A letter to the editor in the Feb. 28 edition of the Payson Roundup indicated that the Town had sold its Central Arizona Project allocation for about $1 million and was planning to use the proceeds for street improvements. In 1992, the Town did in fact sell its CAP allocation, but the price was $4,218,797.
By law, proceeds of the sale were placed in a trust fund and can only be used for investigating, planning, constructing, acquiring and/or developing an alternative water supply to replace the CAP water assigned. Since the sale, the Town has used funds for a variety of water exploration projects, including test wells in Rye at Doll Baby Ranch and near Snowstorm Mountain, drilling new wells and deepening existing wells in the Town's system, conducting an environmental assessment for exploration in the Diamond Rim area and planning for the Blue Ridge Reservoir surface water supply.
The Town sold its CAP allocation because there was no practical way to make the allocation "wet" in Payson. Beginning in 1995, maintaining the allocation required annual payments, which to date would have totaled over $3 million. In selling the allocation, the Town saved the annual payment required to keep the allocation alive and received additional revenue for developing water supplies, as indicated above.
Recent Roundup articles have documented the Town's efforts to bring the Blue Ridge Reservoir project to fruition.
I would also like to respond to a letter published in the Feb. 28 edition of the Roundup, authored by Bill Rappaport.
Among other things, the letter questioned why the Town "turned down" an offer of two wells on the Chilson property.
Let me set the record straight:
There was only one well. The well in question is in the middle of the Town's current major water production area and is surrounded by seven production wells within 3,500 feet to the west and eight production wells within 4,800 feet to the east. Any water from the well is definitely not "new water."
The well is near the leading edge of the Aero Drive groundwater contamination plume and cannot be approved by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for use as part of a public water supply.
The only historic use of this well was for domestic water supply to one residence. There is no evidence of any testing using approved methodology to support a production capacity of 400 gallons per minute.
Fred Carpenter, Town Manager, Payson