Local News

Stilo Fails To Show Proof Of Water Source

May 31, 2015

 Stilo Honcho Tom DePaolo has been saying the Stilo project will not use groundwater. He made that claim to reporters during a May 20th Forest Service hearing in Flagstaff. At the time he caught his crew off guard. Stilo consultant Andy Jacobs had no knowledge of the pledge. Stilo’s attorney had said the company was still exploring all options.

Stilo wants to build three million square feet of commercial space and thousands of new homes next to the Grand Canyon National Park

When we caught up with DePaolo, he at first refused to speak with us. He then relented and repeated his claim, “We will not use groundwater we have said that repeatedly.” When pressed for details he said, “If you are patient you will find out. We made a commitment in 1991 not to use groundwater. We have a lot of options. We will not use groundwater.”

When asked about his attorney’s comments which said all options were being explored DePaolo replied, “You asked me not my attorney.”

Some lingering questions remain. If Stilo has said as far back as 1991 that it would not use groundwater, why haven’t any concrete plans been disclosed? Stilo has discussed getting water from the Colorado River and somehow transporting it to Tusayan, but there has never been specifics.

According to the Arizona Republic, Stilo has hired former US Senator Jon Kyl to help it grab scarce Colorado River water at a time when drought conditions are severely stressing the river.

The Watchdog has been seeking to find out to what extent the former Senator is using his influence to help an Italian developer exploit the area around the Grand Canyon. On April 22nd we submitted a public records request to the Forest Service. So far there has been no reply. We had to send an email just to get the Forest Service to acknowledge they received the request. We also are waiting for an estimate as to when they might give us the information. The problem lies largely with the DC office. The local Forest Service is monitoring but the ultimate authority is in Washington.

Meanwhile, the Forest Service has received more than 13,000 emails on the Stilo project. Nearly all of them are in opposition.