Apple Valley water woes (January 10, 2019)
The reasons why I am against the hostile take over by Eminent Domain Procedures of Liberty Utilities Water Company by the Town of Apple Valley:
- The Town of Apple Valley falsely claimed that it would lower water rates to customers. This claim turned out to be false. They had to retract that claim.
- The town made false claims regarding the need for additional environmental reporting. They were sued, and lost, costing over $70,000 in legal fees.
- The town has based the cost of this hostile takeover on an appraisal at the time of +/-$50 million, and got voter approval to fund the purchase by issuing Revenue Bonds. In my view, the town underestimated the cost of the purchase, but neglected to inform the public that the attorney fees related to the purchase cannot be paid using Revenue Bond funds, therefore those costs have to be paid with general fund monies. As Liberty Utilities continues to improve and update the system, the cost to purchase goes up. The more the town pays the B, B & Kostly legal fees, the more the town goes in debt.
- Win or lose in its hostile takeover the town is on the hook to pay both Liberty Utilities, and its own attorney fees.
If successful in this hostile takeover, the citizens of Apple Valley will be saddled with a 30-year, multi-million dollar debt, secured by water revenue, with no decrease in water rates, and most assuredly increased water rates, or worse decrease of service and reliability, maintenance and upkeep, as well as millions of dollars in attorney fees added to the general budget.
Lee Bell, Apple Valley
Source: Daily Press