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Why does East Valley have to pay

by Stuart Posselt

On June 17 four members of the board of commissioners (Johnson excepted) rejected the proposed consolidation of the eight water enterprise funds for a whole host of reasons. One of which included the result of the East Valley utility users being forced to pay for fixing the other funds.

Then, on Sept. 2, the commissioners voted unanimously to increase the rates of all the funds to meet the operating and other management costs for each. They granted Jobs Peak a huge subsidy for nefarious reasons (litigation against the County and the developer) and raised the Fairgrounds and Sunrise Estates rates to astronomical levels.

Now comes a proposal to construct an intertie between East Valley and and Sunrise Estates.



It will then be consolidated with and pay the same rates as East Valley until 2012.

Starting in 2012 the rates for the consolidated water systems shall commence to increase to pay for the intertie. The staff report states our rate will go from $58.19 to $70.92 per month in 2014 – a $12.73 increase – plus 22 percent. That will be the third increase without one single improved benefit for the East Valley users.



Once again, East Valley users are being asked to pay for the mistakes and mismanagement of the County.

According to County Manager Brown’s PowerPoint presentation of May 6, 2010, the Fairgrounds-Sunrise Estates water systems have already received subsidies of $33,520 per single family residential equivalent dwelling unit while East Valley has received the least of all the funds at just $1,522.49.

A still unanswered question is where did all that $33,520 go? Each F/SE user could have their own well or reverse osmosis system for much less.

And don’t forget that last October the County’s reallocation of water costs increased the county’s income by more than $1 million per year. They played a numbers game and falsely claimed that additional taking money from wallets was not an increase of the county’s revenue – but they did not reduce one single tax or fee to offset that additional revenue. I suggest that they use that money to construct the intertie.

Looking at the big picture we see that the county’s mismanagement of these enterprise funds has led to this financial disaster for all the funds. The county has no one to blame but itself. We elected the commissioners that hired a county manager who, for whatever reason, directed and enforced these blunders which were approved by the commissioners. Therefore, we, the county, should be held responsible – not just the East Valley users. Just as the county should not attack the Fairground users they should not attack the East Valley users. Why should we be singled out to pay the big bucks? They said it was unfair to force East Valley users to pick up the cost on June 17 – what has changed?

Each East Valley user should call, write or e-mail each Commissioner (numbers and addresses on the county’s Web site) and urge them to not force the East Valley users to pick up the tab for the county’s mistakes at their Dec. 2 meeting. Be sure to ask Commissioners Brady and McDermid their position and vote accordingly as they are both up for re-election on Nov. 2.

Act now before it is to late – before our water rates take another giant leap without any benefits.

Stuart Posselt is a north Valley resident and former candidate for county commissioner.