Local News

Tusayan Considers Buying Old Water Company Despite Consultant Recommendation Not To

November 24, 2020

 The Tusayan Town Council has voted to look into the purchase of the Hydro Resources water company despite a study Tusayan commissioned and paid for that recommended against the idea.

The Halvorson family, which employs Mayor Sanderson and Councilmembers Montoya and Wirth, wants to sell the aging system. A specific price was not discussed at a recent Town Council meeting. The study from Carollo Engineering estimates the value at around $1.1 million. That same study said it would cost as much as $7 million to upgrade the company to a stand-alone facility that meets municipal standards.

Among the findings from the September 2020 study:

“Acquisition of the Hydro Resources, Inc. Water Company by the Town of Tusayan is an option available to the Town but is not recommended in its current form because the Hydro water system is not a stand?alone water system that can be managed independently.”

The study also lists the following shortcomings of Hydro Resources:

A. The Tusayan #2 well cannot supply maximum day demands and must rely on the  Squire #1 well to supply a portion of the maximum daily demands. The land where the Tusayan #2 well is located is not owned by Hydro.

B. The Hydro system must rely on the Squire storage tank to meet storage needs.

C. The Hydro system must rely on some of the water mains in the Squire water system as well as multiple private water mains to complete the looping that would improve the ability to supply fire flows.

D. In the event of a fire, the Hydro system must rely on the Squire system for fire flow pumping capacity.

E. The pipeline between the storage tanks and the distribution system is owned by the Squire system. The Hydro system relies on the storage in the Airport system to meet summer demands due to the limited combined well capacity of the Hydro and Squire systems.

For a look at the entire study click here.

The Town Staff said it has no official position on the purchase but Town Manager Charlie Hendrix said the interim Town Clark used to work for a water company. If the Town were to move forward on buying Hydro from the Halvorson family, it would likely put the question to the voters in May.

Talk of such a large expenditure comes at a tme when sales tax revenues are down and expenses are up because of COVID.