Treatment Plant Buy Infeasible

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The Star Valley Council pulled the plug on any possibility of negotiations for the Houston Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility at its final meeting of the year, Tuesday.

The council contracted with consultant Paul Hendricks to review the cost effectiveness and feasibility of the potential purchase of the facility.

Hendricks gave a presentation on his findings, which included his conclusions for a list of questions from council members.

"It is my opinion that it is not recommended that the town purchase this facility at this time. It appears the liabilities exceed the value of the system," Hendricks said.

Hendricks said the cost of necessary expansion of the facility as well as structural deficiencies and the initial purchase price for the town of at least $300,000 would not make it a reasonable purchase.

The council accepted Hendricks' report and voted unanimously not to pursue the Houston Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility any further.

The council voted unanimously to approve and sign an intergovernmental agreement with Gila County for street maintenance.

The county would be responsible for quarterly dirt road blading, culvert cleaning, snow plowing and emergency road repairs due to flooding.

Town Manager Vito Tedeschi said other local vendors would be utilized if the county were unable to respond in a timely manner. Star Valley already contracts for many road repairs and services with the Town of Payson.

Tedeschi said the agreement with the county for the remaining maintenance was "the most cost effective agreement."

Star Valley will pay the county on an hourly basis for its services.

Mayor Chuck Heron recognized the town's many volunteers from its commissions and committees and presented certificates to members who were present at the meeting.

Groups recognized included the Architectural Design Commission, Board of Adjustments, Budget Committee, Planning and Zoning Commission and Streets and Roads Commission.

"The town of Star Valley is built on volunteerism," Heron said. "I'd like to recognize those many volunteers we have."

Richard Pinkerton, who is chairman of the Streets and Roads Commission, was honored as volunteer of the year. He received a plaque.

In other news the council:

  • Voted unanimously in favor of an agreement for election services with Gila County for the upcoming primary and general elections in March and May, respectively.
  • Voted unanimously to reject a request for a zoning change for a small subdivision in town.

The project was to include six fractional ownership homes that would have been used as time-share properties. Many council members were concerned with details of the project including a 60-foot well and a fishing pond and man-made stream.

There was also an issue with the developer's failure to obtain proper town permits prior to the groundbreaking of the project.

"We need a reputation as a town of, ‘do it right or don't come to us,'" Heron said.

  • Prior to the regular council meeting, the General Plan Committee held a meeting to provide an update on the town's General Plan progress.

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