The Town of Apple Valley (TOAV) has proposed spending up to $200 million to acquire (AKA “seize”) Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVRWC). Now, with the release of their “Apple Valley Ranchos Water System Acquisition Project: Initial Study,” we once again have to ask “why?”.
According to the study, “The proposed Project includes the Town’s subsequent operation of AVR System, either internally by the Town or through a qualified private contractor …”. (This echoes something Scott Nassif wrote back in August 2014.) Furthermore, it says that “The Town is proposing only to acquire and operate the existing system, and is not proposing changes or expansion to the physical AVR System or to the associated water rights nor is the Town proposing any changes to the manner of operation of the AVR System or the exercise of the associated water rights.”
We already know that the TOAV will not be lowering water rates, despite the Town repeatedly attacking AVRWC over rates, and stirring up public opinion against Ranchos on this very issue.
Based on this information, we can conclude that once the TOAV completes its hostile takeover of AVRWC, our water utility will be run by a private contractor (which we already have), with no changes to the physical system or the operation of the utility, with no additional sources of water, and rates will not be going down.
To reiterate, the Town council is willing to encumber taxpayers in Apple Valley with debt up to the eyeballs just so they can get their hands on the levers of power at a water utility, again.
AVRWC has been delivering high quality water efficiently for 65 years. The Town’s track record with water delivery is abysmal. Anybody who still believes the TOAV’s promises of transparency, accountability, and customer service is willfully ignoring the facts.