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Camp Verde council sets public hearing on wastewater fee increase

Though the Camp Verde Town Council could decide at a March 21 public hearing to approve a roughly $5 per month wastewater rate increase, Town Manager Russ Martin says “they don’t have to.”

Though the Camp Verde Town Council could decide at a March 21 public hearing to approve a roughly $5 per month wastewater rate increase, Town Manager Russ Martin says “they don’t have to.”

CAMP VERDE – It’s possible that Camp Verde’s wastewater fees could increase as much as $5 per home on a per-month basis over the next two years.

Wednesday, the Camp Verde Town Council agreed to set a March 21 public hearing date to discuss Town Manager Russ Martin’s suggestion of an increase he says “may be necessary to afford the current loan application with Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Finance Authority,” known more commonly as WIFA.

Martin says that council could decide at the public hearing to approve the rate increase. “But they don’t have to.”

“Per state law, the first step after the study is completed the Town Council must approve a notice of intent to raise fees and do so at least 60 days prior to a public hearing,” the Jan. 17 agenda item states.

This “is simply a required procedure per state statue and does not mean Town Council will or will not approve any rate increases or changes.”

Listed as a consent agenda items for the Jan. 17 meeting, council’s “affirmative vote only serves to provide proper notice of the possibility and no commitment is or should be inferred with the vote here,” the agenda item continues.

With “roughly $60 per month” wastewater fees in Sedona, Clarkdale and Chino Valley, Martin says that the increase still keeps Camp Verde’s waste water customers at about $10 per month less.

Also Wednesday, council voted to prioritize construction of an all-weather low-water crossing on the Cherry Creek Wash at Old Hwy 279 for the use of $300,000 of Community Development Block Grant Funding.

The project, should it be approved, would include construction and installation of box culverts, safety railing and signage, and re-pavement of the roadway impacted by construction.

The project, which would also be paid by Highway User Revenue Funds, is expected to cost at least $425,000.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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