Pswid Board Needs To Be Straight With Residents



Does PSWID exhibit double standards when it comes to spending our money?

The public was told no cost to rate payers for acquiring two water companies. Probably no increases for five years. 2009 board promised public no increased rates for two years. Result. Strawberry rates raised, followed by increase for both communities “effective” Jan. 1, 2011. Commercial users no change for summer usage, includes one that consumed 404,000 gallons last July.

In 2009 PSWID advised tax levy would go from $300,000 to $200,000 to $100,000 then disappear. Result. Upcoming fiscal year supposed to drop to $100,000. $300,000 now proposed.

Grant money available from WIFA to offset expenses. Result. No grants.

“Pine Strawberry citizens for the prohibition of providing tax dollars to a privately held water monopoly” opposed spending money to fund a well that Brooke was to drill. Owner of Milk Ranch Well complained and asked “is this good business sense?”

Result. Some new members elected. PSWID spent $175,000 to repair, develop and improve Milk Ranch Well before purchase. “Any money district puts into the well would be subtracted from the purchase or lease price.” Result. No money subtracted from purchase price. “Purchase price and terms would be negotiated upon completion of an appraisal of the well, property, and easements to be conveyed.”

Result. No appraisal. Well purchased for $400,000. Additional 50 residential meters and two commercial meters at no cost. Value $170,800. Result. $570,800. Cost of trying to improve and connect well not included. Completed contract not available.

Strawberry Hollow Well. Original appraisal $210,000, Copy supplied. Second appraisal completed. Result. Copy of second appraisal denied. Well purchased for $450,000, double original estimate.

Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District. PSWID to inherit system once last lot sold. In April 2010 PSWID gifted our right to inherit system. May 2010, Solitude Trails asks PSWID to buy system for $500,000, three times on agenda. Result. No action. Still being considered? Other developers/well owners hoping for lucrative deals with PSWID.

Brooke did not haul water during its last two summers, received a couple of wet winters, improvements been made to the system. Was it to satisfy “special interests” that sloppy agreements give us cause to wonder if we received fair value?

In 2003 ACC. John Nelson, Gila County, under direction of lawyer made statement PSWID was not a domestic water improvement district. Later PSWID avoided legal path to conversion to “domestic” WID by having same lawyer then give an opinion that it had always been one. Result. Public denied the legal right to vote for the conversion.

Proposed increase in property tax levy would not be necessary for this upcoming fiscal year, if PSWID exercised due diligence. I am asking the board to be straight with the public and spend our money wisely, is that too much to ask?

Pam Mason


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