In a recent Roundup editorial, the claim was made that: “The [PSWID] board succeeded brilliantly, doubling the community’s water supply with the purchase of a series of existing wells. Marvelous. Farsighted. Heroic.”
Such high praise deserves some details on the PSWID board’s accomplishments:
PSWID purchased the Strawberry Hollow Well from a local developer for $450,000. That was more than twice the appraised value. In addition, the developer was left with rights to half the water from the well and physical control over the delivery of water to PSWID.
A local developer wanted PSWID to purchase the Milk Ranch Well, but it was non-functional. Couldn’t produce a drop of water. PSWID spent $150,000 fixing and improving that private well. PSWID then purchased it for $570,000, three times what it would have appraised for had it been in working condition to begin with.
Shortly after closing the deal for the Milk Ranch Well, the PSWID board announced that they had “discovered” that PSWID owned the property adjacent to the Milk Ranch Well. PSWID then drilled a replica of the Milk Ranch Well for only $163,000.
PSWID held an option that would have transferred the Solitude Trails water district, along with a high production well, to PSWID at no cost. PSWID handed that option back to the developer of Solitude Trails, for no compensation, at the same time that the developer was lobbying PSWID to buy the water district for $500,000. At the same time PSWID unilaterally changed the water sharing agreement so that Solitude Trails receives free water, paid for by PSWID customers and taxpayers. This arrangement violates the PSWID Rules and Regulations that require pro-rata sharing of costs.
For those of us who are concerned about how the government spends our money, there is nothing brilliant, marvelous, farsighted, or heroic about those actions of the PSWID board.