Sewer protest hearing scheduled

A protest hearing has been set for Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m., at the Camp Verde Sanitary District.

Bond Counsel Fred Rosenfeld told the sewer district board at a special meeting Nov. 19 that 36 protests have been received by the district. Rosenfeld said that he believes they did not represent a majority of those in the assessment or designated sewer district. It takes 51 percent of the total property owners or total property to sway the decision, Chair Suzy Burnside later confirmed.

Rosenfeld stipulated, however, that because one person complained about the sewer size and extent of the sewer district, he would recommend a public hearing, which the board agreed to call. He said one protest, based on state statute, was sufficient cause for a hearing. Rosenfeld said he believes that the citizens' right to petition government should be respected.

"The objection to extent must be heard first," he said of the upcoming meeting, but "anyone who wants to come to talk about why the project should not go forward can address the board."

This particular protest hearing has to do with objections by any property owner not wanting the improvement to go forward or if anyone objects to the extent. Rosenfeld clarified that the protest period for the assessment costs has not yet started and cannot start until the district receives bids, enters into construction contracts and has filed assessments sending notices to property owners on their share of assessments.

Assessment costs were released just last week.

The project has been in the planning stages for several years, and the current board has pushed the sewer expansion project forward. It appears to be drawing to a close on design, postings, protests, and financial commitments. The one remaining puzzle piece is the actual acquisition of the land needed for the plant and the purchase of rights of way necessary to complete the work.

The obstacles that could stop the project at this point — a successful objection to the extent of the district, a reversal by the board of directors to stop the work or the failure to acquire all land and rights of way needed for the project, Rosenfeld said.

More than 300 business and residential property owners will benefit from the new sewer lines going through Camp Verde. The lines will affect those living in Reddell Ranch Acres and Fort River Caves Subdivisions as well as existing businesses at the Interstate 17 and Arizona 260 interchange and raw-land owners. Expansion of the sewer plant along East Arizona 260. The project will be paid back with special assessments levied against benefiting properties in the areas to be served.

Anyone wishing more information can call the district headquarters at 567-6794.

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