Wednesday July 29, 2015
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Pat that was a lovely thing to do for people in distress. Thank you for your kind actions
Growth should pay for growth - with no ifs, ands or buts.
You may recall that it was Strawberry who was self sufficient with their water supply and Pine was supplied by Strawberry in times of need. Today the reverse is true and pumping water uphill using the Magnolia Pipeline is expensive particularly when you consider the electricity costs. Water flowing downhill is always cheaper.
So we come to the Water Master Plan, the long awaited report was finally given to the PSWID board this month. They will be discussing and voting on it in the February meeting. During a board work meeting held in September to go over a draft version of the Plan it became obvious that water loss is an issue. As you can imagine the board wanted specific information including future water demand at build out and so on.
The topics covered are numerous and the plan consists of 127 pages but nowhere does the report suggest further investments in wells in the Pine area. Rather it is Strawberry who would benefit the most from any additional wells and it would cut down on the cost of pumping water uphill. In addition there are no recommendations to invest in shallow wells which are known to be unreliable and prone to going dry.
For your information the last version of the Water Master Plan can be reviewed on the PSWID web site http:// www.pswid.org. You can find the link on the main page.
Given the history of expensive special deals and suspect agreements entered into previously with developers/realtors and the confirmation that their wells were indeed problematic I would presume that the newly elected board would tread very carefully before going down that same road.
Due diligence is not lip service with this board and I trust they will make the right decisions for all of us in the communities of Pine and Strawberry not just for the chosen few!
January 15, 2015 (Taken from PSWID board meeting minutes)
B. Water Enhancement Committee Report: Maher Hazine was nominated by Larry Bagshaw to be the new chairperson. Richard James seconded. The committee had no meeting in the past month. It will need to meet to consider the offer Mark Fumusa is making about the Solitude Trails new well drilling, and the purchase of two of his wells. There is also an offer Albert Hunt made to sell his Ponderosa Water Company to the district.
D. Information/Discussion/Action regarding the Solitude Trails new well drilling and storage capacity requested by Mark Fumusa. Mark reported that Solitude Trails is only using 10% of the water produced by his wells in Portals 3 and Brookview Terrace. The water travels through PSWID lines to the Solitude Trails subdivision. He says that PSWID could use 90% of the water. He is proposing that the district buy the two wells from him for $150,000.00 and cancel the water sharing agreement currently in place. He will be recoating the 100,000 galloon storage tank in Solitude Trails for a cost of $60,000, half paid by him and half by his 50 customers on the 78 lots in the subdivision. He would like to drill a deep well in Solitude Trails and install another storage tank. He is asking for PSWID to provide $250,000 to share in the $500,000 drilling costs in exchange for a new water sharing agreement. He had Mike Plough attend the meeting to verify that the new well had a good chance of hitting water within 1000 feet. Richard James asked for the depth of the current wells. The Portals 3 well is 500 feet deep, but the pump is set at 240 feet and produces 5 gpm. The Brookview Terrace well is about 260 feet deep with the pump at 240 feet and produces 30 gpm.
Tom Weeks thanked Mark for his presentation and said the Water Enhancement Committee would review the offer.
Comment: As mentioned PSWID is not needing to use all of the available water.
September 12, 2014 (Taken from PSWID Supplemental Water Sub-Committee minutes)
2. Mr. Fumusa spoke about the Solitude Trails well and that there was more water available from the well than the District is using. There was discussion that the well is turned on and off automatically as demand requires.
September 18, 2014. (Taken from the PSWID board meeting minutes)
G. Information/Discussion/Action regarding the availability of water from the Solitude Trails well owned by Mark Fumusa. Mr. Fumusa would like the district to use more of his water. His subdivision only uses 10% of the available water. Don Smith wanted to know what relationship Mark wanted. Mark wanted just the same as present. Brad mentioned that he will need to reestablish charging a “wheeling fee” for the services PSWID provides currently.
October 15, 2014. (Taken from PSWID Supplemental Water Sub-Committee minutes)
5. Discussed the addition of a wheeling fee for the water supplied to Solitude Trails.
Comment: As early as 2011 and again in March of 2012 Sam Schwalm made a statement this time in a letter to the Editor of the Payson Roundup. “4. 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”
Comment: On all occasions the then PSWID board dismissed this information.
February 10, 2011 (Taken from PSWID Supplemental Water Committee Meeting minutes)
5) Old Business
Report from Solitude Trail’s Board about a purchase agreement and considerations and a possible meeting between PSWID and STDWID. Mark Fumusa was sick and could not make it. Solitude Trail board is meeting at the end of February to discuss the possibility of PSWID taking over their system.
August 21, 2014 (Taken from PSWID board meeting minutes)
K. Information/Discussion/Action regarding alternatives for the water sharing agreement with Mark Fumusa. We currently deliver water to the Solitude Trails development for free, but the district is paying for all the operations and maintenance costs. CH2M Hill has suggested we charge a ”wheeling fee” or buy Mark Fumusa’s two wells. Sam Schwalm said that there was supposed to be a wheeling fee already in place, but that it never was added to the agreement. Beckie Signeti reported that all the water sharing agreements were standardized after the district bought out Brook Utilities, and that the wheeling fee was removed. Brad Cole said that it shouldn’t be a standard agreement for Solitude Trails. Don and Rus asked about when the agreement renews. Beckie said they just renewed in July, so they are not up again until 2016. Pam Mason stated that the original agreement with Solitude Trails was that when the last lot sold, that their water system would revert to PSWID. Don Smith remarked that when the last lot sold, the former water board turned the system back to Solitude Trails. Tom and Rus said this should also be taken on by the Water Enhancement Committee. Brad Cole also remarked that Solitude Trails is now an official water utility and is subject to all the reporting required of water utilities
December 16, 2010 (Taken from PSWID board minutes)
b. Discuss and take possible action related to acquisition of the Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District.
