County explains Golden Valley water fee increase

Property owners in Golden Valley Improvement District who want to develop for higher-density uses that would exceed existing water allocations may purchase an unassigned water allocation.

Daily Miner file photo

Property owners in Golden Valley Improvement District who want to develop for higher-density uses that would exceed existing water allocations may purchase an unassigned water allocation.

KINGMAN – Tripling water access fees for the Golden Valley Improvement District drew some criticism at the Feb. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting, but that’s what it takes to meet long-term water production and storage capacity.

By no means is it intended to stymie development in Golden Valley, said Steve Latoski, director of Mohave County Public Works.

“Fees collected from such allocation sales are maintained by the district to pay the cost of increasing the capacity of the district’s water system to serve future, increasing demand,” he said in an email to the Daily Miner.

Property owners in Golden Valley Improvement District who want to develop for higher-density uses that would exceed existing water allocations may purchase an unassigned water allocation.

As of July 1, 1991, unassigned water allocations were subject to a $474 fee for future development. The Board of Supervisors, sitting as the GVID board, established that starting June 19, 2006, anyone seeking new or additional water access rights would pay $474 plus an additional fee based on interest paid for bonds to construct the initial well and backbone distribution system, Latoski explained. The interest will be added at 9.3 percent a year from 1991 to the date of payment for the water rights access fee.

For the policy in place when the board considered its action on Feb. 20, the future development fee was $1,652 for unassigned water allocations, according to Latoski.

Setting future development fees at $5,200, with an increase of $150 a year starting in 2019, should attain the $2.8 million in funding needed to advance project development, Latoski said.

The Public Works engineer identified four important system buildout and modernization projects to meet long-term production, redundancy and storage demand, as well as smart-meter technology:

Construction of a third production well ($1.2 million); construction of a third storage tank ($850,000); install new distribution lines to achieve closed-loop efficiency ($150,000); and convert meters to radio electronic function for smart monitoring and billing ($600,000).