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Cave Creek Moves Forward to Improve Water Service

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Cave Creek, AZ – The Cave Creek Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday to make significant improvements to the water system that serves residents in both Cave Creek and Carefree. The council previously approved the lease of state-of-the-art membrane water treatment units in order to enable the Town’s water supply to meet or exceed all drinking water regulations and standards. Last night, the Council agreed to hire two firms to help install the units. MGC Contractors will connect the Pall Membrane units to the existing water treatment equipment and GHD Engineers will complete the design and permitting for the new systems.

The two membrane units will provide consistent, high-quality potable water independent of incoming raw water quality. The units which use hollow fibers to provide a physical treatment barrier, should begin their service by the end of August.

Installing the units will allow the Cave Creek water system to comply with all federal and state regulations. Cave Creek has met the reporting requirements regarding total organic carbon levels and state and federal agencies have concluded the water is safe.

“Cave Creek is spending substantial resources to continue to provide clean, reliable water for all our customers,” Mayor Ernie Bunch said. “We are being proactive to maintain the highest quality of water for our users throughout Cave Creek, Carefree and Desert Hills.”

“The membrane will be installed to provide an extra physical barrier to organic carbons, which are naturally occurring in CAP water. Cave Creek’s water has been and remains safe to drink,” Bunch said.

Cave Creek files motion to dismiss condemnation action

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CAVE CREEK – Today the Town of Cave Creek filed a motion in Maricopa County Superior Court requesting the dismissal of the condemnation action filed by Carefree to take over a portion of the Cave Creek water system. This portion of the water system serves more than 500 Cave Creek customers who reside within the Town of Carefree.

Arizona law requires all governments to make a good faith offer and provide a supporting appraisal to the property owner prior to filing a condemnation action. Carefree failed to comply with either of those requirements.

Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch said, “While Carefree may have the right to buy a portion of our system, they still have to follow the law. This take over action is not in the best interest of our customers and we will continue to exercise our constitutional rights to protect them.” Joe Conner, a national utility condemnation lawyer who has been hired to represent Cave Creek said, “Years ago the two towns entered into a contract that contemplated this type of action. Unfortunately, Carefree has neglected to follow the very basic requirements of Arizona law which forms the basis of our motion.”

Mayor Bunch said, “Carefree’s move to physically separate a major portion of our system is totally unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer funds. At the same time, Carefree has not revealed how they will pay for the system or more importantly who will pay. One thing is for sure, our customers in Carefree will face higher water rates to pay for the cost of the system, legal fees and the expense of separating a portion of Cave Creek’s service area from our fully integrated utility. Regardless of any action taken by Carefree, we will continue to provide safe, reliable water service to all of our customers at reasonable rates.”

The case number is CV-2019-052592

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