Sam Schwalm commented that he felt there was no need to acquire the Solitude Trails District since we already have access to the water.
Pam Mason commented on the original agreement between Solitude Trails and Brooks Utilities. She reminded the Board that in that agreement when the last lot was sold in the development the Solitude Trails Water District would be turned over to the Brooks Utilities system. Given that the current Board eliminated that part of the agreement when new water sharing agreements were signed, she felt it an insult to the community for STDWID to petition the Board to purchase their water district or for the Board to consider such a purchase.
Ron Calderon indicated he feels that the acquisition would be worth the effort based on the additional revenue produced and the elimination of having to pay for water sharing. He also mentioned that the STDWID has good potential deep well drilling sites. Board discussion followed. The consensus was to allow CH2MHill time to develop a Master Plan for the District, and then evaluate the need and potential value of such an acquisition. Gary asked Ron to join Don Smith and participate on the Supplemental Water Committee.
January 20, 2011 (Taken from PSWID Supplemental Water Committee Meeting minutes)
Mark Fumusa was present and discussed the need to complete a purchase by the Board of the Solitude Trails Well. He described the possible solutions to the purchase. Don Smith suggested a meeting between the PSWID board and the Solitude Trails board to discuss possible resolutions.
February 3, 2010. (Taken from PSWID board minutes)
e. Presentation by Mark Fumusa concerning the acquisition of the Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District by the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District. Mark Fumusa, Chairman of Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District, provided a handout and gave a presentation proposing that instead of re-negotiating the existing water sharing agreement, he would sell the assets of his district to the PSWID. The proposal involved a $500,000.00 interest free sale of the assets of his district to PSWID payable monthly. He estimated that the outgo was offset by the income based on the fact that the transaction would transfer 49 water customers from his district to PSWID. Sam Schwalm asked a question related to the agreement STDWID had with BUI providing that when the last lot was sold the water would go back to the district.
April 17, 2010. (Taken from PSWID board minutes)
Board discussion on water sharing agreements
At Solitude Trails we should keep charges the same, take over costs of electric and maintenance, and remove the clause related to the last lot sold.
May 8, 2010 (Taken from PSWID board minutes)
a. Presentation by Mark Fumusa, Chairman STDWID, concerning the acquisition of the Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District by the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District. Mark began his presentation by providing a legal conclusion from his attorney related to how Arizona law would authorize one domestic water district to purchase the assets of another domestic water district. He then reviewed his proposal for the purchase of the assets of STDWID by PSWID for a sale price of $500,000 interest free for 15 years. He outlined the terms and conditions of his proposal that he feels provides for the acquisition of STDWID by PSWID by a “break even” no “out
of pocket” transaction. He addressed several questions from District Board Members present, and a Board Discussion followed. No further action taken at this time.
My comment: So in effect we gift the system back to Solitude Trails and less than four weeks later Mark Fumusa wants to sell it back to PSWID for $500,000.
I do have some history and an opinion.
Back in 1996 Rich Williamson E & R Pine Water Company was called before the ACC for violating an existing ban on supplying developers with new main water lines. Gila County and ADEQ came in for some criticism as well. Full details available in New Times article dated Thursday July 18, 1996. Heading: Tapped Out.
As a result Mark Fumusa Solitude Trails Developer had to find his own water source. He subsequently used two wells one in Cimmaron Pines and another in Portal III. The water was fed into the existing E & R water system and using E & R piping was wheeled/fed to Solitude Trails development. By means of using a meter any excess water provided by the two wells could be used by E & R, and Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District would be compensated accordingly. This in a very simple form is the basis for the original Water Sharing Agreement. The ACC were still involved in the case and it was determined that when the Solitude Trails last lot was sold their system would then become the property of E & R Pine Water Company which later was purchased by Brooke Utilities.
April 20, 2008. (Taken from Solitude Trails Domestic Water Improvement District Board Meeting minutes)
“The Board Members reviewed the progress of the Pine/Strawberry water situation. Mark (Fumusa) is on the Supplemental Water Committee of the PSWID which is looking into supplemental water supplies for the PSWID. The PSWID board has agreed to pursue buying Pine Water Company. If PSWID buys Pine Water Company what will become of our current contract? The Board discussed several what if:
If PSWID cancels the current contract we are still STDWID and will renegotiate a new contract.
If PSWID wants to continue the contract as is we may have several options considering whether we want to remain a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID) or if we want to get out of the water business. The board wants to maintain a secure and steady water supply to the district members. It is necessary for the Board to remain up to date on the progress of the PSWID Board actions to protect our district’s water”
Comment: No guesses as to who else would become involved in the Water Supplemental Committee meetings held in the Ray Pugel /Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty conference room.
Get well soon, be kind to yourself and do what the Doctor says. Take all the time you need and know we will be looking forward to your return. God Bless.
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