Fundamental differences exist between VPWC, GVID

Carl Smith, one of the two professional water haulers in Golden Valley, fills the 1,500 gallon tank on his truck at the GVID standpipe located at Bolsa Drive and Estrella Road in Golden Valley. Smith is known valley-wide for never wearing a shirt and flashing the peace sign to everyone he sees.

BUTCH MERIWETHER/For the Miner

Carl Smith, one of the two professional water haulers in Golden Valley, fills the 1,500 gallon tank on his truck at the GVID standpipe located at Bolsa Drive and Estrella Road in Golden Valley. Smith is known valley-wide for never wearing a shirt and flashing the peace sign to everyone he sees.

GOLDEN VALLEY – Rumors and innuendos are being tossed around in the newspapers, on the radio and social media outlets about the current pricing of water in Golden Valley and the impending rate hikes that are being proposed.

There are variances between Golden Valley Improvement District (GVID), and Valley Pioneer Water Company (VPWC) Inc., and the biggest caveat is they are allowed to play by a different set of rules. Both entities are pretty close in size geographically, with VPWC having 24 square miles and GVID with 40 square miles.

If something major needs to be done that impacts the entire area, VPWC is not allowed to assess all property owners within their area. GVID can, if they choose to, assess all residents within their district if it impacts the entire district such as drilling a new well, constructing a new pumping station and a storage tank.

VPWC’s boundaries are Redwall and Unkar Drives on the south to Agua Fria Drive on the north, and Komvo Road on the east to Teddy Roosevelt Road on the west.

GVID’s boundaries are Shinarump Drive on the south to Chinle Drive on the north, and Teddy Roosevelt Road on the east to Ganado Road on the west.

VPWC is run by civilians, has a board of directors, is headed up by general manager Bobbie L. Wood, and it has a designation of being a nonprofit membership-owned water utility company. Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) does not limit the number of water service connections VPWC can have.

GVID is a water district owned by the property owners, but is managed by Mohave County government officials and the county’s board of supervisors serve as the water district board of directors.

ADWR currently limits the number of service connections GVID can have to 6,200. Of that number, GVID only has 442 unassigned water service connections available for sale.

The current pricing for the 442 unassigned water service connections is $1,611.56 each, but public works is proposing raising the future development fee of each water service connection cost to $5,054 each.

One problem is that if a property owner currently wants to subdivide their parcel, they will have to purchase additional water service connections from another property owner who has more than one. The reason is current GVID regulations state that, “… the district will continue to sell unassigned service connections or water access rights on a first-come, first-served basis to owners of property zoned parcels of ministerial land divisions, determined on the basis of zoning classifications as of June 19, 2006, within the district.”

VPWC charges customers $907 for customers to hook up to their property with a 3/4-inch meter and a $275 deposit, and $1,490 for a 1-inch meter and a $315 deposit. The deposits are credited back to the customer on their bills over a 10-year period.

GVID charges customers thus: $919 for a 5/8-inch and 3/4-inch – that includes $475 for a meter connection fee, $354 for a service connection fee and $90 for a water deposit; $1,188 for a 1-inch – that includes $744 for meter connection fee, $354 service connection fee and $90 for a water deposit; $1,362 for a 2-inch – that includes $918 for a meter connection fee, $354 for a service connection fee and $90 deposit. All deposits for GVID are credited back on future customers’ bills after one calendar year.

The water company and improvement district provides water to their customers with metered pipeline-supplied water and also standpipe operations (for those who haul water to their properties) for both in-district and out-of-district customers.