Part-Time Residents Pay Full Prices

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Editor:

I would like to respond to your article in last Friday's edition, "Pine Water imposes Stage 2 restrictions":

We have owned a second home in Pine since 1996. When we were looking at property we asked about the water problems and were told, in detail, about how several small companies had been purchased by Brooke Utilities and that one "professional" company had resolved the problems. As we later learned (and those of you who live in the area know) this is not the case.

The article outlined Brooke Utilities policies for Stage 2. They included outside watering on odd or even days depending upon lot number. I certainly support that as a fair policy when restrictions are needed.

The article then stated that there would be no outside watering on weekends and holidays. That policy is patently unfair to those of us who are in Pine almost exclusively on weekends and holidays.

Please encourage Brooke Utilities and appropriate public agencies to limit their restrictions to the odd-even days? That is fair and reasonable.

Like many "flatlanders" who spend 30 to 50 days each year at our second home in Pine, we too are concerned about the water problems. We recycle our bath water for outside watering. We often haul water from the valley for additional outside watering. We conserve inside with water-reducing showerheads and we bring drinking water with us.

We pay full fees for our water service every month; whether or not we are there to use water. We pay all county and state taxes for the entire year for services received 30 to 50 days each year. We receive limited services for full fee. That's fine, as long as we are treated fairly and welcomed courteously.

We patronize the restaurants, grocery stores, furniture stores, theaters, independent shops and other businesses in the area.

We have participated in the annual craft fairs held on various holidays. These events are always heavily promoted in your newspaper and the Payson area.

We frequently brought friends with us to enjoy the area. Our dollars and theirs are gladly left behind.

This Memorial Day we shortened our usual stay, coming up on Saturday rather than Thursday or Friday, and did not bring friends with us. We retired last year and had planned to spend a portion of each summer in Pine. We considered eventually making our home in Pine our primary residence. Our summer plans are now to spend some time in Washington State.

I believe the Roundup has a role in supporting reasonable water policies. I encourage you to become more active in supporting public policies that encourage attempts to find new water resources, conserve the water we have and control development. (And, "Yes", we are relatively new to the area, but we purchased an existing house that had been sitting vacant for almost two years).

What will happen to the area if more and more of our aging population decides to retire to their Rim country residences full time?

How much more severe do you think the problem with the bark beetles will become if the "Flatlanders" can virtually never water outside?

How can you best inform your readers to gain the support of the agencies and companies who set our water (and forestry) policies to ensure adequate resources for all residents and visitors?

I will appreciate you and your readers' support in encouraging Gila County, the state and Brooke Utilities to treat those who only tap into your water resources on 10 percent to 15 percent of the days each year with fairness.

William Albert, Mesa and Pine

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