The Virgin Valley Water District (VVWD) scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday morning for the purpose of approving an emergency bid and wound up having a tense discussion on whether or not the District has adequate water for future growth.

Director Sandra Ramaker responds to her critics on the VVWD Board. Photo by Burton Weast

Director Sandra Ramaker responds to her critics on the VVWD Board. Photo by Burton Weast

At issue was the testimony of Director Sandra Ramaker before the Mesquite City Council the previous evening.  In her comments to the Council, Ramaker identified herself as a private citizen, and then questioned why the Council was considering development in the new Exit 118 industrial area when it wasn’t known if there was adequate water.

Board Chair Nephi Julien stated that the board would deal directly with the supply issue at their next meeting on October 20th.  “We will be discussing the approved 2012 Master Plan for the district,” said Julien.  Pointedly, Julien also said that Ramaker had voted for the plan, which was passed unanimously, and that the plan indicated the District had adequate water supply for the next 40 years.  Julien added “Ramaker voted for the 2012 Plan so she should know what was in it.”

Director Barbara Ellestad directly criticized Ramaker for her comments to the Council.

Ellestad said she has commented in public meetings as a citizen, but never on water issues because perceptions are a reality when people know she is a VVWD board member.  “I was very disturbed last night at my colleges statement as she has no proof there is not enough water to serve potential residences or businesses,” said Ellestad.  Ellestad further stated that Ramakers comments were damaging to the District and to the City as a whole.

Director Rich Bowler suggested that they shouldn’t discuss the issue any further as they will be holding an advertised public meeting on the subject.

On the actual advertised purpose of the meeting, the Board approved a contract with Staker and Parson Companies for paving and other repairs to the area of a water line break on Oasis Drive.  Five companies submitted legal bids ranging from $61,304.43 to the low bid of $40,535.50 by Staker and Parson Companies of St. George.