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5/11/2012 9:53:00 PM
Prescott Valley council OKs rainwater harvesting pilot project
Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY - A pilot project for rainwater harvesting gained the green light from the Town Council Thursday evening.

The project, which will determine the feasibility of using rainwater to recharge the aquifer, will be one of the first of its kind in the state, Water Resources Manager John Munderloh told the council. Prescott Valley and the other jurisdictions that are within the Prescott Active Management Area are committed to reaching safe yield - putting as much water into the ground as is pumped out - by the year 2025.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the right of way and construction easement agreement, which would enable the use of public land in Chino Valley for five test plots. The agreement also requires the signatures from other entities that belong to the Upper Verde River Protection Coalition: Yavapai County, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, the City of Prescott and Town of Chino Valley.

Chino Valley owns the land in the Old Home Manor area where the harvesting project will be located. Prescott Valley is serving as the fiscal agent for the project, Munderloh said.

He said the town will go out to bid to find a contractor to build the harvesting system. One of the five test plots will be for control purposes.

PV Councilwoman Lora Lee Nye praised the project, saying, "This is regional, and we are finally doing something regional. We've got to find ways to produce water for our aquifer."

Nye motioned to approved the agreement, and Councilman Don Tjiema seconded the motion.

The Salt River Project in the Phoenix area has not taken an official position on the pilot project, SRP spokesman Jeff Lane stated in an email.

However, he wrote SRP sees "little to no value in the project without first tackling the technical and legal issues the study committee will address."

In addition to dealing with the rainwater harvesting project, the council Thursday voted unanimously to authorize Public Works Director Norm Davis to apply for $1.2 million in grant money to extend the PV Pipeline Multi-Use Path project.

The next phase of the project entails extending the path 1,500 feet from near Highway 89A north to Antelope Meadows Drive.

Tjiema questioned the location of the proposed extension, saying the area has fewer residents than other stretches of Prescott Valley, such as Loos Drive, where he lives.

Davis said the path extension would connect the Viewpoint and Pronghorn Ranch subdivisions, adding that the paths are 10 feet wide and accessible to wheelchairs.

Councilwoman Mary Mallory said she has ridden her bicycle on the paths. "They are very nice and I like them," she said. "You can go from one end of the community to the other."

Construction of the path is likely three years away, Davis said. "These things take time to plan," he said.

The town will be responsible for only about 6 percent of the cost, Mayor Harvey Skoog said.

Skoog and his council peers also learned about plans by the Prescott Valley Rotary Club to conduct its second annual balloon festival during Prescott Valley Days June 16 and 17.

Nineteen balloonists registered as of Thursday, said Rich Joliet, incoming president of the club.

"We have all kinds of sponsorships available," Joliet said. "We hope to have as many as 25 balloons."

Joliet, a certified public accountant, succeeds Councilman Patty Lasker as president of the Rotary club effective Tuesday. The council also voted Thursday to rotate the vice mayor from Lasker to Tijiema effective June 14.

The vice mayor presides over meetings in the mayor's absence.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Article comment by: Al Sengstock

I hope this project works, however, if it does, and based on SRP's past history, I would expect them to take legal action, since they think they own all of the rain water that historically would end up in their aquifers. They will probably take the position that to capture rain water "up-stream" is theft. Strange times....

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