Liberty Utilities (May 5, 2017)

Within the past three weeks, we’ve received five mailers from Liberty Utilities against Apple Valley’s Measure F. On the ballot this June, Measure F would enable the Town of Apple Valley to buy out Liberty Utilities as a water provider. Liberty is complaining that Apple Valley is spending money studying a takeover. But Liberty is spending a good chunk of ratepayer money campaigning against the buyout. How much are these mailers costing, and how many more will we get before the June election?

Liberty claims in these mailers that we would pay higher rates with a publicly operated utility. They tout one report as evidence, but that report was paid for by Liberty and other utilities with an interest in preventing a takeover. Can we be surprised that it takes Liberty’s side? I read Mr. [sic] Husing’s report (cited in a Daily Press article on April 19). It simply assumes without analysis that base water rates would be the same under the town’s ownership as under Liberty. It also claims that interest rates are likely to approach 12 percent for bonds. Most economists agree that there is no sign of significant rate increases in the foreseeable future.

We pay more for water than does my entire church in Victorville — and we have two in our household, with a small patch of grass; the church has hundreds of members and lots of grass. I would hope that instead of spending user fees on an expensive election, Liberty would prove its good intentions by reducing Apple Valley’s exorbitant water rates.

Bryan Baker, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press