Op-ed: Are there other motives behind the Ranchos takeover? (June 9, 2015)

Pat Orr

There must be more reasons the Town is set on acquiring Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company than lowering rates.

In fact, we know rates will not go down under Town ownership, they will just go up less. Is that a reason to go through all this?

There are underlying issues not being discussed. It’s much easier to keep it simple stupid for most of us who just want to see straightforward black and white issues. The problem is you need to look past the obvious.

Everyone agrees we need water to grow. We also need jobs. For years, the Council — whoever they were — touted our future development of North Apple Valley and its tantalizing freeway frontage as a source for industrial growth to produce tax revenue and much needed jobs. The land has been acquired for the most part by companies specializing in large distribution centers and industrial type projects.

Those projects cannot be built without sufficient water flow to use fire sprinklers and other suppression systems. There is no water infrastructure out there and Ranchos has consistently refused to build any because there are not enough potential hook ups to make it profitable. For them it’s a bad business decision.

If you make the developers pay the cost up front it’s too expensive to make any deal economically feasible. This has been an issue between the Town, Apple Valley Fire Protection District and water company for more than a decade and although it’s not clearly identified as a motivator for the Town to move on a Ranchos takeover, it’s certainly an important factor. The Town could, under renewed redevelopment programs, fund the infrastructure and open up the area to development. The pieces are in place — just no water.

When you hear people ascribe motives of a power grab or empire building to the Town for this effort to acquire the water company, you might also pause and give some consideration to the thought that these folks were elected and hired to help us plan for a better, more prosperous future. It’s not always black and white.


Source: Pat Orr, Apple Valley Review, applevalley-review.com/are-there-other-motives-behind-ranchos-takeover