TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Wed, Oct. 23

Why the Sanitary District is doing what it's doing

Editor:

The Camp Verde Sanitary District Board has the authority, in the enabling legislation which created this District to hire, evaluate and remove if necessary, the employees which contribute directly to the operations of the District.

So that the District employees could be afforded the additional benefits available to Town employees, the District arranged for the Town to manage the administrative function for District employees of payroll and other benefits.

Funds for payroll and benefits were deposited to the Town from the District, so that the Town did not incur any negative impact due to the District employees.

This arrangement appeared to be functioning properly until recently when the Town unilaterally decided to remove or cause to be removed certain District employees, and consequently all District employees then voluntarily resigned from the Town's payroll.

One of those individuals was the wastewater treatment plant operator, a mandatory position for the plant to operate within regulatory requirements.

The plant operator was certified as a waste treatment level 4, which is a higher, more complex, certification process than is required by the District's current treatment plant. Those certifications are in the process of being researched and resolved.

Nonetheless, the decision to remove employees from an operation such as a wastewater treatment plant jeopardizes wastewater treatment plant operations, and also our relationship with the governing agencies, such as ADEQ, who have oversight for projects such as these.

In addition, it calls into question the Districts Board's ability to manage our operations and staff, potentially reduces the trust current and future District members (and property owners) have in the effectiveness of the District, and last, but certainly not least, it divides us as a community...none of which are positive outcomes for the future of the District or the Town of Camp Verde.

In an expedient manner, to ensure the necessary continuous operation of the plant, an interim plant operator was assigned until a long-term remedy could be affected.

It's important to remember that the wastewater treatment plant receives 200,000 gallons of sewage a day, whether there is a plant operator or not.

Therefore, the Sanitary District Board voted to give the chairman authority to hire employees who previously worked for the Sanitary District but were on the Town's payroll.

The Sanitary District has been very satisfied with the performance of its employees and will continue to evaluate employees based upon their performance toward successful achievement of plant operations for the members of the District.

The District Board will continue to work towards the objectives of successfully constructing and operating a wastewater treatment plant to serve the District members and Camp Verde residents for years into the future.

The first priority is ensuring the continual operation of the District as any lapse in manpower negatively impacts plant operations and development of a plan to that end is crucial.

In that vein, the new town manager has requested time to propose a plan that can follow to efficiently operate the District.

The plan is scheduled to be completed and submitted to the District Board prior to the District elections. We look forward to seeing this proposal and bringing it to the voters in November 2008.

Camp Verde Sanitary District Board

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