
Variable Frequency Drives Can Save You Money
City of Emporia Water Plant Upgrade
The Woodstock Wastewater Treatment Plant
Bird Contamination and Your Water Tank
VRWA 24th Annual Exposition Preview
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefi ts
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Welcoming New Members
Board Of Directors
Index To Advertisers/Ad.Com
Streamline - Winter 2011