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Board votes down special taxing district proposal for Rio Verde Foothills community

Posted at 10:45 AM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 21:13:48-04

RIO VERDE, AZ  — The water supply for the Rio Verde Foothills community remains uncertain.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing to address the water issues and on Wednesday, August 31, they voted not to create a special taxing district to manage water delivery in the community.

Currently, Rio Verde residents, who live in unincorporated Maricopa County, get water from private water companies, wells, or even by having it hauled in from Scottsdale.

Scottsdale officials said they would stop supplying water to the area at the end of this year due to the ongoing drought.

The solution to the water cut-off for many Rio Verde residents has been the source of heated debate.

The Board voted unanimously against a proposed Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID).

The vote means other potential alternatives will be considered, including the effort to find a permanent water supplier that is accountable to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), according to board officials.

"When I approached the Corporation Commission to inform them about the urgency of the Rio Verde Foothills water issue, they quickly agreed to get involved [see docket #W-00000A-22-0194 [lnks.gd]]," said Supervisor Thomas Galvin, who represents the Rio Verde Foothills and the rest of District 2. "We already know at least one supplier is interested in working with the ACC to provide standpipe water service to RVF residents."

Galvin believes the community should work together. "Ultimately, my vote to not approve the DWID creates opportunity for a whole community solution to accessible water," said Galvin. "Along with assistance from the ACC and interest from a regulated water utility provider, a resilient, reliable, relatively affordable water solution is attainable for the entire RVF community."