By Don Sorchych | December 10, 2008
Below are two letters. One from Terry Zerkle, former Tempe town manager, Cave Creek resident and Cave Creek town manager wanna be. The second is from Sid Wilson, who responds with the authority of the Central Arizona Project (CAP).
October 7, 2008
Sid Wilson, General Manager
P.O Box 23636 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85024
Re: Use of Cave Creek CAP Water in Desert Hills
Dear Mr. Wilson:
Please consider this letter a formal complaint and a request for corrective action.
At the October 6, 2008 Cave Creek Town Council meeting, Utilities Manager Jessica Marlow and Town Manager Usama Abujbarah reported that the Town is delivering on average approximately 500,000 gpd of the Town's CAP water to Desert Hills.
Desert Hills is not in the Cave Creek CAP service boundaries established by the U.S. government. This begs the question: Under what authority is the town delivering Cave Creek CAP water to Desert Hills? This is a highly questionable, extra-legal, perhaps even illegal, practice that demands immediate review and correction by CAWCD and USBR.
The Cave Creek CAP water allocation was intended to service and be used for lands within the historically established CAP boundary area for the Cave Creek Water Company, not extended or be used outside of it.
Moreover, when the Cave Creek Water Company was purchased by the Town, Town officials told citizens and assured them the Town's CAP water would be retained for use in Cave Creek.
In the interest of linking sound water resource sustainability planning with responsible land use planning, development, and growth, Cave Creek CAP water should be confined for use in the historical service boundary area. To do otherwise will superfluously drive up demand and over extend an already finite, scarce resource.
I respectfully request the courtesy of a reply, and that I be kept apprised of action taken pursuant to this complaint.
November 24, 2008
P.O. Box 43020 Phoenix, AZ 85080-3020
23636 North Seventh Street Phoenix, AZ 85024
Mr. Terry Zerkle
41200 N. Echo Canyon Drive
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Dear Mr. Zerkle:
This letter responds to your letter dated October 7, 2008, regarding the Town of Cave Creek’s entitlement to CAP M&I water. Before addressing the substance of your complaint, I provide the following background facts.
The Town of Cave Creek's Purchase of Desert Hills Water Company
Desert Hills Water Company ("Desert Hills") was a public service corporation providing water service to about 1,600 customers in Maricopa County pursuant to a certificate of convenience and necessity ("CC&N") issued by the Arizona Corporation Commission ("ACC"). In 2007, the Town of Cave Creek ("Town") acquired the water utility assets of Desert Hills. By Order dated May 21, 2007, the ACC approved the transfer of Desert Hill's water utility assets to the Town and cancelled Desert Hills CC&N. Under the ACC order, the Town is required to provide water utility service within all areas previously served by Desert Hills.
The Town of Cave Creek's Condemnation of Cave Creek Water Company
On April 19, 2007, the Town acquired the water utility assets of Cave Creek Water Company ("CC Water Company") through a final Order of Condemnation. CC Water Company's CC&N was cancelled and the Town is required to provide water utility service within all areas previously served by CC Water Company. The assets condemned by the Town included CC Water Company's subcontract entitlement to CAP M&I water in the amount of 2,606 acre-feet per year.
Article 6.7 of CC Water Company's CAP water service subcontract provides that the provisions of the subcontract shall apply to and bind the successors and assigns of the parties to the subcontract, but that no assignment of any portion of the subcontract will be valid until approved by the United States. The documents for assigning CC Water Company's CAP subcontract to the Town, which are an Assignment of Rights and a new CAP water service subcontract in the name of the Town, have been prepared by CAWCD, approved by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and executed on behalf of the Town and CC Water Company.
These documents were executed by CAWCD in early November and have been forwarded to the United States for execution.
As a result of its acquisitions of the water utility assets of Desert Hills and CC Water Company, the Town is now the water provider for the areas previously served by both of these water companies. The Town owns and operates the water utility system as one interconnected system pursuant to a service area right issued by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Under Arizona law, the Town's service area now includes the former Desert Hills service area.
Under the terms of the Town's CAP subcontract the Town has the right to deliver its CAP entitlement within its service area. Article 4.3 of the CAP Subcontract requires the Town to provide CAWCD and the United States with a map of its service area. The Town recently submitted to CAWCD an updated map of the Town's service area. The map depicts the Town's service area as including the area previously served by CC Water Company and the area previously served by Desert Hills. The map also shows that these areas are served by a fully interconnected system.
In light of the facts outlined above, the Town is delivering CAP water within the boundaries of its service area and, hence, in accordance with the terms of its CAP Subcontract. No corrective action is required by CAWCD. Thank you for your letter. If you have any further questions regarding this matter please contact Suzanne Ticknor at 623-869-2410.
David S. "Sid" Wilson
Will Wilson’s letter be enough to silence sarcastic and impudent Zerkle? Zerkle is a hidden member of the “Dark Side’ of Cave Creek politics and his errant and wrong headed thoughts often pollute the writings and mutterings of Dark Side “activists.”
Cave Creek is in the water business. It is in the town’s best interest to sell as much water as they can within their CAP allotment. Cave Creek has an allotment sufficient through build out. Water not used is paid for by the town.
Zerkle, whose resume is as shop worn as an old suit, also has complaints lodged with the AG’s office and has filed similar complaints as this one with town officials.
He is a pain unneeded by Cave Creek’s administration.