Local control of water (October 16, 2016)

I’ve hesitated writing letters to the editor, but I feel it’s about time I spoke up. In the 1950s, I was raised on an alfalfa ranch, which consumed large quantities of water. As the population grew, so did the demand for water. Fast forward to 2016. We have no more ranches. We find ourselves in a battle between private versus public ownership of our water.

Just as the alfalfa ranches have gone, so has the original Ranchos Water, subsidized by the Apple Valley Land Company, a locally owned corporation, in order to entice the sale of property in Apple Valley. The health of Apple Valley is directly affected by the cost of our water. If we are going to prosper, local control would be my preference. Eighty percent of water purveyors are publicly managed, giving control of water to the people. I find it strange anyone would consider a company in Canada making local decisions for them.

What is it we really want to see as citizens of Apple Valley? Our town grow and prosper with reasonable and sustainable water rates, or the privately owned Canadian water company continuing to increase our rates? Liberty Utilities is a privately owned corporation in business to make the largest possible return for their investors.

As a business owner in Apple Valley, I feel I am being taken advantage of with the obscene fees that are being charged for the mandated fire sprinkler stand-by fees in our buildings, which is actually more than my water bill. This monthly fee is not based on actually using any water, but instead, I’m paying a stand-by fee in case there is a fire. This fee is akin to a grocery store charging people a stand-by fee just to keep milk on the shelf. When will homes be included?

Rick Cambridge, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press