This is in regards to the letter by Sue Green stating the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board should be recalled. Perhaps that would settle some people’s emotions but it would not alter the financial and infrastructure facts that must be addressed. Most of us do not appreciate an increase in rates or property taxes, however, denial about the challenges that we must tackle could lead to disaster.
I would question the writer as to which parts of the 2012-2013 budget we should eliminate and would welcome suggestions as to where we get the funds to do improvements that are imperative.
Our primary 300,000-gallon water storage facility in Pine that serves Pine and Strawberry is in danger of collapse. Should we delay repairing this?
A storage tank in Strawberry has 17 leaks. Should we close our eyes to this?
We lose over 31 percent of our water pumped to leaks or faulty water meters. If you lost over 31 percent of the gas that you put in your vehicle’s gas tank, how long would you neglect this? Lost water costs us all money not to mention the affront to water conservation.
Industry standards suggest replacement of water meters every 12 years. We have meters in some areas that are over 40 years old and are virtually unreadable and do not correctly register water consumption. The purpose of the meter replacement program is to ensure that everyone gets a fair and accurate account of their water usage. Should we abandon this project?
Our contingency fund has been depleted due to Gila County’s road improvement on Pine Creek Canyon Road, and then again because of the mechanical failures of the system that happened last summer. Do you think we should neglect replenishing our reserve fund? Where would we get funds if another cataclysmic event occurs? Unlike our federal government, we must pay our bills. Our water system has been described as a system at risk. Over 30 miles of water main is thin wall sewer pipe that does not even meet sewer pipe standards today. A utility employee has suggested that the only thing that holds the pipe together is the dirt compacted around it.
The budget calls for a master plan. The master plan will give us the information the community needs to make decisions as to how to address decades of neglect in the most economical fashion. Should we eliminate this and continue to lose 31 percent of our precious water and constantly repair main line breakages that occur with regularity? Acting in a reactionary matter will not solve our challenges and in the long run, may actually cost us more.
The board in the past could have also turned a blind eye to our water supply problems. They did not, and honestly, isn’t it reassuring to know our water supply challenges have been resolved? No more stage 2, 3, 4, and the dreaded 5, not to mention water hauling charges. You can turn on your tap and know water will be there, unless we have failures in our tenuous infrastructure.
It is unfortunate that our water system has been piece worked together and neglected for decades. Sadly, there is no one other than us, the citizens of Pine-Strawberry who can bring it back to at least minimal standards and sadly to say, there is no one else to pay for the required improvements.
Ms. Green, I do not recall you attending our periodic board meetings. I do not believe I have ever met you or discussed with you the challenges our community faces. I can understand your anger over increases, however, I would welcome a one on one meeting with you, or for that matter, anyone who may have practical solutions to the water challenges our communities face.
It may be of interest and education to read the article by Mike Koba of CNBC on the PSWID Web site. www.pswid.org — navigate to Water Industry Articles. It describes water challenges that we face not only as a community but as a country.
Being in the real estate business makes me deplore tax increases, however, when you serve on a board you must look pragmatically at issues, set aside charged emotion, and do what is right for the long term betterment of the community.