Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Carpe Diem on Reclaimed Water

Carpe Diem
Tonight, the Oro Valley Town Council has the opportunity to designate $5.4million in restricted ARPA Funds to extend the reclaimed water system to Riverfront Park, Kreigh Park and the town owned Pusch Ridge Golf Course. This amount may not be enough to do the complete extension, but it is a start on saving millions of gallons of drinking water.

Council has done nothing to stop the outrageous use of drinking water on town parks
This council has done nothing regarding the extensive drinking water wasting that takes place at these facilities. 
Rather than "fast track" doing something about this, the Council let the town manager put it on the back burner to let the water director take a year to "dream" of the possibilities
On June 8, Town Water Director Peter Abraham spoke of the wondrous things and possibilities using Oro Valley's unused reclaimed water allotment could bring to the town.

At that time Abraham almost a dream state...  "When I started diving into this my mind was going to some amazing places that might be of better benefit to the community than just extending the reclaimed water system. We have an opportunity here to further ensure our sustainability. We have the resource. Let's take our time and wrestle with it." 

At that meeting, Town Manager Jacobs took charge and told the council that this was a strategic issue and that it should be added to the strategic leadership plan discussion this February. This was a delay tactic on the part of Jacobs because she wanted to use the ARPA funds for a host of other purposes. These other purposes will be discussed by town staff tonight.

Then, the town manager suggested laundering the ARPA funds through the water utility
Things did change a bit. Because in late September, two days prior to her resignation, Jacobs proposed "laundering" the restricted ARPA funds through the water utility. The money, she said, could be loaned to the water utility and then paid back. The money that was repaid was not ARPA funds, she said, so it could be used for any purpose! She said that the auditors told her this was OK to do. Really? Sounds like a laundering scheme to us. Maybe the town needs new auditors!

Meanwhile, drinking water that could supply at least 715 home is being squandered
In the past seven months, the three town owned facilities have used 35 million gallons of drinking water. That is equivalent to the use of 715 average Oro Valley homes...or... 7,150 homes reducing their water use by 10%.... or... one and a half times the total amount of rain that fell in Oro Valley this past weekend. It is a lot of drinking water!

The money is available. Jacobs is gone.  This ain't rocket science. Extend the reclaimed system.
We are we are. Jacobs is gone. This council is in control. This council can do the right thing. Fund extending the reclaimed water system. Prove that Oro Valley is the community of excellence that we are claim to be.