Sv Council Oks Water Commission


In one of the quietest meetings recently, the Star Valley council passed an ordinance establishing a seven-member water and sewer commission effectively immediately Tuesday night.

At a Nov. 5, special meeting the proposed commission was under fire after council member and existing water committee member Gary Coon objected to some of the ordinance’s language and duties. Mayor Chuck Heron objected to changing the ordinance, which is a standard template for commissions and boards for the town. The council voted to table the measure and allow Coon to make his suggested changes through town attorney and interim town manager Tim Grier.

Adding to the seven duties, Coon added an eighth that says a member from the commission will be present at all Star Valley water and sewer meetings. Other changes include, members being appointed by the mayor, vice-mayor and one council member, which the ordinance previously stated only the mayor would appoint.

The seventh duty, which stated the commission would complete tasks determined by the mayor, was changed to say the council would decide what additional tasks are needed.

After all of the changes were made, the new ordinance was presented Nov. 18 and passed without comment from the council, except from Heron who reiterated that a commission member could not be present at council executive session meetings.

The new commission takes over for a 12-member water task force created in September 2007 that failed to address key questions.

Duties for the commission include helping maintain well monitoring and rain gauge data, pursuing all solutions to wastewater treatment problems and assisting in water conservation measures and education.

“It’s to monitor and help the town with its water situation,” Heron said after an audience member asked what the purpose of the commission was. “To look at all our water and sewer opportunities for Star Valley.”

One of the commission’s top priorities will be looking at acquiring Payson Water Company, Heron said.

The town had planned to ask for immediate acquisition of the water company, but halted plans after documents released from Brooke Utilities could have raised the price. Heron said plans to purchase the water company are “not off the table, there is just no action now.”

The council also appointed three new members to the Board of Adjustments. Irving Popke and Wayne Gendreau were appointed to three-year terms and Jay Vagalatos, two years.

The Board of Adjustments reviews residential zoning and building variances and appeals and makes recommendations.

Currently Nathalie Stroup, Barbara Hartwell and George Binney serve on the board.

Deputy Town Clerk Stephanie Jones said because the board hears appeals for building and zoning and these appeals could continue on to the council, it is not recommended having council members on both boards.

Central Arizona Association of Governments representative Cindy Schofield also solicited ideas from the audience and council on what community development block grants the town should apply for in 2009. Some of the suggestions were funding for chip sealing the road and job creation. Schofield said she would research ideas and bring back ideas at a second public hearing Dec. 16.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Town Clerk Sarah Luckie announced the town would participate in the fourth annual holiday lighting contest sponsored by APS and the chamber of commerce.

Residents can pickup an application at Star Valley Town Hall and must return it by Dec. 12.

Last year, only three homes in Star Valley entered the contest. The first place prize this year is $500.


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