First among equals in the mighty trash disposal cartel, Waste Management continues to shrink Oracle’s trash disposal and recycling options. A recent announcement by the corporate behemoth to cut Oracle Transfer Station hours, enforce the bagging of all trash including green waste coming on top of charging an exorbitant fee for recycling is part of a patterned slap down of local interests by WM. A savvy local resident worries that what’s really happening is a slow walked Oracle transfer station extinction event executed by W M managers.
Oracle residents don’t have a lot of spare cash laying around for trips to Catalina to recycle much less front the dollars for green waste and trash disposal there (and one of these days it may again close to Pinal County residents anyway). SCIP is already savaging local budgets with extortionate rate increases. The bottom line here is that local elected officials are asleep at the switch when Oracle’s interests are at stake. For local families and businesses, their snooze means an economic train wreck for our community. It’s our job as residents and citizens to wake them up.
Keep in mind that Pinal County has leverage in the waste disposal matter by virtue of contracts, partial land ownership, leases, zoning, etc of the waste transfer station site in Oracle… and elsewhere around the county.
By way of contrast, Pinal County officials are burning time, energy and money trying to bring Way of Bean to heal. Most of the residents I talk to around town recognize the contradiction in policy, oversight and action - different strokes for different folks here means favoring the big powers and shafting the rest of us.
No one wants to resort to one obvious solution to our waste disposal problem - dumping in the desert - but that seems to be where things are going absent Board of Supervisor’s intervention.
Since we locals agree on most things these days about what’s good for our town, perhaps it’s time Oracle residents establish a more unified public voice on these and other pressing matters.
SCIP's price jump is devastating. One of Oracle's most important businesses reports a stunning one month 50% hike.
How bad is it? Consider this post on Facebook from David Ranchy: "I emailed them and got a refund on the difference because they implemented it a month early but my bill at the cafe went from $2000 to $3000 in one month. Yuck"
When you stop to think about it the situation is even worse than it first appears because at the same time SCIP customers are getting rate squeezed the federal government is flooding "infrastructure" dollars into "renewables" nationwide. Let's not forget that SCIP makes no provision for interface with local solar/wind generation!
Check out the important Robert Bolton/Sheila Miles letter to Secretary Deb Haaland:
US Department of Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Secretary Haaland:
Enclosed is a copy of an email we sent Senator Kelly who had responded to our request for help.
We live in Rural Arizona and get power from the US Department of Interior. Our Electric rates have increased over 50% in less than a year and are almost 40% more than average Arizona rates.
When we contacted San Carlos Irrigation District office (the electric utility), they said, "we have nothing to do with the rates."
Please see the forwarded letter below for the impact it has on ourselves and our rural communities.
Our home and many others in the area are perfect for Solar Electric. How about helping us by subsidizing PV cells for our homes and businesses instead of penalizing us?
Thanks for your attention; we look forward to hearing from you.
Robert Bolton & Sheila Miles
PO Box 211
Oracle, AZ 85623
(505)699-4173 & (505)603-3781
Some long time Oracle residents will remember efforts by local leaders to establish OREC (Oracle Electric Coop). The attempt by those stalwarts supported by the then thriving Oracle Town Hall researched and sought to implement a breakaway corporation focused on fixing the shortcomings of the San Carlos Irrigation Project’s electrical grid.
Ultimately it proved a bridge too far but in the process the community learned a lot about local control of infrastructure, obstacles to same thrown up by politicians and bureaucrats, and why our electrical grid staggers along with its head barely above water.
The problems that existed those many decades ago persist as a letter produced by Sheila Miles and Robert Bolton quoted in full shows. In fact they have metastasized since the OREC days.
Below is the Miles/Bolton letter:
Our community needs help. We are electric rate payers to the San Carlos Irrigation District, US Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Our utility rate in less than a year has gone from an effective rate of $.1303/ per kilowatt hour to $.1976 or an increase of 51.7%. This represents a $200 a month increase for our all-electric, 0 carbon emission home in Oracle, AZ. My wife and I are retired and in our 70’s. This is a huge increase for us.
To put our electric rate in perspective, following is a table of average residential electric rates in cents/kilowatt-hour for years 2022 and 2023 in the Mountain Region:
Mountain 14.22 13.09
Arizona 14.28 13.20
Colorado 14.67 14.40
Idaho 11.78 11.38
Montana 13.19 11.61
Nevada 17.39 13.17
New Mexico 13.89 14.13
Utah 11.45 11.19
Wyoming 12.62 11.75
San Carlos Irrigation District
We went from a rate slightly under the Arizona average to 38% higher or 5.48 cents per Kilowatt-hour higher than the current Arizona average
To add insult to injury the August bill contains an increase of 3.1 cents per kW-hour effective September 1 that has retroactively been applied to August billing.
There are no programs offered by San Carlos Irrigation District to buy back solar energy, subsidize solar energy or to help mitigate energy consumption as many Private Utilities do and are required to do.
Thanks for your help,
Sheila Miles & Robert Bolton
PO Box 211, Oracle, AZ 85623
Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.