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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
7:54 PM Mon, Sept. 24th

Chino paves the way for infrastructure implementation

CHINO VALLEY – Town Council members were up to their ears in water, sewer and public works issues Thursday as they took action on seven agenda items concerning the growing community's evolving infrastructure.

The council members approved utility fees for town water and sewer systems – services they hope to offer to residents and developers within the next year.

The utility fee town code specifies that the town will own water meters and install them for property owners. The cost will vary from $200 to $400.

The town will charge a $710 initial new service hookup fee to residents who wish to buy water from the municipal water system. The initial service area for the town's new water system is Country West Mobile Home Park and adjoining properties.

The code also covers water service deposits, the cost of water meter tests and water turn-on/turn-off services.

Council members also approved a $4,127 sewer system hook-up fee that developers will pay as they build new homes that will connect to the town's sewer system.

The hook-up fee for existing homes to connect to the system is $1,400. Existing homeowners may pay the hook-up fee over a 10-year time period.

The town recently received a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant to help low-income Chino Meadows residents pay to convert their septic systems and connect their homes to the town's new sewage system. The town also has applied for low-interest loans and grants to help median income households pay for the septic to sewer conversion. The town is conducting an income survey to help homeowners qualify for grants or loans.

Chino Meadows residents are among those who will hook up to the sewer system first because their homes are on lots smaller than one acre, and studies show that septic systems on smaller lots eventually will pollute the aquifer.

Sewer systems hook-up fees will help repay Fann Contracting, Inc., the company the town has hired to build and finance the new sewer system over a 10-year time period, for the cost of building the sewer system.

In other sewer and water business, Town Manager Carl Tenney told council members that the town and developers of major Chino Valley subdivisions are close to final agreements about sharing the cost of water and sewer systems.

"The agreements will share the burden and liability and not only benefit developers but (also) help the town," Tenney said.

Mayor Dan Main and Jim Musgrove, the town attorney, both indicated that they would work to complete agreements in December so that Fann Contracting can begin sewer system construction early in January 2003.

"I think all the parties are very anxious and somewhere, somehow we will have this finished in December," Main said. The only regular council meeting scheduled next month is for Dec. 12.

"It's a good deal for both the town and developers," he said. The town's goal is to start the sewer system in January, with completion six to eight months later.

Council members also hired Copeland Engineering of Prescott to design a two-mile sewer main that will start at Road 2 North and end at a lift station west of the new sewage treatment plant at Old Home Manor. The council approved a $67,900 budget for sewer main design.

The Town Council also approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Chino Valley Unified School District to get water service to Territorial Elementary School.

The town will provide water service to the school by expanding and improving the town-owned Country West Mobile Home Park water system and building a 12-inch water line to the school from the park.

The school district approved an agreement during its meeting last week to pay $40,000 to the town over four years to help pay for extending the water line from Road 1 East and Road 2 North to the school.

When the town starts providing water to the school – in six to nine months – water pressure will improve and a new town-installed fire hydrant will offer better fire protection.

In other business, the Town Council approved a petition from the Chino Valley Fire District to annex Road 2 North from Road 1 East to the boundary of the Bright Star development so that the subdivision would be part of the fire district. To be included in the fire district, part of the subdivision property had to connect with the existing fire district boundary. Bright Star is one of the subdivisions that will help pay for the town's new sewer system. It received denser zoning that the town normally allows for its participation in the sewer project.

Council members agreed to give $10,000 to help build a sanctioned, full-size, in-line hockey rink in Pioneer Park. The county dedicated the land for the project and a community group is working to raise about $258,000 for the full-size rink and a smaller practice rink.

The group is trying to raise the money as a tri-city project. It has approached the Prescott City Council for help and will talk with members of the Prescott Valley Town Council. The group is sponsoring a golf tournament to benefit the hockey rink and has approached the Phoenix Coyotes about grant money.

In a special meeting before Thursday's regular meeting, council members met in executive session to talk about the cost to the town of cleaning up the Ruth Keener property west of Highway 89.

An industrial hygiene company found elevated bacteria in the soil and reported that vehicles on the property were fouled with cat excrement. The town also removed dilapidated buildings and several dumpsters of trash and debris.

Since May 2002, the town has spent more than $17,000 cleaning up the property. The town has a lien against the property and council members voted to try to recover cleanup costs through the lien process.

Contact Dorine Goss at dgoss@prescott az.com or 445-8179, ext. 2036.