Thu, Jan. 23

Sewer plant purchase <br>proposal goes to Forest Service<br> <br>View and voice comments<br>at open house Oct. 12<br><br><br>

The U.S. Forest Service has received a proposal from the Camp Verde Sanitary District for the purchase of Coconino National Forest lands for its treatment plant expansion.

It includes the current plant site and additional acreage located east of the Verde Ranger Station in Camp Verde along Arizona 260.

The public will have a chance to learn more about the proposal and make comments at an open house hosted by the Forest Service and sanitary district Thursday from 5-7 p.m., at the district office, 435H S. Main St., Camp Verde.

"The Forest Service is beginning the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, which includes opportunities for public involvement and comment on the proposal and analysis," Judy Adams of the USFS said.

The proposal for 160 acres includes the 57 acres already under special use permit, which expires in October 2002. If there are no serious objections, and all the objectives of the USFS desk guide are accomplished, the acquisition can take place, according to District Chairperson Suzy Burnside.

It is possible that construction of the new lines could begin early next year, but construction on the plant cannot begin until completion and acceptance of the NEPA study and a final commitment from the USFS.

The plant site acquisition appears to be the final puzzle piece before the district can form the new assessment district, allocate costs and go out to bid, according to Burnside. The current district runs from the Black Bridge to the White Bridge along the Verde River to the Oasis Road. The new district will run from Bashas’ across the Harvard property, the Interstate 17 area, ending at and including Dickinson’s circle on the west, according to Burnside.

USFS Ranger Tom Bonomo told the board last spring that although acquisition of the leased land had been discussed over the years, there had been no formal commitment from previous district officials. The current board sent a formal proposal to the USFS for the land this fall, a process the board began in December of 1999.

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