Town talks 2019 plans; 2 director positions need to be filled
The Town of Chino Valley has a number of plans for the coming year that include calling for a special election and filling two vacant director positions.
The special election will ask the voters two questions. One would concern a possible purchase of the water companies in Chino Valley. The other would address a proposal for a property tax levy to pay for road maintenance and repair.
Town Manager Cecilia Grittman says it is a priority to look at the town’s infrastructure challenges and come up with ways of paying for them.
After the first of the year, the Town Council and town staff will try and put a plan together, said Mayor Darryl Croft. Council is expected to decide on either a $1.5 million property tax levy, which staff recommended at a recent council meeting, or a $1.2 million property tax levy at its Tuesday, Jan. 8, meeting.
“If we can get that approved and we can get our roads up to par where they should be, I think that will be a real benefit to the town,” Croft said.
It’s an opportune time to do it if the voters want it, he said. At this point, after paying for things like salaries, equipment and fuel, the town has about $400,000 left in its Highway User Revenue Fund Budget, and Croft noted that the cost of materials and labor are only continuing to rise.
There is also going to be a continued push for economic development, which Grittman said goes hand-in-hand with infrastructure. The town is growing, but it also needs to be more in contact with economic development, Croft said.
“We’ve got an industrial park; we’re working on that. We’re planning on that again to get that thing moving,” he said. “We’re going to need somebody out there that knows economic development and can get out and talk to people and bring them in the community.”
The Town of Chino Valley is closing out the year with two open director positions. The hope is to have a new economic development director and development services director come on board in the coming year, Grittman said.
Active recruitment for the development services director is underway, she said. Once the new person comes on board, then they can continue the rewrite of the town’s Unified Development Ordinance which has been paused, Grittman said. Though the Interim Development Services Director Martin Scribner is capable of doing it, the rewrite needs to be done by someone who knows the community, she said.
The town, in 2019, is going to increase efforts toward an industrial park at Old Home Manor, which will be in the scope of whoever comes in as the economic development director, Grittman said.
“We’re looking at proposing a master plan for water out there,” she said. “We’ve got several high-producing wells and with the business park out there; we want to make sure we get everything balanced ... and ready to go.”
A new code person has recently been hired as well, and in January, council will hold a study session to talk about community outreach that improves the community and begins whatever can be done to begin cleaning up Highway 89, Grittman said.
The partnership between the town and Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce has been really good, and other groups have approached them who want to use town facilities and do other types of events, Grittman said.
“Those are partnerships we can support because it’s our facilities, but we don’t have to put all the time and effort into it,” she said. “We’re looking at pursuing more of that type of thing.”
A long-term vision is to have more partnerships with the Chino Valley School District, too, Grittman said. It would allow access to their facilities, their staff and students who want to participate, she said.