Sometime early this year our publicly owned water company up here in Pine and Strawberry, the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District — or PSWID, as we refer to it familiarly — made a great decision, namely to replace a section of the main lines and meter locations that were installed way back during the operation of the old private company we had put up with for decades.

The main lines in the area, as well as the smaller lines, were constantly giving trouble because Pine Water, the private water company, had failed to maintain them. The result was a series of outages and repairs, which we were all happy to learn were about to become history.

Completion of the project would also result in larger pipes running from the major lines to our homes, something else for us to look forward to. As I’m sure you know, there’s nothing quite like good pressure to make a shower better.

The project started well enough, but after awhile things began to drag, the sequence of events were confusing, and the company doing the work seemed unsure of what it was doing. Mind you, the workers were polite and hard working, but it appeared that the people making decisions had something to learn. Twice in one week it was almost impossible to get in and out of our driveway, for example. On top of that, our fuel delivery man had to go to extraordinary measures to get fuel to us at a time when it was bitterly cold, and a lack of fuel to heat the house would have been a disaster involving broken pipes and a flooded house.

Then, as the warm weather arrived the work seemed to stretch on endlessly as the company doing the job seemed unable to get it finished. Things began to lag, some parts of the work already done appeared to be being redone, and the whole project just looked ready to fall apart.

Then came a letter from PSWID saying that work had been halted until a new company was found. The letter told us that our meters, which had been dug up, would be recovered.

Concerned about the increasingly cold weather I called PSWID after a few days to make sure our meter box would be done soon. The result? Here’s a letter to the manager of PSWID you will love reading:

Dear Mr. Esquivel,

I am happy to be able to compliment two of your workers for doing an outstanding job. I apologize for not knowing the names of the two fine people I refer to, but I’m sure it won’t take you long to find out who they are.

Here’s what happened:

I called your office on Wednesday of this week to express concern that my meter box had not yet been properly covered up and the freezing weather was upon us. The friendly lady who answered the phone said she would report it.

Yesterday, Friday, a young man rang our doorbell, asked where the meter was located, and in under ten minutes both boxes had been reinstalled, the soil was raked smooth, and the area around it looked just as it had before the people from the company you got rid of made such a mess back there.

That is the finest example of fast, efficient service I have seen in a long time.

Please pass on our most sincere thanks to those two great people.

I look forward to being able to tell all this to the folks who read my column in the Roundup.

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