Voters beware! (May 8, 2017)

Apple Valley voters be aware! A financial disaster like Adelanto is facing could be in Apple Valley’s future, and we ratepayers will be forced to foot the bill.

The banner story in the May 8th Daily Press, “Adelanto Water Hikes Loom,” foreshadows what could occur in Apple Valley. Adelanto is in technical default of its bond obligations, a situation caused by lowered revenues due to conservation by water users (a story familiar to all). The Adelanto water department can operate but has no money for capital improvements or reserves, placing its system and the safety of its water at risk. The city council has turned down rate increases in the past and now faces the difficult task of telling its residents about needed major increases in water rates to correct a situation that it can no longer ignore.

The Town of Apple Valley wants to burden its residents with new debt at a minimum of $10 million per year in debt service to acquire a water company, the cost of which it does not yet know. The town has a history of depleting its fund balances and outspending its income. They are operating in what’s called deficit spending, which this year alone totals $3 million plus. The Town balances its budget by dipping into savings. Our roads are in horrible shape, the golf course loses over $1 million per year, the Conference Center is too expensive for the residents to rent, and recent lawsuits have revealed that the Town mishandled sewer rate increases and must issue refunds.

Given the Town of Apple Valley’s questionable track record, a default on $150 million in bonds is a looming financial disaster that we, the voters, can forestall by voting No on Measure F.

— Diana J. Carloni, Apple Valley Resident