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Sat, Dec. 14

Cottonwood inks deal to buy well

COTTONWOOD - Cottonwood is another water well system richer after the city council's formal approval to acquire the Quail Canyon Water system from developer Aleck Gradijan.

The two wells in the Quail Canyon system generate an excess water supply of 900 gallons per minute for the 63-lot Quail Canyon subdivision that is essentially undeveloped so far.

The water also has an arsenic level that is below the 10 ppb level that is required for treatment.

The purchase, at $850,000, also includes an easement that will allow the Cottonwood utility to connect the system to Verde Village Units 6 and 7 that are now served by two wells that have either collapsed or have a small capacity of only 56 gallons per minute.

It will cost the utility another $168,000 to lay pipe to make that connection. The cost of the purchase and connection will be partly reimbursed by an impact fee on new construction at Quail Canyon that will return about $200,000.

Now that the utility is closing in on its arsenic treatment responsibilities, Cottonwood Development Services Manager Dan Lueder says his staff is working to tweak the entire water distribution complex.

Lueder says the city now controls nine or 10 small water systems that serve Cottonwood, Verde Village and Verde Santa Fe.

"We have made a business decision that some of the wells are not worth the return to comply with standards to upgrade and treat for arsenic and they will be shut down," Lueder says.

There are about five of those, including three in the 100-year-old Clemenceau system.

The city is in the process of connecting the Clemenceau system beneath State Route 89A at Willard and another cross connection of Fir. A separate project is placing a new waterline along SR 260.

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