Alternative water suppliers (June 21, 2016)

John Pedigo has again deceptively asked what alternatives there are for water in Apple Valley. At first I thought he was being purposely obtuse, but now I see that he is being disingenuous (Alternatives, Daily Press, June 21, 2016).

Here are just the ones I’ve identified: A well, a water hauler, DIY water hauling, rain water collection, and Liberty Utilities. Pedigo states he is considering buying a water storage tank, and having water trucked in. For those who haven’t looked into this alternative, this means he is seriously considering paying 4.75 cents per gallon for water (plus the costs for the tank, plumbing, and any needed water testing), to avoid paying Liberty Utilities .7 cents per gallon. This is called cutting off your nose to spite your face, and there is no way he is going to recoup his investment until he figures out how to spend himself into prosperity.

Pedigo then asks about those who live in areas where they cannot take advantage of this money-losing proposition. The answer is simple: Save yourself a ton of money and a bunch of grief by staying with Liberty Utilities. With the possible exception of Golden State, Liberty Utilities is the least expensive water supplier in our area. Also, if Pedigo truly is concerned about lack of choice, he should oppose the Town’s hostile takeover, because once that happens, expect to see other options disappear via new rules and regulations from the Town.

As for Pedigo’s claim that water will not cost much more after the Town’s proposed hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities, he must be using Common Core math. Not only will the purchase have to reimburse Liberty Utilities for all expenses, reimburse Liberty Utilities for splitting up its system, and pay early-retirement penalties on existing bonds, but there will be substantial transition costs, and of course the massive interest payments, which by themselves will almost double the initial payment. All that money — hundreds of millions of dollars — has to come from somewhere, and none of it will go toward maintaining or improving our water system. That is the reality of the situation.

Even if the Town weren’t already losing money hand over fist, and embedding itself ever more deeply in financial improprieties, recent videos by Kerry Henard show that the Town is incapable of maintaining so much as a simple shed, let alone anything as complex as a water utility. Even worse, they seem not to care.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.

Published in mangled fashion: Daily Press, June 28, 2016