Government Bailout — Rejected

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Editor:

Last Sunday, the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) approved an agreement between the PSWID and the owners of the Milk Ranch well.

The agreement, which is an option to purchase the Milk Ranch well, gives the PSWID the opportunity to test and research a proven well for six months to assure that the PSWID would be purchasing a productive water resource that will benefit the Pine-Strawberry communities. The cost of the six-month option is $1, with the purchase price and terms to be negotiated based on market appraisal. Which is the better plan, $1 to test a proven resource or $300,000 to roll the dice on a less than certain outcome?

It is important to understand the difference between the Milk Ranch agreement, and the agreement that the recalled board members instituted, that placed $300,000 of taxpayer monies at risk on an uncertain outcome. In essence, the K2 agreement was an attempt to bailout a private company. Brooke Utilities has had the opportunity for over 12 years to find a solution, and its only solution was to look to the people of Pine-Strawberry because they could not, or would not, do it of their own accord. It is unfortunate that people like Sam Schwalm and his group, still support a government bailout of an inept water provider and fail to realize that the citizens of Pine and Strawberry have now spoken twice that they do not want to align themselves with his unrelenting support for the K2 agreement and a taxpayer bailout of a government protected, privately held, water monopoly, Brooke Utilities.

It is our opinion based on evidence, that the K2 agreement was founded on the premise of “let’s throw money at this, close our eyes, and hope for the best.”

Let us issue this challenge to Sam Schwalm and his group. You are still willing to spend the taxpayers’ money and place it in high-risk situation, but how about your own? If the K2 was such a great deal for the community, it will be an even better opportunity for you as venture capitalists. May we suggest you put up your own $300,000 and if the well proves to be what you profess it to be, no doubt, the PSWID would buy your well at an appraised price. Perhaps it is time to “put up, or shut up.”

Fred Krafczyk

Rim Country Water

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