APPLE VALLEY:(VVNG.com)- August 27, 2014: More than two-thirds of registered voters said they would support or probably support the Town’s acquisition of the Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVRWC) after hearing pros and cons on the issue.
Those voters were among 400 people sampled for the telephone survey, initiated to measure public opinions on water issues, specifically the Town’s proposal to buy the water company as a means of providing local control and greater rate stability. The survey was presented at a special public meeting Wednesday night by Timothy McLarney, Ph.D., of True North Research.
Some 36 percent of respondents professed they were somewhat or very dissatisfied with water services. These were the lowest marks among the services identified (police, fire protection, street maintenance and electricity). In a separate question, 35% had a somewhat or very unfavorable opinion of AVRWC specifically. When asked about reasons for the unfavorable opinion, 93 percent identified rate increases and the cost of water.
“This confirms what we hear from our citizens,” said Apple Valley Mayor Art Bishop. “We owe it to them to explore the options available to us to try to provide relief to the continuous cycle of rate increases.”
Survey respondents were asked three different times if they support or oppose the Town purchasing the water system from AVRWC. The first time was at the beginning of the survey with no additional information. The question was asked gain after positive arguments for purchase were presented and a third time after negative arguments were listed.
“After arguments on both sides were presented, overall support was found among 68 percent of all voters surveyed,” McLarney said, “with 47 percent indicating that they would definitely support the proposal.”
The survey conclusions also noted that support to acquire the water system was widespread, exceeding 60% in every identified subgroup.
The Town is currently accepting proposals for appraisal services for the water system, and the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee recently agreed to conduct a rate comparison audit of public and private water purveyors in Apple Valley and surrounding areas.
“The fact is that Park Water Company (AVRWC) is for sale,” said Bishop. “We are taking the steps necessary to take advantage of that opportunity.”