Tombstone loses appeal in federal court on water controversy - Tucson News Now

Tombstone loses appeal in federal court on water controversy

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Another setback for the town of Tombstone this week as federal appeals court denied the city permission to make repairs to its water supply in the Huachuca Mountains.

"It's frustrating that it never seems to end, it just keeps going on," said Tombstone Mayor, Stephen Schmidt.

More than a year after the Monument fire, the town "Too Tough To Die" is still fighting to restore its Huachuca Mountain water supply.

This week, a federal appeals court sided with the U.S. Forest Service saying it wouldn't stop them from interfering with the city of Tombstone which has tried using heavy equipment to clear out debris.

"I know there are areas up there because of the rain and monsoons.. everything is washed out and exposed a lot of the pipeline," said Schmidt.

The Conservative Goldwater Institute, which represents Tombstone, is trying to argue the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. It calls this a threat to the water supply of a desert town and an imbalance of power between the federal and local governments.

But, if the city ends up losing in the long run, it could have a big affect on the 1,400 residents who live in Tombstone.

Schmidt said, "To the consumer because the cost would go up to pump ground water because we'd have to drill wells."

"Everyone right now is struggling to make ends meet," said Michael Montijo, "and that's just gonna make it worse."

Tombstone resident, James Ellsberry said, "everybody needs money and they know where to get it."

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