This is the short version regarding the Water District prepared by Joanne.  Please read and pass on to others you may know that are interested in this debate.
Allen Goatcher
366-0344

UPPER SAN PEDRO WATER DISTRICT:

If you wish to read the actual legislation:  I did.
    http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/48leg/1r/bills/hb2300s.htm


A.  It DOES create a whole new level of government-- a vote for the district is a vote for a "municipality" (same as a city or county).  It will NOT be controlled locally, but will be responsive to the State only because it was set up statutorily as a State municipality.

 
B.  It will not have DIRECT taxing ability but it will have INDIRECT taxing ability through existing providers if the providers, which are sponsors of this idea, agree to conservation projects determined by the district.   There was also a recent comment by Pat Call on his Friday show that the waste water treatment plant could be turned over to the district in which case your sewer fees could go up.  YOU would not be charged by the waste water plant directly, but the plant would increase charges to the city who would in turn increase your fees.

 
C.  It doesn't have any money to support it.  This is the most crucial issue because the money that was promised when this district was formed legislatively has dried up along with all the other funding because of the economy.  There is a rumor that the Walton Foundation is "interested" in the project and would give $10 million, $1 mill at a time.  This is speculation and nothing is in writing.  If it isn't in writing it isn't happening.

The district will also be able to issue "Revenue Bonds" which obligates everyone in the district to pay them back with interest.  The legislation is totally nebulous on this but very specific about how the bonds can be done and how they HAVE to be paid back.  If the district defaults it will become an increase on your property tax -- bet on it.  The really big thing that the City wants is to have the CAP (Central Arizona Project) build a pipeline from Tucson through Green Valley and over here to replenish the sub-watershed.  It will take 20 years -- what happens to the aquifer in the mean time??

According to the legislation the issue that is presented on the ballot must define where the money is coming from -- it does not do that.  If you know an attorney that would like to review and possibly get if off the ballot, contact Joanne.


D.  The biggest lie of all is that the Fort will be "saved" if this is passed.  B and S.  The mandate received by the Fort back in 2004 is specific to the Fort and they have done remarkable conservation efforts to reduce their water consumption by 71%.  There will be another BRAC sometime in the future (duh!!) but nothing the district does can "guarantee" the Fort will stay or not be downsized because the distict is passed.  This is nothing more than scare tactics.  We got into this mess because of the Center for Biological Diversity (Tucson) suing the Fort.

In reality, the City of Sierra Vista and the County, prior to the lawsuit, had done NOTHING to promote water conservation.  Their excuse has been that they didn't have the "power statutorily" to enforce water conservation methods such as retention/detention basins, dry wells, or water harvesting/grey water.  Instead of seeking THAT kind of legislative authorization, they chose to seek a whole new level of government -- another municipality called the Water District.

As we have seen from other base closings, the Feds will do what the Feds will do and we can all cross our fingers.


Bottom line:  Disregard the media pressure and pass along this information to every one you know because we are being played with this issue.  I know a lot of you have "bad feelings" about this district.  Trust your instincts.  Vote NO.  Tell everyone you know to vote NO because it is MORE government.  Remember the words of Reagan:  "Government isn't the solution to the problem, government IS the problem".