We need to own our Water and Sewer

This is my first post here, and since the purpose of this website is about forming a Special Water & Sanitary District under the rules of Arizona Revised Statutes Title 48, I want to discuss whether or not it is needed.  I invite you to get involved and join in the discussion. Manage to pick up the best tb 500 peptide, only on our website!

Most of us in the Yuma Foothills know the that Far West has a terrible past history, and have been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.  ADEQ has forced them to spend millions of dollars on upgrades, and they have been granted a 162% rate increase which take our sewer rates to $57.00 per month.  And yet our issues don’t seem to be getting any better.  There are daily complaints about odors. Already got the question what’s better similac or enfamil? Go to the site and choose!

Do you consider a real massager is expensive to buy? Read benefits and risks about homemade prostate toys. The choice is up to you! If we form a special district we can purchase the assets of Far West, and put it under public ownership.  This won’t be easy but it can be done.  We will then have a utility that is completely open to public scrutiny.  We will make decisions where money is spent and how it is spent.  The debt we are currently paying for at high interest rates will be refinanced at low interest rates.  Property taxes will go away.  Also once we are a public utility, we no longer come under the regulation of ACC.


Comments

We need to own our Water and Sewer — 10 Comments

  1. RE: We need to own our Water and Sewer
    Posted on February 19, 2014 by Bob

    Thanks to Bob Rist, Barbara & Bob Gilkey for efforts to address the Far West situation. I’ve tried to sort out information between posts here as well as the “nextdoor.com “. Maybe best to consolidate into one Blog (here)
    My Question is the statement in the above thread
    “Property taxes will go away” Please explain how/why?
    Also
    Is the “book value” ACC has for Far West known (public information?) seems like some idea of the money needed should be discussed.
    Regardless of purchase price… doesn’t the cost to upgrade/maintain the system need to be considered?

    • Gary thanks for your comment. I agree with you about consolidating into one blog, here, however we are trying to get information out to the widest area we can. This site will be the best place to get up to date information. You ask about property taxes going away. Currently Far West must pay property taxes to Yuma County on all property which is owned by Far West. When we form as a Special District, we are a political sub-division, and as such are exempt from property tax. Far West is in arrears on their property taxes, and had to make special arrangements with Yuma county to make payments on set schedule. That is one of the conditions that they had to meet in order get the rate increase. By the way when we become a Special District we no longer come under ACC. Far West can go back to ACC about every 3 years for rate increases. In order to make their case for this rate increase, they spent over $200,000.00 on attorney and expert witness fees. That expense will be allowed at the next rate increase, and we will pay. You ask about “book value” for Far West. ACC has stated a Fair Market Value, and it is public information. Recently they ask ACC to set fees for Water & Sewer hook-up. In the decision of that request ACC stated a fair market value. At the moment I can’t recall the exact amount, however Far West disagrees with that amount by almost 100% difference. I will locate that document and post it in the documents section. Yes the cost to do needed upgrades do need to be considered. A professional appraiser will need to look at the whole system. We always need to keep in mind that we are going to pay for this either way. Do we want to get control of our own fate?

  2. As instructed I left my e-mail address Via the contact form on this site. Silly me as I assumed I would be notified of any future meetings. Just heard of a meeting held this past week that I received no notification. This leads me to become suspicious of only a select group being invited. This is not the way to recruit homeowners to your goals.

    • Sandra we had a meeting this Wednesday at Russ Clark’s house, with Gary Pierce one of the commissioners at ACC. There was adequate room for only a small group, in fact we had 12 people attend. I assure you we don’t mean to leave anyone out, in fact we will need lots of help. We are finding this process takes time and seems to go very slow. We have had problems getting the non-profit corporation set up, hopefully we will be done with that soon. The meeting Wednesday was to answer some questions about specific steps we need to take to get this done. We are now trying to get a large public meeting set for around the middle of the month. Please remember we fought this rate increase since July of 2012 and it took them this long to get the increase. It will take us at least a year to accomplish our goal. We are working diligently to make progress. I will call you soon.
      Bob Rist

    • Sandra – Bob Rist, Bob Gilkey and I have been Intervenors in two of the Far West rate cases, working diligently since 2008, spending countless hours and dollars on behalf of the entire community. Several people have stepped up to the plate and helped us with some financial backing and moral support, but for the most part it has been just the three of us going to Tucson and Phoenix for all of the hearings. We have accomplished several things that wouldn’t have been done without our intervention. If you will look at the records of the hearings, one of several things we accomplished was that Far West will now be charging standard hookup fees rather than negotiating on a case by case basis leaving it open for them to not pay a standard fee for their own properties. Commercial properties (many of them owned by “the sisters”) will now be paying a more equitable monthly sewer fee. We discovered that Far West was not charging a sister company sewer fees for an RV park they own and operate and that has been rectified because of us. If all of the conditions put forth by the ACC are not met, the right to appoint an Interim Manager has been reserved. That was another of our accomplishments. The list goes on and on.

