Copyright Dolan Springs Community Council. All rights reserved.
The Great Mt. Tiption Paper Chase
The first piece of paper in the race was a notice, posted by the developer of Lake Mohave Ranchos, requesting all residents to attend a meeting, on October 26, 1967, to discuss complaints about water services,
At this meeting a proposal was made that the res— idents get together and take over the delivery of water by tank truck and U—haul stand—pipe which, at that time , were part of the water service supplied by the developer under a franchise issued to his Lake Mohave Ranchos Water Co,
The developer offered to -burn over, to a community authorized committee, the equipment and utilities necessary to carry on these services, it was also proposed that the community consider buying out the entire franchised system at some future date.
For a community consisting mainly of low income retires with no political or other organization that would be eligible to handle such a project, any serious consideration of the latter part of the proposition seemed an impossibility,
As a way out it was suggested that a loan for a Community Water System might be available through the Farmers Home Administration of the U, S, Department of Agriculture. This organization was providing funds for similar projects throughout the nation and had backed water systems for some of our neighboring communities.
A three-man investigating committee was then and there appointed to look into the possibility of getting Government assistance for a water system to include the existing facilities, also they were to negotiate for a takeover of the truck and stand—pipe water delivery services,
Without tape recordings of this and subsequent meetings a full picture of the human part of the obstacle course cannot be reconstructed the racecourse was to be clogged with petty jealousies and grudges, incomprehension, obtuse reasoning, misanthropic cussedness, wild rumors, premature optimism and enough other human fancies and foibles to make the road of the community t s chosen representatives a nightmare
Committee work during the next two months made it clear that a duly elected and incorporated body representing the community was necessary to carry on any further negotiations, On January L}, 1968 Lake Mohave Ranchos residents met at the Community Hall and elected three men to serve as a Community Council, The assembled residents indicated that they would like to have a newly elected Council take over the water delivery services and a Trustee was named to be responsible for operations when all arrangements had been completed.
A month later the Trustee signed a formal agreement with the Lake Mohave Ranchos Water Co. to take over tank truck and stand—pipe water delivery service on a six months trial basis. At the end of this time it would be possible to renew this arrangement and also enter negotiations for a complete takeover of all services through purchase of the existing franchise.
Work had gone forward toward securing a loan from the Farmers Home Administration during this time, A mass meeting on February 15th heard the Kingman agent for Farmers Home Administration outline the steps necessary to apply for a loan. The President of the Valley Pioneer Water Co.,INC told of their experience in getting a government loam and gran±, to construct and put into service a new water system for their development —— similar to Lake Mohave Ranchos but smaller.
The assembly voted; to seek the services of the attorney and the engineer who had handled the Valley Pioneer project; to try to raise funds to guarantee payment of legal and engineering fees for the work necessary to submit a, formal application for funding by the FHA, and to Incorporate the Community Council and a separate body to be known as the Mount Tipton Water Company, The money for this guarantee " kitty" was to be raised by $20 00 contributions from all interested resident and absentee property owners. Eventually this effort raided $7,041.76
Two and a half months work found the Council ready to call another general meeting, Sixty-eight signatures were affixed to Articles of
Incorporation for both the Community Council and the Water Co. at this gathering on May LP, 1968. Directors for both bodies were elected, it was pointed out that the Council would act as financial agent for the Water Co. until the signing of a Contract for Construction or Purchase — as the case might be.
Throughout the balance of the year the paper chase went on in earnest; — various applications were submitted; — user survey sheets were gathered; — By—Laws were drawn up; — engineering maps and survey reports were reviewed; — and a mountain of correspondence was disposed of, The Water Company Board of Directors was increased by the election of four more members. The attorney had also been directed to apply for a franchise for an area out— lined by the engineering survey. The LMR Water Co had offered to sell their franchise and physical assets for $75,000.00.
A special general meeting on December 16th was in— formed that the Articles of Incorporation had been filed in Phoenix, The Mount Tipton Water Co, Bylaws were presented, approved and signed. The officers of the Water Coe signed a Franchise Petition to be presented to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, the approval of the franchise was received on Feb.19, 1969,
The joint Annual Meeting of the Council and Water Company was held on May 4th, 1969. Very favorable reports were made to the membership from both organizations, New Directors were elected. All parties concerned were congratulated by the local Farmers Home Administration representative for the remarkable amount of work accomplished since the Incorporation meeting a year back. These kind words jinxed things,
For the remainder of the year the Board experienced their first real obstacle in the form of an attorney involved in domestic problems and the conduct of personal campaign for elective political office, Paperwork piled up in his office that was vitally essential to continued progress toward issuance of a loan.
When this stoppage became evident all efforts by OUT officers and Board, the FHA and the engineer to get some action were ignored, Finally, with FHA concurrence, action was taken to seek contractual re— lease from the attorney and secure other legal services. Some time elapsed before a committee finally got to see the attorney and secured a release.
Now, early April of 1970, with our affairs in the hands of? a Kingman lawyer, the accumulated roadblock was cleared away and it was -found that the Company was actually in a position to apply for a loan, Farmers home Administration officials advised that a straight loan should be applied for immediately with some hope that grant funds would still be available be— fore the end of the fiscal year, At the same time the Board was told that the F. H. A. would not consider making a loan except for an entirely new water system since inspection of the LMR Water Co, plant had found it to be in sub-standard condition.
Based on the cost of constructing a new system and the number of certified water users a mini-mm monthly rate of $18.00 for 5, 000 gallons of water would have to be charged, This rate was legally and formally set a-b a public meeting of the Arizona State Corporation Commission, This meeting was held in Kingman.
By the May 3rd Annual Meeting the Board was ready to make application for the loan and the membership approved a resolution that they do so. An election of directors was held. At a previous special meeting everyone had been informed of the change of attorneys, rejection of the Lake Mohave Ranchos Water Co. offer and the $18.00 minimum rate set by the Corporation Commission,
Some of the past year's frustration and anguish was soothed when information was received on May 12th, that a Loan of $210,300.00 and a Grant of $174,200.00 had been approved,
The Board, the engineer and officials of the Farmers Home Administration met in Kingman a week later to out— line procedures and the work necessary before the loan and grant could be officially announced, bids let, and construction begin.