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