New Water District Created By Gila County Supervisors

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Gila County’s newest water district does not yet have either a water company or a sworn-in board.

On Monday, supervisors approved a petition that Beaver Valley homeowners signed to form their own water improvement district.

The water company’s current owner wants to sell, and residents will buy it, although prices have not yet been negotiated.

The community is located outside of Payson on Houston Mesa Road.

County supervisors appointed five members to the board — Sam Baker, Cullen Bennett, Jerry Nicholas, Rick Werner and Bing Brown — and the first election will take place in 2010.

The new board must fill out paperwork and be sworn in before becoming official. On Aug. 8, they’ll hold the first meeting, elect a chairman and bylaws.

Brown said after the board is official, it will move toward purchasing the water company.

Supervisor Shirley Dawson offered an ominous farewell to the new board: “Good luck to you gentlemen. The county does not want to run water improvement districts and we hope you are successful.”

Brown said after the meeting that he does not expect big trouble. “This is not a situation where you have a great deal of angst on any side.”

Although water companies do have legal taxing authority, Brown said the existing water company has been running off water rate revenues and the water district hopes to continue the tradition.

“If he can do it, we think we can,” he said.

Brown said the day featured another step on Beaver Valley’s journey to self-sufficiency.

In the late 1990s, residents formed a fire district, which volunteers later staffed.

“Now we are doing the same sort of thing with the water company,” Brown said.

“This is not the request of the people that will serve on the original board; it’s the request of the people that live in Beaver Valley.

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