I attended the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) in February when the request for funds to conduct a study of the purchase of Brooke Utilities' Pine Water Company was discussed. It would be a gross misstatement to characterize that request as a proposal.
The presentation was certainly not clear in terms of the goal of such a study, the boundaries of the study, cost of the study, or the benefit to the community. It is also very misleading to state that Gila County is providing matching funds for this study.
The $5,000 the county is willing to give to the IDA is only "seed" money. The IDA expects PSWID to manage the study and to provide the remainder of the funding required to complete the study -- with no estimate of that cost.
The members of the community who attended this meeting made it clear to the board of the PSWID and the members of the IDA present, that this is not an activity the community supports or wishes to spend the PSWID funds pursuing.
The residents of Pine and Strawberry are not interested in unrealistic claims that our water problems will be solved by the purchase of the water company -- that will most certainly exasperate the problem by allowing unlimited growth and significantly raise our taxes and water usage fees. It would also eliminate citizens' recourse to the ACC or any other regulatory body.
The movement to purchase the water company is one that will benefit only the special interests of the realtors and developers.
Toni Sorel, Pine