Study Session

Thursday, August 17, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.

PSWID Administrative Office

6306 W Hardscrabble Rd.

Pine, AZ 85544

    • Cory Ellsworth called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.
  • PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Led by Cory Ellsworth 
  • PRAYER Offered by Larry Bagshaw 
    • Conducted by Cory Ellsworth:  Board members present: Larry Bagshaw, Sharon Hillman, George Gorkowski, Cory Ellsworth, and Victor Tayao.  A quorum was present. Roger Childers arrived at 4:15. Steve Wene, the district’s attorney was present via Go to Meeting.
    • Pam Mason submitted a comment card via the website. She Moratorium – new water service. The community relations committee moved that the option of a deposit, equal to up to the amount of the connection fee, be considered by the board, in lieu of a building permit.  The deposit would be required to receive a Letter of Intent to Serve. I do not agree with this attempt to perform an end run around the rules of the moratorium. That is to say those who want to jump ahead on the wait list bypassing those citizens patiently waiting for a water connection.  At the inception of the list, applications and sign ups were to be placed strictly in date order to make sure people were treated fairly.  First come, first served.
      The board have discussed releasing a few meters a month but with clear concise conditions in place. Key factor would be consistent and improved water supplies. In addition, positive results on district efforts to improve the system, increase production of existing wells, new water resources and drilling new wells. If conditions improve and remain consistent then the release of a few water connections a month would be reasonable, subject to constant monitoring.  The understanding being that PSWID is not bound to release connections every month should the system and production statistics prove otherwise.
    • Bernard Narcy also submitted a comment card via the website. He wanted to know if the board had considered reviewing the status of the waiting list for a water meter, perhaps some may have changed plans and dropped off. Also, when selecting the distribution of meters, do commercial properties, developers, and contractors receive preferred status over an individual waiting to build.
    • Diane Buechner stated that she and her husband have waited 2 ½ years to build on their lot. They are #6 on the wait list. She is against anything but following the order on the waiting list.
    • George had a PowerPoint presentation about the moratorium, why it was implemented and the steps that were being taken to mitigate the issues. He also looked at the existing well output and customer demand. Currently the demand is about half of production, which is a generally accepted safety standard. Since Pine and Strawberry have a full-time occupancy rate of 48% or lower, our customer water demand is lower than normal towns/cities. By replacing the water lines in the high leak areas, drilling a deep well, and optimizing storage and well production, (along with continued customer water conservation), we should be able to release 5 meters per month until the well is completed and online in September 2024. At that time, if the well is producing the expected output, more meters could be released.  The district will need to monitor supply/demand monthly and if the demand starts to hit the trigger point, meter releases will be stopped. The recommendations are that the board modify the moratorium to allow the release of 5 meters a month starting September 2023. The district will continue to monitor the supply/demand and tank storage level data monthly. It will also ensure the deep well is completed and continue to look for additional water supply. The field operations team will try to make sure the average leak repair time and average well down time is reduced to as short a time as possible. There are two options the board will be considering at this time. One is to follow the list as it is currently prioritized and require that all fees be paid within a specified short period of time (30 days?) after the customer is notified a meter is available or else the customer will lose their place on the list. The second option is to release meters to the customers on the list based on the need. That way meters don’t get installed on lots that will be vacant for an indeterminate amount of time but will go to customers that have a home already built or have building plans ready for submission. The ones that do not have either will go back to the list.  The decisions on releasing meters and how to do it will be made by the board in an executive session next Thursday and voted on in the regular board meeting that follows.
      The presentation should be posted on the website soon.
  • George Gorkowski moved that the meeting be adjourned. Roger Childers seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.