During a contentious three-hour meeting Wednesday, the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District was turned upside down as some board members accused staff of conspiracy and demanded the resignation of the board’s president and general manager.
In the end, the district lost its hydrologist, engineer and customer service supervisor.
The resignations strike a blow in the struggling water district, which is battling contending views on how to provide water to residents and move forward with improvements.
In October, the PSWID acquired the Pine-Strawberry water companies from Brooke Utilities after a lengthy battle with President Bob Hardcastle. Earlier this month, the PSWID board struck a deal to buy the Milk Ranch Well from owners Ray Pugel and Robert Randall for $400,000. The well is one of only two deep wells in the P-S area and tests show it can produce 100 to 120 gallons per minute, a good supplement to the demands of summer. However, critics worry about the amount of sand in the water.
In prepared statements read at the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting, Highland Water Resources Consulting (HWRC) and Tetra Tech terminated their contracts with the district. In addition, Customer Service Supervisor Steve Stevens resigned after board Treasure Michael Greer questioned Steven’s competence in a letter Greer read at Wednesday’s meeting.
Read more in Tuesday's Payson Roundup.