A group of Strawberry River residents say they don't have anything against the Pinion Forest Special Service District, but they don't want to be included in its boundaries.
The district was formed last year after holding public hearings and publishing public notices in accordance with state law. It has the authority to levy a tax to raise revenue for the purpose of bringing culinary water to west Duchesne County residents who now haul water to their homes."We applaud their efforts, we think that's wonderful for them, we just don't want to be part of it . . . we all have our own water," explained Kent Peatross.
The Strawberry River group has hired an attorney to help them jump the legal hurdles required now that the area has been included within the district.
"They don't feel a need for the services this district would provide," Vernal attorney Clark Allred told the Duchesne County Commission. "They will be taxed for something they really don't need."
Those along the Strawberry River have already invested heavily in developing their own culinary water systems. Allred said his clients didn't protest inclusion in the service district before it was formed because they weren't aware it would include their area.
Peatross and other Strawberry River residents said they were approached by those organizing the Pinion Forest Special Service District but told them they didn't need culinary water.
"It was my understanding that I said `no' so that meant, no, I don't want to be in it," Peatross stated.
The county has already loaned the district $10,000 to get started and the debt will make it harder to withdraw, commissioners told the group.
Every resident living along the Strawberry River east of Duchesne has been contacted, according to Peatross, and has asked to be removed from the special service district. Red Creek landowners are also expected to petition the county to withdraw their property from the special service district.
Commissioners said they would forward all information to the water district to inform it of the requests for removal.
The Pinion Forest Special Service District had hoped to raise about $30,000 this year through the tax levy to help fund engineering costs for the planned culinary water system. Rough estimates show it will cost about $7 million to bring water to the remote but fast-growing area.