County Manager To Oversee Water Improvement District

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Gila County Manager John Nelson now has the administrative duties of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District on his "to do" list.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Gila County Board of Supervisors appointed Nelson to oversee the district. At a meeting in August, the supervisors dissolved the board of the district after all but two of its members had resigned.

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Supervisor Cruz Salas and Board Chairman Ron Christensen (center) review papers prior to the opening of the board's Payson meeting Tuesday. Vice Chairman José Sanchez was putting his own papers in order for the meeting.

"We as a board of supervisors need to get all the information in terms of finances, actions in progress and studies (of the PSWID) and at the next board of supervisors' regular meeting hear a report and start taking any actions needed," chairman Ron Christensen said.

He said the board will call for another election once it has sorted through the district information.

"The district will be kept intact and operating in the manner it was intended," Christensen said. "We want the involvement of the Pine-Strawberry people. It's their district. What they want is important to the decision-making process."

John Breniger, one of the two last members of the PSWID board, urged the supervisors to go the extra mile with the community to be straight forward and open. It's important to get reports into the community."

"We want to carefully review what the previous board was involved in and what actions were initiated and see these concluded," Christensen said. "I want to reassure the community this is not going to be a radical change. We will carefully look at what the community wants and where it wants to go. The bottom line is how to meet the challenge of finding a sustainable water supply for Pine and Strawberry."

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