ARIZONA NEWS

Rio Verde Foothills residents divided on best solution for interim water source

Apr 28, 2023, 4:35 AM

State Representative Alexander Kolodin meets with Rio Verde Foothills residents. (KTAR News Photo/L...

State Representative Alexander Kolodin meets with Rio Verde Foothills residents. (KTAR News Photo/Luke Forstner)

(KTAR News Photo/Luke Forstner)

PHOENIX — Rio Verde Foothills residents gathered at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday to draw attention to their ongoing lack of a guaranteed water source.

All the residents want water, but there is some disagreement on the best way forward.

While holding signs and posing for photos, residents argued amongst themselves about two different bills moving through the state legislature, each presenting different potential solutions for the rural community outside Scottsdale.

Both bills would address the community’s water needs in the interim until a permanent solution is in place.

Private utility company Epcor recently presented a plan to the Arizona Corporation Commission that would allow them to step in as a provider. Executing that plan, if approved, would still take time.

HB2441, introduced by Republican State Rep. Gail Griffin, would require cities like Scottsdale to provide water to dependent communities like Rio Verde Foothills unless a permanent alternative is available.

Rio Verde Foothills resident Wendy Walker is among those who voiced support for the bill.

“Gail Griffin’s bill is absolutely simple, straightforward solution,” she said. “It’s the quickest way for us to get water.”

The other bill, HB2561, would create a governmental entity known as a standpipe district to manage water agreements on behalf of the community.

The bill’s primary sponsor is Republican State Rep. Alexander Kolodin, who talked with the residents during their demonstration. He was met with resistance from many members of the community, who criticized his bill as inviting more government interference.

Despite the disagreements between residents, Kolodin insists the two bills aren’t at odds.

“These are not competing solutions,” he stressed. “If we can get the votes for Chairwoman Griffin’s alternative, then we’re going to go with that alternative. From a conservative point of view, it’s better, it has less government.”

Both bills contain emergency clauses, meaning they would become effective immediately after being signed into law, and would also require a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and House. Kolodin believes his bill offers a compromise that might be able to win more votes.

“In order for these people to get water before the summer, the bill has to pass with an emergency clause,” he explained. “It may be that we need to do the standpipe district alternative in my bill in order to get the necessary votes.”

While it seems most residents do have a preference between the two bills, many are also willing to accept whatever solution gets them water the fastest.

“I think the best way forward is an agreement by the State Legislature on a bill that is going to get us water,” said Jessica Mehlman. “I understand that the people in our community are divided, but at the end of the day we need water, and we need water quickly.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Roberto Jay Vasquez, 63, went missing on Wednesday, DPS said...

Serena O'Sullivan

Silver Alert issued for missing 63-year-old man last seen walking in Phoenix

The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert on Thursday evening for Roberto Jay Vasquez, 63, who was last seen Wednesday.

6 hours ago

A lot of money stuffed inside a briefcase....

KTAR.com

Fantasy 5 ticket worth $348,000 sold at grocery store in Phoenix

Luck struck at a Phoenix grocery store after one person hit the jackpot in an Arizona Lottery game on Wednesday, officials said.

7 hours ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

8 hours ago

Phoenix child in extremely critical condition after drowning in backyard pool...

Serena O'Sullivan

2-year-old in critical condition after being pulled from backyard pool in Phoenix

A 2-year-old girl is in "extremely critical" condition after being pulled from a Phoenix pool on Thursday evening.

8 hours ago

phoenix police asked public to find homicide suspect after dead body found in canal...

KTAR.com

Phoenix police ask for public help in investigation of dead body found in canal

Phoenix police found a dead body in a canal on Wednesday. Now detectives are asking the public for help in finding the homicide suspect.

9 hours ago

...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Rio Verde Foothills residents divided on best solution for interim water source