Water / Sewer

On March 5, 2007, the Town Council agreed to purchase the water company from Jay George. The negotiated price was $19.5 million dollars. In September 2007 the Town purchased the Desert Hills Water Company. The water/sewer issues facing Creekers today involve more than the price paid for the water companies. At the time of both water company purchases, the Town assured citizens that the water companies were profitable and “self-sustaining.” Budget reports for FY ending 6/08, however, show losses for Cave Creek’s water company and the Desert Hills Water Company to be $3,922,020.

The claim that the water company is “self-sustaining” is valid only if the water company is considered to be “self-sustaining” due to the recent 300+% water rate increase.

P.R.I.Z.E. believes the rate increases are a genuine threat to the horse community, the business community, property values, and Creeker lifestyle.

The Waste Water Treatment Plan (WWTP) is not self-sustaining. The White Paper states: “It is important to realize that the Town subsidizes the waste water operation with ½% of the Town’s 3% sales tax. The dollar amount varies from year to year based on sales tax revenue and the required additional dollars to equate expenses to revenue. Over the past three years that amount was a $360,000 subsidy per year.” (White Paper p. 13).

In discussing whether or not the WWTP can ever be self-sustaining, (WP p. 15) the White Paper states that the only way this utility can be self-sustaining is for the customer base to reach a level that will make the utility system self-sustaining. (WP p. 15).