What We’ve Spent
Apple Valley Ranchos claims the Town has $900,000 of taxpayer money “to study and promote the takeover of a well-run, local private business.” This simply is not true. In fact, we’ve spent about a third that amount on this case, or $325,000. What the company doesn’t point out is that the Town has been forced to spend another $282,000 in legal fees simply fighting their excessive rate-increase requests over the past four years — which points to another important difference between community ownership and their “private business” operation: We’re transparent about what we spend.
The Town’s spending on legal fees associated with Apple Valley Ranchos has proven to be a good investment. Assuming the proposed decision in the current water rate case is approved, ratepayer bills in 2015 will increase by roughly 9.85 percent compared to the 14.88 percent requested by Apple Valley Ranchos. In addition, the Town successfully removed $8.5 million in proposed new facilities from Apple Valley Ranchos’ requested spending plan. Likewise, the Town is still fighting to ensure that $7 million is not spent on unnecessary main replacement projects.
No wonder Apple Valley Ranchos keeps attacking the Town’s spending. It takes money from their ratepayers and puts it right back in the pockets of investors.