Restitution, not subsidy
September 7, 2010
The source of the $181,742 cash subsidy for Job’s Peak Ranch water users is the 210 Fund, which is a slush fund that ceased to be funded in 1996. What our county commissioners and county manager failed to mention was according to the Douglas County Water District ordinance passed on July 11, 1996, this fund is supposed to be distributed proportionate to the ratio of assessed value of real property valuation as of July 1, 1996. In other words, a case could be made that none of the 210 Fund should be used for Job’s Peak Ranch, which was not in existence as of July 1, 1996, and only of nominal value as raw land in 1996. Therefore, very little of the money in the 210 Fund came from Job’s Peak Ranch property.
Job’s Peak Ranch water users deserve restitution, not subsidy, for the county’s negligence in taking over a bad water system from developer Cole Smith. The county should find a more appropriate funding source for their negligence, and they should keep their hands off the 210 Fund.
The 210 Fund belongs to water users who have yet not received their fair share based on their assessed value as of July 1, 1996. To distribute the balance of this fund in any other manner is redistribution of wealth and, in my opinion, a back door water consolidation scheme, i.e., spread the cost of Job’s Peak’s problems to people outside of that enterprise fund. The rightful owners of the 210 fund may very well include other county water customers who are facing severe water rate increases this year and who are not being given any subsidy from the county.