Local News

Costly Acquisition Of Water System Headed To Public Vote

February 22, 2022

An election will be held August 2, 2022 as to whether the Town of Tusayan should buy the Hydro Resources Water System. The price tag for such a purchase could be massive. According to a 2020 study by Carollo Engineering that Tusayan commissioned to look into such a purchase, the purchase price  would easily top $1 million. Costs to make the system stand alone would top $7 million. The report states in part:

“The water system has an estimated value of $1,064,000 based on the depreciated value of the infrastructure. The water system has a value of $1,409,646 based on the revenue valuation method. The water system has a value range of $500,000 - $2,000,000 based on the market analysis method.”

The report also  says needed upgrades would top $7 million Tusayan were to buy Hydro:

“The capital cost of upgrading the Hydro water system to a stand-alone utility that meets municipal standards is $7,150,000 in addition to the purchase price of the utility. Funding this capital cost would increase water utility rates by 73 percent. A less expensive option would be to combine the assets of the several water utilities within the Town.”

The massive costs to acquire and upgrade Hydro combined with  the prospect of greatly expanding town government prompted Mayor Clarinda Vail and Councilman Greg Brush to vote no.

Mayor Vail said such a purchase could be possible eventually but not now, “I don’t think the town is ready. I don’t think we are prepared for this. And I just don’t it’s a fair deal.”

Council Members Robb Baldosky, Becky Wirth, and Vice Mayor Harris voted yes.