Asset vs. right (June 17, 2015)
Water is a community asset, however, water rights are owned by the property owner and recognized worldwide as such from Biblical times.
A property owner can sell or transfer the rights for cash or other consideration such as the terms of subdividing or improving the property to meet zoning or other city requirements or to form a water company. These water rights have been purchased by the Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company for the express purpose of making a profit. There are many federal, state, and local laws relating to control and regulation of water distribution and pricing with which they must comply. In other words, they’re highly regulated!
The Town of Apple Valley Council’s desires to purchase Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company to control these water rights with the (what I consider the false) ability to provide water at a lower cost to the home owner. In my opinion, the only way they will be able to provide the same quality and service at lower cost to the consumer is to ‘cook the books.’
Taking over a company is an altogether different matter and has a different set of rules, laws and legal precedent which must be followed and taken into consideration, and really has no relation to water. For government in every level to impose its will on the public, a crisis has to be created. That is what the ‘cost of water crisis’ is all about.
They can’t get the water rights without taking over a private sector, tax-paying, job-creating company, only to replace it with a tax-consuming, never profitable government entity. It makes no sense!
In my opinion, the Town Council is deliberately confusing the issue in an attempt to pave the way for a positive vote when it comes time to either purchase or attempt an act of eminent domain takeover of AVRWC. There is sufficient opposition to these acts that the Town Council should stop wasting taxpayer funds in this attempt that, in my opinion, will be defeated when it is put to a vote of the people.
We already have a town-owned country club and golf course costing millions of taxpayer funds that will never be profitable. We do not need another such drain of tax dollars.
Source: Lee Bell, Apple Valley, Daily Press