It's Time To Straighten Out Gila County Politics

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Editor:

Ginger Jeffers' assessment that politics in Gila County are disgusting is right on the mark.

Despite a longstanding, serious water problem and despite the statement of the Arizona Department of Water Resources that current development in Pine-Strawberry over utilizes the available water, the Gila County Board of Supervisors approved a new subdivision in Pine. The county supervisors followed this action with the creation of a new water district in Pine; an action that led to the filing of a lawsuit by Pine Water Company. The county supervisors represent their actions as being for the good of the community. Before the public can believe this representation, county supervisors need to answer the following questions: How is it good for the community to further weaken its precarious water supply? How is it good for the community to weaken a water district by carving it up in bits and pieces? How is it good for a community to use tax funds to fight a lawsuit rather than to find the water it needs?

If the county supervisors' motivations are for the good of the community, they could:

1. Recognize that Pine-Strawberry's serious water problem is compounded by new developments.

2. Listen to the statement of the Arizona Department of Water Resources that wells in the area are probably interrelated.

3. Require impact test and/or impact fees from developers.

4. Require on site inspection by the county of all water systems installed by developers to ensure the health and safety of residents. Currently there is no such inspection.

5. Revise the Water Availability Guidelines for Subdivisions to delete any referral to seasonal-use areas. The county has to mechanism in place to ensure that seasonal use subdivisions always remain seasonal use. A developer need demonstrate only 135 gallons per day, per residence, on an annual basis in such an area.

6. Revise the Water Availability Guidelines for Subdivisions to reflect a more realistic water requirement. Currently year-round use areas need to demonstrate only 250 gallons per day, per residence, on an annual basis.

7. Require tests that take into account the seasonal nature of the water supply in the Pine-Strawberry area.

8. Take any other action needed to protect the water supply of current residents.

Please contact the county supervisors and urge them to take actions for the good of the community.

It is time to end disgusting politics in Gila County.

Bernice Winandy

Pine

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