Beaver Valley’s “one-man” water company could turn into a water district with an elected board if the current proposal passes county muster.
Potentially, the not-for-profit water improvement district would allow the roughly 350 Beaver Valley residents control over their board and water quality standards, so long as they met the legal minimum, said resident Bing Brown. Beaver Valley is located off Houston Mesa Road outside of Payson.
The current operator, Mike Devaron, lives at the water company, but is thinking of moving on, Brown said.
“He’s pretty much a one-man operation,” Brown said of Devaron, who notified Beaver Valley residents last fall of his decision, but was not available for comment before press time.
The Gila County Board of Supervisors recently acknowledged receiving a petition to form the Beaver Valley Domestic Water Improvement District, and set a public hearing for July 20.
“I think, personally, that’s the best way to go because that means we will have a hand in (our) affairs — control our own destiny, so to speak,” said Brown.
Since domestic water improvement districts work as not-for-profits, they could serve residents more cheaply than a for-profit business.
Brown estimated Beaver Valley’s population at around 350 residents, though he said the number varies because many live there only part-time.
If the county allows the district to form, the district would then have to negotiate a purchase price for the company and find grant and loan money to buy it.
Brown said he hopes the process will finish by the end of 2010, though the many variables could change that. “It usually is (a lengthy process),” Brown said. “Even when both sides are trying to work toward the same ultimate goal.”
The area is served by both well water and surface water.