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Brendan Carroll

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Blogs by Brendan Carroll

What Is It With Co-Ops?
4/8/2010 10:45:41 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Wondering if Utility Co-Ops are Communist?
The new house I'm moving to is located in a restricted subdivision on Lake Livingston in Southeast Texas. So as with all moves, one must go through a lot of changes, one of them being making arrangements to have the utilities turned on. In this subdivision, the electric and water are provided by co-ops. I called them up and they sent applications for service membership by email which I promptly printed out on my trusty little printer. Then the wheels fell off!
Article One on the Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Name withheld) reads "Applicant (that would be me) agrees to pay Cooperative the required membership fee (non-specified) plus all other applicable fees (also non-specific) and/or deposits (again, non-specific).".
Now tell me: What does this mean exactly? What are these fees? What are they for? How will I get my lectrical apparati to work if I don't agree?

Article Two has much unintelligible legal jargon binding me to all sorts of governmental Tariffs, Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations. Article Three is understandable and states that I want electricity and agree to pay for it (*sigh*).

Then comes another whammy: Article Four gives the Cooperative rights and privileges to clamber all over my property installing and repairing their equipment as well as easement rights to my property that abuts the streets (my property abuts the street on three sides!). Wow! Can you see them? Does anyone remember those little fellows from Star Trek... Nanites? Or was that Stargate?

I'm still OK with most of this since I need electrical impulses to run my fridge, but Article Five blew my socks off: "Applicant (that's me) agrees that Applicant (me again) will immediately report to the Cooperative (that's them) any irregularities, malfunctions, abuse, or unauthorized tampering with the Cooperative's (them again) electric meters, transformers, wire, or other electric facilities. I ask you 'Is this not some sort of Pinko/Commie/Socialist type of demand?' Should I begin using the word 'Comrade'?

Of course, the coupe de grace came in Article Six wherein they invoked the Name of God pre-emptively accusing Him of possibly destroying the meter for unknown reasons at which time they would not be held responsible for damages done by the Deity. I ask you: 'Who determines if the act was indeed an Act of God? How should I atone for bringing on said Wrath of God? Should I call a priest, an electrician or dial 911? Should I build an altar and sacrifice the next nanite found creeping upon my property?

Does anyone know anything about Co-ops? I need help or, at least, absolution prior to paying unknown fees, deposits, etceteras.

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More Blogs by Brendan Carroll
• Hello out there! Is anyone home? - Saturday, July 10, 2010
• Author Interview - Thursday, June 03, 2010
• Moving is Hard when you have No Home - Monday, May 03, 2010
• Next Installment: Assassin Chronicles - Monday, May 03, 2010
•  What Is It With Co-Ops? - Thursday, April 08, 2010  
• Retirement = Freedom - Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Man's Unofficial Guide to the Use of His Garage by Thomas Neviaser

This book is a humorous and informative guide to arranging a garage so as to transform it into a “Man's Castle”...  
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