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ARCHIVED  September 24, 1999

Little Thompson District taps Arkins Water Assoc.

BERTHOUD — Arkins Water Association Inc. is rapidly approaching its confluence with the Little Thompson Water District in Berthoud. More than five months after the proposal to merge Arkins into the district was overwhelmingly approved by Arkins’ board, an end to the acquisition’s proceedings is in sight.

“The only purpose of the merger was to provide better rates to our customers,” Arkins manager Art Sweazy said. “We have top-quality water, Little Thompson has top-quality water — we use the same water supply. It’s about economies of scale: They are very large, and we are very small.”

Arkins feeds water to approximately 403 taps in the Loveland area, while the Berthoud-based Little Thompson District provides service to 5,200.

“We’ve got the closing contract together, and its been agreed upon by our board,” Sweazy said. “We just have to decide upon the actual closing date.”

Sweazy said the closing date could be any time between Sept. 30 and the end of October.

Hank Whittet, district manager at Little Thompson, agreed: “My best guess is on or around the 30th of September to have a closing of some kind, at least for the paperwork to get done, but we have to build a water pump and line system and need to physically make those connections in order for it to work.”

Little Thompson, which has a staff of 21 employees, is laying down a pump system and pipeline to hook Arkins’ system into its own. “We need to physically build a pump system and construct a pipeline from us to them,” Whittet asserted. “As soon as we can get the route figured out, we’ll be ready to go.”

The Arkins board of directors originally approached the Little Thompson’s board in fall 1998, “with an interest in discussing the district taking over the operation of Arkins,” Whittet said. Discussions were held through late fall and into the winter before a tentative compromise was reached, but Arkins’ bylaws required its directors to take the proposal to vote before all of its shareholders. On April 13, 1999, the necessary two-thirds vote of all capital holders was secured, and the deal has since been moving forward, but as Sweazy noted, “it takes time to make these things go.”

After more than 30 years of operation, Arkins is winding down. “There are only two employees right now,´ said Sweazy, adding that the board of directors has decided not to replace another employee who recently left. “As far as the remaining employees go, we’ll work with [Little Thompson} for three months, to make sure everything goes over smoothly, and then move on.”

BERTHOUD — Arkins Water Association Inc. is rapidly approaching its confluence with the Little Thompson Water District in Berthoud. More than five months after the proposal to merge Arkins into the district was overwhelmingly approved by Arkins’ board, an end to the acquisition’s proceedings is in sight.

“The only purpose of the merger was to provide better rates to our customers,” Arkins manager Art Sweazy said. “We have top-quality water, Little Thompson has top-quality water — we use the same water supply. It’s about economies of scale: They are very large, and we are very small.”

Arkins feeds water to approximately 403…

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