I attended the PSWID meeting in October, and at the end was in total dismay regarding the thinking of this body regarding the $300,000 of taxpayers' money that was to be given to a public utility. The District will be paid back via a rate increase to the water users.
Is that truly a wise decision? Is that not similar to double taxation? Each of us are taxed for the Water District and then slammed with a rate increase for something that we helped a public utility fund. Again, is that a wise business decision? If I were Brooke Utilities/Pine Water Company, I would say that is definitely a great decision. In that way, I would not have to put up any of my own capital improvement money to serve my Certificate of Convenience and Necessity.
In Mr. Suhr's letter to the editor published in the Roundup on Oct. 20, it was stated that the responsibility of the Board is to utilize tax dollars in the best interest of the District to find new water, assure water year-round, and to stop hauling water.
Reference was made that the money is in the budget for the agreement with BU/PWC. I am glad that it is in the budget but does it have Brooke Utilities name next to it as a capital improvement line item. I would certainly hope not. During the open meeting I attended, Mr. Suhr tried to lead us to believe that he is maintaining an open mind. I personally found that difficult to accept due in part to the many references made both verbally and in print to finalizing this agreement with BU/PWC.
Mr. Suhr again made reference as to how "very, very expensive" it would be to add a private well to the existing infrastructure. Words like "very expensive" do not carry a lot of weight if you can't back it up with numbers. How do we know that the $300,000 would, or would not, be enough to bring a private well on line? I personally would be interested in those figures.
Mr. Suhr keeps making reference to a "special interest group." I don't think you can call a couple of citizens that took it upon themselves to do something what Brooke Utilities has chosen not to do for the 10 years I have lived here, a "special interest group." I think it could be better phrased as an "interested group of citizens."
We, as residents of Pine, should thank these individuals for investing their own dollars in the future of our community. We all now know that the phrase often muttered, "There is no water in Pine," should no longer fall from our lips.
On the surface, it appears that Brooke Utilities is using the PSWID as a finance company but the entity does not have to repay the loan. Pine residents will be doing that.
John Mayhall, Pine
Editor's note: This letter was cut to fit within the 400-word limit for letters to the editor.