County Needs To Step Up On Water

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Editor:

First and foremost I would like to comment on the supervisors’ meeting held July 21 in Star Valley. It was announced on the front page of the Payson Roundup. Supervisor Dawson said it would be on various water issues and it also stated it was open to the public.

Supervisor Dawson opened the meeting explaining the agenda; she also said there would be no personal attacks made during this meeting. But then Supervisor Dawson allowed Sam Schwalm a half-hour of personal attacks on Harry Jones, John Gliegie and Ray Pugel. Shame on you, Supervisor Dawson!

Then Supervisor Dawson decided to cut the public off after these personal attacks and 50 or more people who came (some taking took off work) to have the issues heard but could not.

It is my understanding that Northern Gila County produces 60 to 70 percent of the revenues for the whole county.

So as the county’s cost of business goes up, so do your taxes and mine; due to the fact property owners can’t develop their land in most cases because they have no water. Pretty simple: no water, no building, no new tax base.

I’ve been involved in water issues in my community since the purchase of my property five years ago. I am still involved after five years in Arizona Corporation Commission proceedings involving inadequate service and trying to get rid of the moratorium so my neighbors can also build their dream home. This would mean building permits and lots and that brings in tax revenues and jobs to our community.

After almost two years of proceedings with the ACC and due to the fact that a water meter was refused to the fire department, with Supervisor Martin’s cooperation, we were able to break a 25-year moratorium and put a water meter at the fire district’s Geronimo Estates fire barn.

I believe our county supervisors should be concerned with refusal of fire hall meters and the refusal to reallocate water to fire districts for fire suppression. I guess from some standpoints, that is not in the best interest of the public.

I believe the county has a big stake in water issues — they impact the safety and sustainability of the rural communities. I am glad that Supervisor Martin at least understands this.

I would like to thank Mayor Evans and Harry Jones for the informative presentations they gave. Our supervisors may be better informed about this issue by simply going to the ACC utilities complaints Web site and they can see the past, present and future of things to come.

Steve P. Prahin

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