This letter is in response to PSWID candidate Sam Schwalm’s comments from his interview with the Roundup. Mr. Schwalm believes that Strawberry will be tied to the water problems in Pine and will pay a significant portion of the costs for the resolution of Pine’s water problem. The fact is, both communities’ water problems are already tied to each other.
The proposed K2 well is to be drilled right next to Strawberry’s existing wells with no protection clause in the event the wells are directly affected by such drilling. Yes, Strawberry could be overshadowed by Pine in the future, but we now have the proper representation of the PSWID board members.
Mr. Schwalm states that the K2 well water could easily be delivered to either Pine or Strawberry. Perhaps Mr. Schwalm overlooked Brooke’s application to the ACC. Nowhere does it state in writing that any water will be delivered to Strawberry. It states that Pine will be the primary user of the water.
He fails to mention that the land is, or was, owned by Strawberry Water Company, and Brooke Utilities (or SWCo) is graciously giving this land to Pine Water Company because the parties involved found this land to be not useful to SWCo’s customers. This land is not only useful to SWCo’s customers, but vital to Strawberry’s future, and such a transfer of land requires approval by the ACC. Even if the land is secured, don’t you think the $1.3 million to drill this test well is excessive? I do.
Sam Schwalm commented how oversight would be shifted from the ACC to Gila County and stated how Gila County’s rules are much more lax.
Brooke Utilities and the ACC have allowed water hauling for over 11 years. Who is, and has been, lax here?
Sam Schwalm has the audacity to suggest that the privately owned Milk Ranch well be condemned as if this Ranch has a moral obligation to fulfill the needs of others. Mr. Schwalm, your words attack free enterprise and a competitive free market and violate the moral rights of others. Condemning any property won’t change the fact that Brooke has not put money back into the communities’ infrastructure, which is in dire need of attention.
I can clearly see that Sam Schwalm is not the man for the PSWID.