(Editor's note: We are posting here a memo from Central Arkansas Water responding to Deltic Timber Corporation's assertion that the water utiility has been unccooperative. It is part of the debate over Deltic's legislation to take the power of eminent domain from Central Arkansas Water as a way to control development in the Lake Maumelle watershed. We post it here to allow an easy link from the Arkansas Blog.)
CENTRAL ARKANSAS WATER'S RESPONSE TO DELTIC TIMBER CORPORATION'S ACCUSATIONS ABOUT LACK OF COOPERATION AND USE OF EMINENT DOMAIN, AS A DEVELOPMENT TOOL:
By Jim Harvey
Central Arkansas Water
From 1989 to 1999, CAW participated with Deltic in the development of water facilities within Deltic's Chenal Valley area in the approximate amount of $244,296.
1-- In 1998, the water utility advised Deltic of the watershed protection plan and the water utility's intent to purchase the property south of Lake Maumelle near the intake structures (Zone 1 acreage). The utility also placed a standing offer to purchase property within the watershed.
2-- In 1999, the utility partnered with Deltic in the construction of 1 Million Gallons of Storage and a High-Capacity Pumping Station to better serve the Chenal area and surrounding non-Deltic areas of West Little Rock and West Pulaski County. The water utility participated in the facilities in the amount of $917,333 and Deltic participated in the amount of $511,535.
In exchange for its participation in the improvements, Deltic was granted an exemption from future Capital Investment Charges (growth and expansion fees) for the area the timber company designated as its future development area.
It was requested of Deltic and Deltic provided a detailed designation of its Proposed Development Areas in the Intermediate and West Markham pressure zones of the water system (West Little Rock and West Pulaski County). The water utility filed notice of this area with the Pulaski County Clerk's Office, as part of the utility's filing of fee notices that would apply to developers in this geographical area. The area in and around The Ridges of Nowlin Creek was not designated by Deltic in the Proposed Development Areas. The proposed site for The Ridges at Nowlin Creek is 3.5 miles away from the development area that Deltic identified in the filing.
From 1989 to 1999, CAW's contribution to water system improvements that have benefited existing customer areas in West Pulaski County and growth in West Pulaski County has totaled $1,367,000. Deltic is the major landowner in West Pulaski County thus a major beneficiary.
3 - - Since 1999, CAW has participated with Deltic in the development of water facilities within Deltic's Development Areas in the approximate amount of $204,475.
* In 2000, Deltic asked for an exception to the utility's prohibition on raw-water sales in order to irrigate the Chenal Valley Golf Course with raw water and save the timber company money on irrigating the course. The
Water Commission approved the exception and adopted a new rate resolution for raw-water customers. The raw-water contract saves Chenal Properties $30,000 to $50,000 a year in irrigation water costs.
4 -- Since 2001, CAW has invested approximately $10,246,000 in water facility improvements that have benefited all development in and beyond West Little Rock, including the Deltic developments:
5 -- Year 2001 - Water Mains - Chenal Parkway, Rahling Road, and Chenonceau Boulevard - $224,181.
6 -- Year 2003 - Water Mains - 36"-Diameter Transmission Main on West Intermediate Pressure System, Wilson Water Treatment Plant to Westbury Drive - $4,121,095.
7 -- Year 2004 - Water Mains - Brodie Creek from Bowman Road to Chenal Parkway -$1,886,358.
8-- Year 2004 - Pumping Station - Brodie Creek Pumping Station - $1,137,457.
9 -- Year 2004 - Water Mains - 36"-Diameter Transmission Main on West Intermediate, Westbury to Rahling Road - $2,130,955.
10 -- Year 2004 - Water Mains - Participation with Improvement District #349 to upsize facilities for growth in West Pulaski County - $746,414.
11 -- Deltic has 37,000 acres in Pulaski County outside the Lake Maumelle Watershed. The $10,246,000 in improvements since 2001 will benefit development in the majority of this acreage, and additional projects in the CAW Master Plan will benefit and accommodate remaining areas of growth in West Pulaski County, including Deltic's acreage.
PROPERTY PURCHASES AND CONDEMNATIONS OVER PAST 45 YEARS
Over the past 45 years, the water utility has purchased properties and easements for watershed protection, pipeline construction, the installation of pumping stations and storage tanks, and other public purposes related to operating and maintaining the public drinking water system. Of 2,912 purchases, only 47 (1.6%) have involved condemnation. The purchases calculate out into 1 condemnation for every 62 purchases during the past 45 years.
Of the 47 condemnations, 38 have been for easements and only 9 for deeds to actually acquire the property. With easements, the water utility has facilities in and access to the property; however, the owners still have use of the property.
PUBLIC FORUMS AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH DELTIC TIMBER CORPORATION
1998 CAW's predecessor utility informed Deltic Timber Corporation of the intent to purchase the property south of the intake structure of Lake Maumelle (Zone 1)
June 7, 2000 Letter from Mr. Jim Harvey, then Chief Executive Officer of Little Rock Municipal Water Works (currently CAW), to Mr. Jack McCray, then Principal Broker for Chenal Properties
July 7, 2000 Letter from Mr. Jim Harvey, then Chief Executive Officer of Little Rock Municipal Water Works (currently CAW), to Mr. Ron L. Pierce, then President and Chief Executive Officer of Deltic Timber Corporation
August 2002 CAW meeting with Deltic Timber Corporation regarding 794-acre tract at eastern end of Lake Maumelle (Zone 1)
September 2002 Mr. Steve Morgan, Director of Regionalism & Future Water Source for CAW, meets with representatives of Deltic Timber regarding 794-acre tract at eastern end of Lake Maumelle (Zone 1)
November 2002 Mr. Steve Morgan, Director of Regionalism & Future Water Source and February 2003 for CAW, reports to CAW Board on talks with Deltic Timber representatives regarding Zone 1 property
March 2003 CAW notified that Deltic Timber has a preliminarydevelopment analysis on the 794-acre tract in Zone 1
February 24, 2004 Presentation on The Ridges at Nowlin Creek by Deltic Timber Corporation to CAW Board during Special Meeting of Water Commission
April 8, 2004 Address by Mr. Jack McCray, Real Estate Division Manager for Deltic Timber Corporation, to CAW Board during Regular Meeting of Water Commission
July 13, 2004 Presentation by Deltic Timber Corporation to CAW Task Group for Watershed Management
October 8, 2004 Letter from Mr. Jim Harvey, Chief Executive Officer of Central Arkansas Water, to Mr. Ray Dillon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Deltic Timber Corporation
Informal Meetings Since 1998, Mr. Jim Harvey, Chief Executive Officer, and various water utility staff have had numerous other informal meetings and talks with Mr. Jack McCray, Real Estate Division Manager for Deltic Timber Corporation, and Mr. Ron Pierce, former CEO of Deltic Timber Corporation. Deltic also has talked with Mr. Eddie Powell, CAW Board Chair, in several meetings over the past few months.
CAW's history of cooperation, talks, and public forums with Deltic Timber Corporation and the utility's record on condemnations disprove the accusations about heavy-handedness, overzealousness, and unwillingness to negotiate. It demonstrates a strong respect for openness, partnership, and property rights. The utility's record of quality water service and affordable rates for customers demonstrate a strong respect for public
health, for the cost that customers bear for public health, and the utility's responsibility to ensure - for the long-term - a safe and dependable supply of drinking water for the more than 360,000 who depend it now and in the future.