An Open Letter To The Pswid Board

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Editor:

As one who was very involved in the creation of PSWID and who served as board chairman for the first several years of its existence, I have a great interest in its successes and/or failures.

During the last several years, much has been accomplished. Condemnation proceedings were successful in acquiring the water systems in Pine and Strawberry from Brooke Utilities. Financing of the acquisition and upgrade of the systems through Compass Bank was another major accomplishment.

Working on the purchase and/or drilling of new wells is also important. We are already seeing the result of these successes in the two recent holiday weekends when our water storage reserves were not significantly impacted. I have on more than one occasion congratulated the board on the actions it has taken. These successes were possible in large part because it was apparent to everyone involved in the discussions and negotiations that the board and those whom they had hired were capable, knowledgeable and were a part of a very stable organization, which could be trusted to continue to operate in that manner.

In recent weeks, I have become very concerned over the actions of the board. In a very

short time the board has brought about the resignations of their hydrologist, their engineering consultant, their operation manager, and the chairman of the board. These are not the actions of a capable, knowledgeable, expertly running and stable organization. With all due respect gentlemen, this is chaotic.

This does not inspire the confidence that will be required in the next year or two to refinance the short duration loan with which you are now operating. Without that refinancing, this community will be in a heap of trouble. Should the cost of refinancing be raised by just 1 percent as a result of diminished confidence in the board, that would result in a nearly $900,000 increase in the required payback over a 20-year period.

I’m sure that in taking these actions, you have been convinced that you were doing the right thing, but I would point out to you that each of these four individuals or companies were experts in their fields and it was through their expertise that much of your progress was made possible.

You must not let your close proximity to those involved blind you to how this all appears to those outside your sphere, on whom you are so very dependent. You must also be aware that there are a few individuals in our community, not many, who would be delighted to see this whole enterprise fail completely. Don’t let them influence you to make decisions that may have severe long-term consequences.

You have created a situation that will be difficult to overcome. Get your act together. You need people who are experts in the fields of water exploration and utility management. Work together. Make sound decisions. There is much more to be done. The community is counting on you to create a stable, affordable water utility that will enhance the lives of all who are or will be living here.

Howard Matthews

Comments

Melissa Durbin 3 years, 8 months ago

Very wise word’s sir, it saddens me to see that people have lost vision of what is important such as quality and quantity. It also saddens me that so many professionals who have passion for this industry were forced to walk away. PSWID is running a Public Water System that is required to meet Federal and State drinking water standards regardless of the size. As you mentioned I hope they look out side of the sphere and do what is best for the community before another private company would have to step in with worse results.

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