Rim Country Water Working On Options

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Building a million-gallon water storage tank was one of two options for dealing with Pine and Strawberry water concerns that were presented to a citizens' group Sunday.

The Rim Country Water group heard a presentation by Steve Morken outlining two viable alternatives dealing with the development of a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID) for Pine and Strawberry.

Morken spoke at Rim Country Water meeting on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Pine Cultural Center.

Richard Dickinson, a Strawberry resident, performed some online research for the group and established contact with a company that specializes in the installation of potable water storage.

The company representative offered to provide several packages of information that contained construction quotes for a million gallon storage tank. Company officials said a million gallon potable water storage tank could be constructed for approximately $330,000.

Pumping water into the tank during the off months would provide a million-gallon resource for the summer period. Furthermore, it would provide badly needed water in the event of fire, Dickinson said.

"Doesn't this usage of $300,000 make more sense than a $300,000 expense for a hole in the ground that may or may not provide water?" asked RCW organizer Fred Krafczyk.

The company representative also refuted a statement frequently made by Brooke Utilities concerning potable water storage and stagnant water, Krafczyk said. He said the presence of a water storage tank means that water is pumped in on a regular basis and pumped out on a regular basis. Consequently, the water is constantly moving.

"We understand that some minor water treatment may still be necessary," Krafczyk said.

Many of the attendees voiced their anger at the hauling charges and the inability of BUI personnel to satisfactorily explain how the charges were computed, Krafczyk said.

Another concern that was voiced is "How long can BUI issue estimated monthly statements? -- At what point do they have to provide a reconciled, understandable statement?"

Information about the recall of some Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board members was also talked about as was the current status of the K-2 Well Agreement.

The primary focus of Rim Country Water is to find reasonable and cost-effective solutions to our water problems (i.e. shortages, outages, deteriorating delivery infrastructure), Krafczyk said.

A primary concern is also to be able to provide both adequate supply and pressure for fire protection in Pine and Strawberry. Rim Country Water does not want to own the water company, he said.

Rim Country's plan is to have a community-owned and controlled company. In the interim, Rim Country Water is continuing their research efforts concerning the appropriate structure of the future Pine-Strawberry DWID. They will also monitor the actions of the PSWID board, he said.

"The information submitted by Pine/Strawberry residents is mounting and we need help," Krafczyk said.

The group is looking for anyone who can assist in any way, or has an area in which they would like to assist. Interested individuals or groups can contact Rim Country Water at the Web site rimcountrywater.org or send an e-mail to rimcountrywater@yahoo.com. Those interested may also speak with Cindy Maack at Ponderosa Market or see Steve or Tamara at Rimside Grill.

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