Forest Service Oks Pine Water Pipeline


The U.S. Forest Service has tentatively agreed to give Brooke Utilities permission to build a 10,000-foot, high-pressure water pipeline from Strawberry to Pine.

The eight-inch line could deliver up to 300,000 gallons of water a day to the company's customers in Pine.

The Forest Service recently completed a study analyzing the impact the construction of the pipeline, which company officials want to build east of Highway 87 across Forest Service land, will have on the environment.

And Charles Bazan, Tonto National Forest Service Supervisor, recently signed a decision notice, approving the company's permit, Rod Byers, land officer for the Payson Ranger District, said.

That decision is now subject to a 45-day appeal period, giving anyone who opposes the project the opportunity to protest in writing. If no valid objections are submitted, the permit will go into effect in late April.

Appeals must be filed with the Regional Forester at 517 Gold Ave. Southwest, Albuquerque, N.M. 87102.

After the permit is issued, the company must secure a concurrent permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation to allow construction crews to work in ADOT's right-of-way on Highway 87, Byers said.

Brooke officials hope the pipeline, which is expected to take 45 to 90 days to build, will supply Pine with enough water for the summer. Typically the town, which swells with part-time residents and visitors in the summer, is forced to go on water restrictions during the warmer months.

Officials think the extra 300,000 gallons of water a day will ease shortages during the drier months.

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