Pswid Approves $9m Budget

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The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board, at its July 16 meeting, approved a 2009-2010 budget of $9,401,000.

Included in the revenues portion of the budget is $300,000 of income from a property tax levy.

However, if it becomes apparent the district can acquire the Pine and Strawberry water companies without going to a condemnation trial, the board has agreed to revisit the proposed $300,000 levy before the budget is submitted to the county.

“Avoiding such a trial would save the district substantial legal fees and hence, the tax levy could possibly be reduced accordingly,” said PSWID board president Bill Haney.

Also listed as revenue for the year is $9 million from sales revenue, customer fees, WIFA loans, bond proceeds and bank loans.

PSWID district manager Harry Jones said that amount included a $6.4 million loan from Compass Bank intended to be used for the purchase of the two water companies.

The agreed upon deadline for the bank to lend the money and the district to complete the purchase is July 31. Due to a number of logistic problems, it will be impossible for the district to wrap up the deal and receive the money by that date.

Although rumors are circulating in the two tiny mountain towns that the bank has already granted the extension, Jones says that is not true.

“The board has only asked me to negotiate an extension which has yet not been done,” he said. “No extension has yet been granted, but we will be asking for one.”

Under the “Expenses” portion of the PSWID budget, $9,248,320 has been allocated for the acquisition of the two water companies and improvements to the infrastructure.

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