This article is a press release supplied by the Town of Apple Valley.
These are facts that support the Town’s acquisition of Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company.
Fact – not misinformation and mischaracterizations designed to erode strong public support for the purchase. The truth is, most local water systems in California are owned by the people, not corporations. This guarantees community members a voice in the rate-setting process. By contrast, a private company needs approval only from the California Public Utilities Commission, which has a long history of leniency when it comes to rate requests.
Why is the Town pursuing acquisition? Apple Valley Ranchos, by definition, is a “government-granted monopoly.” As a customer, you have no choice but to buy your water from them at whatever price they and the CPUC decide to set. During the past 10 years, those rates have increased significantly, and the company has asked for another 31.55 percent increase over the next three years.
How much will acquiring Apple Valley Ranchos cost? The Town is working with an independent appraisal firm to determine a fair purchase price. Watch for details on a Town Hall meeting soon, where this will be shared in detail.
Why is it so hard to get a bottom-line number? A lack of transparency from Apple Valley Ranchos’ owners has kept us from fully vetting the company’s financials. Basic information unavailable so far includes auditor’s reports, executive salaries, notes to financial statements, cash flow reports and stockholder equity statements.
How would we pay for this purchase? The savings from eliminating the profit margin and other costs will cover the debt service without raising rates or property taxes to do so.