Town should reconsider takeover try (April 5, 2015)

AVRWC - Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company

Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company knows the facts prove a takeover of the water system will lead to a costly legal battle, take years to resolve, and result in higher, not lower, water rates or property taxes for decades. The Town of Apple Valley government has other more important priorities.

Some Apple Valley Town Councilmembers have gone on record saying that a decision to take over Apple Valley Ranchos by eminent domain has not been made. They have made statements that they just want a seat at the table, they want leverage and they are closely studying the matter. But their actions and spending clearly indicate something entirely different.

A third feasibility study in 10 years, an appraisal, numerous fact sheets distributed, full page ads, public relation consultants and media campaign, hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money already spent all for pursuing the Town Council’s objective of control of the water system.

Does the Town government have more important priorities to resolve with Ranchos? Absolutely.

How do we best align our capital improvements with the Town’s long-term objectives? How do we provide recycled water in a beneficial, cost-effective manner to all our customers? How can we work together to better communicate with customers that conservation and reduced customer use means rates have to rise to cover actual costs? These are important issues, along with others, and Apple Valley Ranchos has tried to address them proactively with Town staff. The Town Attorney’s response?: Sell us the water system.

Apple Valley Ranchos does one thing. We provide safe, reliable water service to Apple Valley. We make necessary investments in the system. Unlike private, investor-owned water systems, government-owned water systems across the U.S. have neglected investment in their water systems and now are relying on federal grants and exorbitant rate increases to try to catch up to decades of neglect.

Apple Valley Ranchos has received an outpouring of support from community leaders and voters alike. As we fight to protect our business from an attempted hostile government takeover, we hope the Town Council will reconsider this long, costly and divisive path they are subjecting voters to and find a more responsible way to work together with Apple Valley Ranchos.

Christopher Schilling
President, Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company

Source: Daily Press