Significant errors (May 18, 2017)

Your report on the Town of Apple Valley’s claims about the affordability of its hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities omitted mention of significant errors in the calculations of Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett (Official: Rate reductions possible if town takes over water system, Daily Press, May 18, 2017).

For example, Mr. Puckett errs in stating that operating income will be available for debt service. The only way this might be true is to stop maintaining the water system, and even then an additional $1.9 million would be needed to replace annual investments by Liberty Utilities into our water system.

Mr. Puckett’s elimination of inter-company service agreements likewise fails to identify how the Town would pay for the services bought by that $2 million. Again, only by allowing the system to deteriorate could this be accurate, and then, only short-term.

Mr. Puckett’s $2 million in corporate office savings simply do not exist.

When you correct Mr. Puckett’s figures, there actually would be roughly $1.5 million in savings, not the $11.9 million upon which he bases his calculations. In other words, Mr. Puckett is off by more than $10 million per year. $1.5 million is sufficient for debt service on a bond of around $24 million, but that is less than half of the low-ball offer the Town made for Liberty Utilities, and a tenth of its actual value.

It’s time for citizens of Apple Valley to tell the Town Council to end its war against our water company. It’s time for citizens of Apple Valley to vote no on Measure F.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.