TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Thu, Nov. 21

Clarkdale names new General Plan Advisory Committee<br>Council tables funding request, hears transit changes

The Clarkdale Town Council approved two resolutions establishing a General Plan Advisory Committee and naming committee members during a special meeting Tuesday evening.

Councilman Rennie Radoccia said, "Clarkdale is at a turning point, and this General Plan is going to determine how this town grows."

Two council members – Ellie Bauer and Michael Bluff – were absent from the meeting. The council's action was taken after lengthy council discussion and some public comment.

The new committee will have a total of 15 members, requiring a quorum of at least eight members for meetings.

The new committee will work with town staff members "to review and make recommendations for the development of a new General Plan for the town of Clarkdale," according to the resolution.

Planning Director Garrett Hicks said town staff members will be responsible for wording the General Plan document and related administrative work. "We plan on making this a very nice document," he said.

According to the resolution, committee members will serve without compensation. Any member absent for four unexcused meetings "shall automatically cease to hold membership on the committee."

The committee's term is scheduled to expire as of May 31, 2002, by resolution.

Members

The council also approved a companion resolution, naming 14 people to the new General Plan Advisory Committee. The members are:

Katie Cannon, Rodney A. Fielitz, Richard Imboden, Cate Mugasis, Robert H. Noland, Thomas M. Parameter, David L. Puzas,

Frank Sa, Brad Traver, Rodney J. Vissia, Herbert L. Wagner, Patricia F. Williams, Rex A. Williams and Jerry Wiley.

The committee's 15th member is yet to be named.

Regarding the new advisory committee, Radoccia said, "I think it will be very dynamic."

Town Manager Gayle Mabery said that of 54 letters sent to those people suggested by council and town staff members, a total of 20 applications were received. Committee members were chosen from that pool of 20, she said.

The committee members selected comprise a variety of backgrounds and interests in the community, said Mabery.

In other business, the council:

• Tabled until Nov. 13 a request from the Verde Family Network Council for $3,000 to support a Verde Valley Youth Count program. (Bluff, who was absent, was the sponsor for the request.)

Linda Evans, a network spokesperson, said Youth Count seeks out and distributes available funding, such as grants, among the youth-service programs available in each community.

"We want everyone to have an opportunity – not just the kids who are into sports," she said.

The network helps with recreation, leadership, after-school, at-risk student, parent-education and other programs, she added.

The $3,000 would help provide "seed money" – or startup funding – for a Youth Count coordinator, said Evans, to more actively pursue grants and funding for the participating communities' programs.

Other Verde Valley communities – Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Yavapai-Apache Nation – and even tiny Jerome already have become participants, she said. The proposal has yet to be addressed by the Sedona City Council, she added.

According to a staff report, "If the council would like to fund this request, another item in the budget will need to be reduced to balance (the town's) funds."

Mabery said town staff is looking at budget amounts to see from where the money could come, if the council approves the request.

• Heard a presentation by Shirley Scott, transit manager of CATS (Cottonwood Area Transit System), regarding service changes.

The changes, which won't occur until January, will "expand service capacity by adding more cost-effective, fixed-route service," Scott said in a memorandum to the town council.

Vice Mayor David Leibforth said, "It should be a major improvement."

One of the three vehicles currently used to provide Dial-A-Ride service will be reassigned to checkpoint service for startup only, Scott said.

Funding for a fourth vehicle wasn't available from the Federal Transit Administration's Rural Public Transportation Assistance Program for fiscal year 2001-2002, she said.

The first effort will be a variation of fixed-route service, according to a CATS Catch-A-Ride work plan, "a hybrid incorporating point deviation and service routes."

The remaining two vehicles will continue to operate daily to provide demand-responsive, or Dial-A-Ride, service.

All contract riders – such as Head Start and Yes the ARC (YARC), serving developmentally disabled adults – will be scheduled on those two buses, with the remaining capacity available to the public.

The checkpoint service will offer more frequent service; be less expensive; and not require advance planning.

CATS Facts

CATS serves more than 32,000 riders annually in the Verde Valley.

The system operates three vehicles, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Many riders are older adults, persons with disabilities, and Head Start children.

Despite the response, only approximately 20 percent of the projected transit-ridership demand is being met.

The system's demand-responsive service, Dial-A-Ride, is operating at maximum capacity.

Source: Cottonwood Area Transit System documents

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