      We hope to involve as many people as we can in this new endeavor and it takes a lot of time to sort out exactly what is needed, who can be available to do what and so forth. We are working with people who have been in contact with us prior to the website being created and trying to set up different committee heads to follow through with needed committees. I am urging people who have not been contacted immediately when leaving their information and relating their desire to help to hang in there – there is so much to do and we can’t do it overnight.

  3. Gail, your comments and questions are spot on. As the committee works forward, Articles and Tax Exempt status are being filed at this time. Donations will be accepted but exempt status not guaranteed at this time. We need to do some fundraising to pay fees, attorney costs and so on. As more information lines up, there will be another “Informational Meeting” for all Foothills citizens; hopefully many questions will be answered at that time.

  4. Koodo’s to all of you who have been working on this project. I only wonder how we can get the word out to more ratepayers. I only happened upon this because of the special report by Patrick Hayes on Channel 5 news this past Monday and Tuesday evenings Feb 17/18.

    I have some questions regarding the documents posted on the website

    Re Current Status of Group
    1. Have we been approved and registered as a corporation yet? Are the Articles of Incorporation available for review by the intended ratepayers? Will it be posed on the website?
    2. Has the tax exempt status been applied for yet?
    3. What more has to be done to “research the feasibility” of becoming a Special District under title48 of Arizona Revised Statutes
    4. How is all this being funded?
    5. How can the ratepayers contribute to this funding? and if contributions are accepted -how will they be accounted for?

    RE Advantages of Forming Special District document
    1.Discussion required on whether 5 member board of directors be appointed or elected. If by appointment – who does the appointing and at what intervals would be term of office be? I personally favor election. Presumably election and re-election would happen only when the applicant has proven him/herself worthy of the confidence of the ratepayers. Less opportunity for nepotism / favoritism.
    2.Will a director on the Board a remunerated position? Provide details
    3. How often will there be scheduled meetings at which the manager is going to report?
    4. For absentee ratepayers (snowbirds) how can they be kept abreast of the business occurring at the meetings and otherwise?

    • Gail thanks for the very thoughtful comments and questions. I am open to all suggestions for getting the news out about our efforts to buy Far West. I have made posts on the yuma foothills nextdoor website several times. I have an email list that is building in size, and you need to do to get on it is use the “Contact US” form on this website. For snowbirds you will be emailed or you can go on this site anytime even in Canada.
      The Articles of incorporation were sent in a little over a week ago, however I found out today they have been returned because we did not pay a fee. The form clearly said no fee. When those have been approved I will post them on the website.

      We can not file tax exempt till we receive approval from ACC

      What more needs to be done to form district? See the document called check list to form district. We are just getting started.

      How will this be funded? To get us formed we have to rely on contributions from the people in the Foothills. If all will chip in it won’t take a big donations.

      How can you contribute. As soon as we get tax exempt we will open bank account and PayPal account. You will be able to give on this site using PayPal, and they will take all credit cards. Also checks can be sent to our address listed in “Contact US” page. Also we will be using volunteers to ask for donations. All donations will be entered into a database which we already have. Receipts will be sent via email or regular mail if you have no email

      The initial directors are appointed. They are myself, Robert Gilkey, and Barbara Gilkey. Directors will serve for 2 years. Each January and election will be held at an annual meeting. So next January 2 more directors will be elected for a total of 5. Then the next year an election for the initial directors

      Directors at this point get no salary, however can compensated for travel or other expenses.

      How often will there be scheduled meetings of the manager. That will follow the rules of Title 48 and will follow the open meeting rules. I believe it is monthly. Minutes of meetings will be posted on the District website.

  5. This must definitely be explored. If nothing is done Far West will continue to mismanage the resources and use us rate payers for their own folly. Looks to me like the special district is certainly doable if the rate payers are willing to step up and contribute the cost of a months sewer or water bill to the cause for attorney and accountant fees to file paperwork and perform the necessary audit. The ball is already rolling.

  6. I still maintain that if you have to get Far West through the condemnation process that it will cost mega bucks in attornery fees. Just because the ACC has put a value on FW doesn’t mean they will sell it at that price. I think the aquisition of FW would be a good idea only if they would agree to sell at a reasonable price.

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