Star Valley Drainage, Grading Ordinance Mirrors County Policy

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The Star Valley Town Council Tuesday night decided to move forward with a grading ordinance that mirrors the one already in use by Gila County.

Star Valley Town Manager Vito Tedeschi presented the council with two grading and drainage ordinances -- one being used by Payson and another by Gila County.

The council authorized Tedeschi to prepare an ordinance to adopt the proposal.

Tedeschi said, without a grading and drainage section in the town code, Star Valley has no formal authority or instructions on how to issue, inspect or enforce grading and drainage situations.

The town also will be looking for a town engineer to enforce the codes.

Tedeschi said the town has received grading and drainage complaints from residents.

At Tuesday's meeting, the council discussed five things it plans to implement in the near future:

  • Adopt a grading and drainage code
  • Appoint a town engineer to enforce the code
  • Follow up on current complaints
  • Request the county to perform the services they were paid for or return the permit fee to the applicant or town
  • Include in the town code a section allowing the town to collect investigation costs from the complainants on false complaints
  • Instruct the town attorney to handle any complaints threatening legal action

The town council also discussed purchasing two vehicles for the town from Phil White Ford of Star Valley for $30,100.

"This is one of the things we need to improve the town's presence," Tedeschi said.

"We have a need for some basic equipment."

He said the town needed a small pickup truck for the building inspector and a larger pickup for the town.

"I think it is time we step up our presence," he said.

When asked by Mayor Chuck Heron if the town had budgeted for the vehicles, Tedeschi pointed out that Star Valley had taken in $200,000 more than what was budgeted in the general fund and another $160,000 in street funds.

Councilor Bill Rappaport was against the idea of the town purchasing two vehicles.

"I think we ought to stick with the IRS rate for mileage," Rappaport said, adding that every dollar in the general fund will be critical for things in the future.

Heron asked the town manager if he had looked at surplus vehicles in an attempt to save money.

Tedeschi said, new vehicles were the best way to go, mentioning they are in better condition and come with warranties if they break down.

The council was unable to vote on this because Randy White, citing his relationship with Phil White Ford, had to abstain from the vote, leaving only three council members, which did not constitute a quorum.

Councilors Bill Heath, Mary Ann Kotelnicki and Art Lloyd did not attend the council meeting.

The Star Valley Council also:

• Appointed Tedeschi as the chief fiscal officer for the town, according to Arizona Revised Statutes.

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