Eight citizens have less than a month to get up to speed on the Town's water-sewer situation to make a recommendation about it to the Town Council.
The Utility Project Citizen Committee will hear options from a report compiled by Economist.com, a professional evaluation company that the Town hired to analyze the financial impacts of three potential water-sewer-related projects: buying the City of Prescott's water distribution systems in Chino Valley and the Wilhoit water system within Chino Valley town limits, acquiring operations of the Town wastewater treatment plant, and extending the Town's water and sewer lines between Road 2 North and Road 3 North along Highway 89.
The Town hopes to get tax-exempt financing for a $13.5 general obligation bond, which in turn, would pay for the plant and the other two projects. A bond requires a vote of the town citizens.
At its April 8 meeting, the Council voted to direct the committee to bring a recommendation about the bond to possibly its May 13 regular meeting. Meetings start at 6 p.m. at town hall, 202 N. Highway 89, and are open to the public.
Before that vote, however, the Council had to find some new committee members to add to the three existing members. They wanted seven members and one alternate.
The discussion started with four nominees from council members, however Council Member Lon Turner's nominee, local businessman Davy Mazy, withdrew his name prior to the vote.
During the nominee discussion, Council Member Linda Hatch said at least one current committee member, Karrie Blum, was not a town citizen, a requirement of town committee service. Blum, however, is a former resident and is a long-time business owner in Chino Valley. As the council began to discuss the matter - most in favor of business owners serving on committees, others against it and one neutral - Town Attorney Phyllis Smiley stopped the discussion because the matter wasn't part of the agenda item. She said they'd have to place the matter on future agenda to be able to discuss committee requirements and vote on any changes.
Mazy withdrew his name because he said Blum is very knowledgeable in Town matters and is an asset to the committee, and therefore, he didn't agree with some of he council members' objections.
Within a week of the meeting, Turner and Council Member Mike Best brought two additional nominees, voted on in advance at the April 8 meeting.