PRESCOTT VALLEY – Maybe it was the newsletter sent to all Prescott Country Club (PCC) Owners' Association members that angered several of that area's citizens.
Or maybe it was the thought of possible clandestine meetings between some of the Prescott Owners' Association (POA) board members.
The binding tie between the above concerns is the possibility of the PCC annexing into the town of Prescott Valley and connecting to its sewer system.
PCC property owner Shirley Shaw said earlier last week that she felt frustration over the current sewer/annexation issue for those two reasons.
Before the public meeting that convened earlier this month, the POA mailed a newsletter to various homeowners that seemed biased and heavy-handed, according to Shaw.
The literature contained in the newsletter touched on the dangers of having a septic system.
"There is a feeling here that the POA spent homeowner dues to support that meeting," Shaw said.
Mass mailings, she explained, should go to all property owners, not just POA members.
Shaw decided that the POA could not provide enough unbiased information for her to make a decision about possibly connecting to a sewer system and resented the "scare tactics" involved.
Tuesday night, however, the POA board approved the formation of a steering committee, made up of members expressing diverse opinions, addressing all concerns related to sewers and septic tanks.
This committee would take up the effort of initiating a survey of those for and against connecting to Prescott Valley's sewer system – and thereby annexing into the town.
POA president Stan Schuricht said during the meeting that the new committee must create a document that is easy to understand for property owners regarding sewer and septic systems.
After every property owner reads the steering committee's document, each one can vote "yes" or "no" on connecting to a sewer system, he said.
If the results of the survey point to "no," then all action would stop.
If the results point in the "yes" direction, then there are several steps involved.
Schurict said he would like the results of the committee's survey mailed out to all property owners by July 31 of this year.
The POA would approach county officials and ask for financial help with the design study for a sewer system.
Afterward, the POA would conduct a public meeting and present the costs of the project, taken from the design study, to all property owners.
Then the board would approach Prescott Valley town officials with those results.
Eventually, talks would turn toward annexation and bond sales supporting the project.
Schuricht admitted that, prior to the June 5 meeting, notifying owners of the sewer/septic information got a little complicated.
"We have in the community a portion of people who are required to be members, depending on when they purchased their property. Many (owners) are not members of the POA," Schuricht said.
"We were trying to create a meeting to inform everyone on the issues … I felt that we needed to gather together speakers from as many sources as we could in one meeting."
And out of that meeting came the decision to collect the opinions from Prescott Country Club property owners.
"It's not as simple as just going out and conducting a survey of some kind and getting a consensus of opinion. We have to follow the rules," Schuricht said.
"We have about 400 property owners that don't live here," he added.
The entire issue "is a little tricky," he explained, because typically the board does not go outside of the membership on issues such as this one.
"Non-members are sort of left out in the cold, but this issue crosses the line."
The steering committee would change that.
As far as the rumors, Schuricht volunteered his side of the story.
Prior to last night's meeting, he didn't deny the rumor that several citizens went to town officials requesting a sewer system and added that connecting to the town is one issue that many property owners don't want to abandon.
He did, however, deny the reports that certain board members were spotted having a secret meeting out on the golf course.
"If a quorum of board members were seen gathered together, that could be construed as a meeting," Schuricht said, but insisted that no discussions took place outside the parameters of a normal board conference.
Contact Briana Lonas at firstname.lastname@example.org