Local News

$1.2 Million For Water Company Operation Raises Concern

May 28, 2014

The Tusayan Town budget includes a curious line item, $1.2 million for the operation of a municipal water company. There is no Town owned water company. The line item is there as a placeholder in case that changes. 

When you consider the total Town budget is $2.9 million, that's a pretty big place holder.

The water supply has been a major hurdle as Stilo tries to push its controversial development plan. Its attempts to form a water company through the Arizona Corporation Commission have been unsuccessful because studies show there's not enough water. Drilling additional wells could dry up the the springs at the Grand Canyon National Park and the Havasupai Indian Community.

A municipal water company would not be regulated by the the Corporation Commission but the Arizona Department of Water Resources would still have to weigh in if there's any attempt to drill a well that would endanger neighboring water supplies.

That begs the question, is the Town looking to form its own water company to accommodate Stilo?

Councilman Bill Fitzgerald expressed concerns about such a large line item, even if it is a place holder. Fitzgerald said, "It's not only not proper its untenable and unfeasible."  Fitzgerald says more studies are needed and the line item grossly overstates the budget.

Mayor Bryan contends the line item has a net zero impact on spending.

The budget also includes $91,000 for the mayor and council expenses, $412,000 for the town manager and support , and $144,000 for legal services.