The constant controversy in the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) amazes me, a 3-year resident, while longtime residents say it's been going on for 25 years and will continue.
Right now, it's bipolar, with one pole being the current petition advocates (seeking approval for $12.12 million to buy out and improve Brooke Utilities and develop new water resources), and the other pole wanting to drill at the recommended best site to deliver additional water as first priority.
Ask either pole what the long-term solution is to our community water problem, and both will generally concede that it's: 1) finding a reliable long-term, year-round water supply to meet the demands of a fully developed community, and 2) developing a dependable water delivery/storage system to supply all needs, including fire protection and waste water treatment.
And both obviously agree we don't have either now.
Yes, both groups are really after the same long-term objectives. The big arguments arise in just how we go about attaining those ends, and in what priority.
Then, there's the Gila County Board of Supervisors which has some interest in solving our water problems, but views them in the context of ambitions for the whole county and the whole state. Their decisions may not be in the best interest of our community. I believe both opposing groups will agree that local control is best for PSWID and our community.
Jim Estess asks some questions and makes comments ("If you're happy with Brooke, then don't sign the petition", Feb. 6, Roundup) that should be addressed in PSWID Advisory Group meetings. For example, ask John Nelson to provide members with up-to-date copies of all Gila County itemized expenditures against PSWID's budget. Well field development, with its financial planning, should have highest priority at our meetings, rather than topics such as "If Hardcastle (Brooke Utilities) doesn't go, then I'm moving out."
I think we will find the cost to "poke a hole in the ground" is closer to $800,000 than the "$2 million" estimate of Mr. Estess.
Wes Suhr, PSWID Advisory Group member