Letter: Verde Village property owners do have big decision to make

Editor:

In reply to Mr. D’Ambrosio’s letter of Nov. 15th.

Your viewpoint is that of many property owners, but what you and they fail to understand is that Cottonwood cannot simply annex the Verde Villages. If the Verde Village Property Owners’ Association were to fold the property owners would then fall under the control of Yavapai County. The land owned by the association would also revert to the county. That would be the clubhouse, pool, and open parklands.

This means that instead of the property owners having a voice in the decisions like paving roads, a neighbor with overgrown dead weeds, or junk in their yard, or a fence that is too high, running a business out of their home that creates traffic, and a host of other problems would have to be handled by that neighbor taking the problem to the county for themselves. Today you can contact the Enhancement Committee and they will do their best to resolve the problem without creating friction between neighbors.

The pond which is the water source for fire trucks is another issue. The Association pays the electricity to run the pump and organizes the clean up around the area. Property owners are better protected. We have no way of knowing if the county will continue to maintain it and who would clean and maintain the pond area.

Property owners also receive a discount on ambulance service because the Association built the fire station on Hwy. 260. You might not continue to receive that discount which is substantial.

Rental hall with a commercial kitchen: will be closed down. Anyone or groups can now rent it for most any occasion at a modest fee.

Swimming Pool: will be closed. This past summer there were lifeguard lessons available and the pool was staffed with certified life guards for a modest fee for children and adults. This is a heated pool and I think the only heated one in the area open to the public.

Verde Village is the largest member of the Yavapai County Unincorporated Association which works with the county to keep up and voice opinions about issues affecting our area. Other members are Cornville, certain areas of Sedona (Village of Oak Creek), Bridgeport, and others. Just look at how nice some of those areas are and what an active association membership can accomplish! Their dues support the association so it can accomplish many things for the property owners.

The Association is strictly volunteers and some have done so for 10 years. They have seen many changes and have worked extremely hard to maintain the quality of life for 4,000 property owners/renters. There are some property owners that have no interest in the Association because of misunderstandings years ago.

To those I say things have changed – the people you disagreed with are most likely no longer here. Come to a meeting and work to make the Association, which is your community, better such as creating a neighborhood watch group or suggest a new way of doing something old or new.

Without your input we don’t know what you want. It will take one hour of your time once a month. Not much to help improve your community. For others with more time there are numerous volunteer opportunities.

The Verde Village would have to have a referendum action for the city of Cottonwood to begin annexation. This will take time and money and if the Association no longer exists someone will have to organize that. This city would have to take into consideration the cost for them to keep up the roadways and pay insurance on vacant properties and perhaps the clubhouse and pool area if they choose to keep it.

Many believe they would run sewers for us. Well that costs too and who do you think will pay for all that? The city may pay for the main line, but you will most likely pay for your own property line and closure of your current system. Cottonwood has already postponed a property tax issue and most certainly will reconsider that if they annex 4,000 more homes.

They would also have to expand their police department to cover us adequately as the Sheriff Dept. now covers our area and provides animal control.

So yes, Mr. D’Ambrosio the property owners do have a big decision. They can choose to help improve their community by working with their neighbors at the meetings or let the county take total control of their future. You may not have a voice on whether they decide to allow annexation or not; a voice if Cottonwood wants to annex your area in whole or part; a voice in what happens to the pond (fire protection), nor the clubhouse, pool, or open parkland. Choosing not to continue the Association may also affect your property insurance: if the pond is closed your fire protection will diminish. That means less protection and higher costs. Or you may see a tax increase to cover the cost of electricity and pond maintenance. The Association will no longer do the clean up on Hwy. 260 either.

Bottom line: pay $35 a year to protect your property and have a voice in your future. Participate in decision making in the Association to enhance your community OR give it up and take a chance on what the county or city will/will not do for or to you and wait to see if Cottonwood would be interested in annexation. Renters may also join for $20 a year to receive discounts; however, they will not have voting rights with the Association.

Margaret Paddock

Verde Village

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