Indian Mountain Property Owners Assocation

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Bar Star Invoice for Alleged Water Storage Services
Posted on Aug 18th, 2021

Dear Indian Mountain Property Owner:  
The Indian Mountain Metropolitan District (IMMD) and the Indian Mountain Property Owner’s Association (IMPOA) recently became aware that IM property owners are receiving a $100 invoice from Bar Star Water Company for alleged water storage services.  The invoice is apparently being sent to all property owners including members of the Bar Star Water Plan, members of the IMMD Water Service Plan (WSP), and even to those IM property owners with vacant land and no well.  The invoices are being sent out in alphabetical order and the best I can discern is that they are to the letter "D".
No doubt this will cause concern and many questions.  Please understand that IMMD and IMPOA  cannot provide any legal counsel to IM property owners.  How you respond to any Bar Star invoice is solely and completely at your discretion.  But IMMD and IMPOA feel it is appropriate and responsible to provide factual information that could help you, or your legal counsel, decide on a course of action.  
Below are six considerations we believe may be relevant:  
1.  Do you have a contract with Bar Star Water Company for water storage services, either explicit or implied?  We are not aware of anyone who has entered into such a contract for water storage services.  A good rule of thumb in our legal system is:  No contract === No obligation to pay. 
2.  In 2018, Bar Star sent invoices to WSP members for alleged water services back to 2012.  Many of these invoices were for more than $2,000.00.  Bar Star Water Company gave a 30-day payment period until they could proceed to file property liens. To this day, no known invoices were paid by WSP participants, and no liens were filed by Bar Star.  The threat of a lien did not work for Bar Star.  
3.  In 2020, Bar Star contracted with a collection agency to collect the alleged fees referenced above in #2.  The collection agency efforts were rebutted, and no known collection lawsuits were filed.  The use of a collection agency did not work for Bar Star.
4.  The cost of filing a lien or paying collection agency fees are far in excess of the $100 water service fee Bar Star is trying to collect.  It may be worth questioning the economic wisdom of filing a lien or hiring a collection agency to collect $100, and the Colorado Division of Water Resources is not in the business of collecting water augmentation fees.
5.  In 2018, in response to the Bar Star invoices to collect alleged fees back to 2012 referenced above in #2, a subset of WSP members formed an organization call “Don’t Lien on Us” (DLOU).  This was a voluntary group of WSP participants who agreed to pool their financial resources to pursue legal action.  DLOU is still active and is engaged in litigation with Bar Star regarding Bar Star’s claim to lien rights and its collection efforts.  DLOU does not think a water storage fee has merit and DLOU’s legal counsel has so advised Bar Star by letter in June.  
6.  On August 14, 2021, the IMMD and IMPOA Boards authorized several of its members to consult with legal counsel to assess the merits of filing a motion of intervention with DLOU to invalidate these water storage charges by Bar Star. There is a reasonable chance that there will be court action against Bar Star by DLOU, IMPOA, and IMMD.  This is a powerful force.  Stay tuned.
In summary, we want to assure you that we are working hard to protect IM property owners from these alleged water storage charges. There are many balls in the air, and everyone I have spoken to plan to not pay Bar Star given pending legal action. We will provide another update when more information becomes available.   
Dr. Glenn E. Haas, 1st Vice President
Indian Mountain Metropolitan District