Glenshire votes for PUD water
The ballots are back, and Glenshire residents have decided to abandon their water company and allow the Truckee Donner Public Utility District to take over.
“Out of 1,001 ballots that we received,” said Mark Thomas, general manager of Glenshire Mutual Water Company, “955 voted to consolidate and 46 wanted to remain mutual.”
The votes were counted late Tuesday afternoon.
Although the vote overwhelmingly favored consolidation, it doesn’t guarantee that the PUD will step in. The PUD board will still have to vote on acquiring the Glenshire system.
“Our next step will be to mail out a report of the vote to our shareholders and (Glenshire’s) board will have to adopt the resolution,” said Thomas.
Once the board accepts the resolution, negotiations with the PUD will begin to decide on a contract both boards can agree on.
Deanna Osborne, a resident of Glenshire, says she voted for the acquisition after thinking about the long term benefits.
“I think this will give us more access to water sources,” said Osborne. “And the arsenic thing was a little scary.”
Reports from a survey commissioned by the Glenshire Mutual Board of Directors last summer found unacceptable arsenic levels in five of the utility’s 12 wells.
Arsenic, an element common in bedrock around the Tahoe basin, is a suspected carcinogen that has been the target of recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legislation.
Other advantages to consolidation will be the lower costs the PUD can offer.
To combat arsenic levels and deal with a rapidly depleting aquifer, Glenshire residents were facing annual water fees as high as $875 per customer.
But even with this cost projection, not all residents favored relinquishing control to the PUD.
“I think some people might have been afraid of joining a larger company,” said Thomas. “A few people were concerned about chlorinating water, but we already do that anyway.”
Peter Holzmeister, PUD general manager, told the Sierra Sun in March that he believes acquiring Glenshire customers makes sense.
“We believe we can do a superior job of offering service,” said Holzmeister. “We just have to be careful that we understand what the issues and costs are, and we in no way want to inconvenience our existing customers with such an acquisition.”
For more information on the acquisition contact Mark Thomas at (530) 587-4949.
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