Governor vetoes bill to provide water to Rio Verde Foothills

By J. Graber | YourValley

Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed legislation Monday that would have forced the city of Scottsdale to provide water to the thirsty Rio Verde Foothills community.

House Bill 2441 was introduced by Rep. Gail Griffin, R-Sierra Vista, to bring water to the approximately 700 homes in the area that rely on hauled water, but Hobbs did not like it. 

“This bill fails to provide an immediate solution as it is passed without an emergency clause on the eve of a month-long adjournment (of the Legislature) which will only cause continued delay,” Hobbs wrote in a letter to Speaker of the House Rep. Ben Toma, R-Glendale.

Griffin’s bill would have required a city or town that provides water service in a county with a population of more than 1.5 million people to provide water for three years by use of a standpipe for water hauling to residences outside the city’s or town’s water service area if the city or town provided standpipe service to that community and there is no other source of water within 10 miles of the residences.

However, Monday’s veto doesn’t altogether kill all possibility of getting water to the community.

Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Scottsdale, has House Bill 2561 that would also turn the spigot back on for the Rio Verde Foothills community. 

If approved, his bill would create a “stand pipe district” operated by appointees from different governmental agencies such as the Arizona Division of Water Resources, which would sunset in 2026.

That bill has passed in the House and is sitting in the Senate, waiting for a vote. 

Gov. Hobbs urged Toma to take action on Kolodin’s bill as quickly as possible.

“I call upon you to take action and send HB 2561 to my desk — a bipartisan solution that was voted out of the House with supermajority support, an emergency clause for immediate effect and language addressing the long-term issue of wildcat development … I urge you not to wait until June 12; take action now and vote on HB 2561 immediately,” she wrote. 


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May 2023