I have been a resident of the Rim Country for 30 years and most of it I have lived in Pine, suffering the water woes through various water company managements.
The current owners of Pine Water Company and Strawberry Water Company, subsidiaries of Brooke Utilities, have stated repeatedly that there is no water available in this area for further development. Now that two deep wells have been drilled in Pine by private parties, BUI refuses to work a deal with them, yet they now want public tax dollars, $300,000, to pay for drilling an exploratory well that they claim is too risky for them to expend their own money. If it is successful, they will then spend over a million dollars to drill a second well next to the first, funding that and the payoff of the "loan" by requesting a rate increase from the ACC. Pine Water Company customers will then be paying for all those development costs forever.
For the last five summers, PWC has been trucking in water to supplement their inadequate well and storage system at extreme cost to each customer. There is no accounting method for how much water is trucked or what it costs to the company. Now it has recently been documented in ACC public hearings that water was pumped out of Pine through the Magnolia pipeline to Strawberry at the same time that water was trucked in to Pine at exorbitant costs. What's wrong with this picture?
Now that Strawberry is also running out of water, they received notice that they will be on water restrictions and when they are placed on Stage 3 restrictions, then no water from the new K2 well will be pumped to Pine. Pine will have paid all the costs, but will not have first rights to the water during restrictions.
Pine Water Company has already paid for two low-producing wells in Strawberry thatre not used for the Pine system, that well water has always been used in Strawberry and the two companies pay each other for the transfer.
What I see happening here is one corporation owning two entities in which they can transfer money and water back and forth to extort money from the customer and incite jealousy and bickering between two small communities. The old statement "United we stand, divided we fall" has real meaning in this situation. We need to band together and control our destiny. Vote for the recall of the four PSWID members that are selling us out.
J. Mike Taylor