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Sun, Jan. 19

VOC asks for no-penalty smart meter opt out

The big topic that filled the room at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council was, you guessed it, Smart Meters. The crowd had come primarily to express their concerns about the questionable safety and fiscal prudence of the APS proposed Smart Meters, and to recommend that the Council adopt a resolution requesting a no-fee for opting-out policy, similar to those already passed in Sedona and Bisbee.

It did so unanimously, after lengthy discussion. The approved resolution will be sent to the Arizona Corporation Commission, the government body responsible for utility oversight, for its consideration.

Ultimately, with carefully hammered-out wording, the resolution requests a no-penalty, community-wide right to refuse Smart Meter installation, until at such time independent testing and auditing has proven them safe and reasonable for ratepayers.

It must be understood, however, that it is the individual responsibility of each resident, homeowner or renter, to notify APS if a Smart Meter is not desired...and you must do so by January. It also must be made clear that the BPRCC has not taken a "for" or "against" position on this issue, as it is complicated and should be studied carefully. For much more information, Google "Sedona Smart Meters" and read all about it.

In other Council business, just to keep you in the know:

• There are problems on our road, SR 179. It seems that a few folks are just refusing to abide by the signage restrictions for Garage sales, etc.: THERE MAY BE NO SIGNS PLACED IN THE MEDIANS! It's against the law, simple as that...so, just please put those temporary signs on the sides of the road...and then be sure to pick them up afterwards. Also, incidents of putting personal trash in the roadside receptacles were reported...another NO! NO! Citizens have even been asked to call the Sherriff, if they witness such an act. That's pretty serious.

• On a happier note, our Sedona Village Business Association (SVBA) has a new President, Tony Pugliano, owner of the Chevron Station. Inactive for a while, the organization now has energetic plans to reignite their efforts to advocate for our Village businesses and services.

• A series of public meetings designed to help determine the direction of the Forest Service for the next 5-10 years has concluded, reported Paul Sullivan. With substantial and passionate input from both hikers and bikers groups with very different opinions, survey results showed that the hikers want funds to be spent on maintenance of the existing trails, and bikers want those funds to create more trails. The bottom line is that the FS will maintain things as they are, as there simply is not enough money to do anything more at this time. With that in mind, the FS does always welcome donations of money and labor, too, to help maintain the Red Rock Country trails. Friends of the Forest can help you with that.

• The Weed Abatement Task Force of the Council, headed by Bill Kusner, wants YOUR individual opinion on what the medians should look like as you drive into town: the Gateway to Red Rock Country...on our famous All-American Road, Highway 179. Do you like the natural look...weeds, dead or alive (may actually look quite nice when briefly flowering)? Or a more maintained look year-round...not manicured, but also natural-looking with an uneven red rock solution that always looks neat and will feature a dual-weed barrier that will minimize maintenance costs? The Committee believes that Grant Moneys to fund such a project are available.

Your Homeowners Association representative on the Council may have contacted you already, but if not, be sure to check with him/her on how to register your opinion....and the more opinions received, the better your Council knows how to proceed.

• Finally, Transportation Chairman John Gillam reported that the County will be resurfacing Lee Mountain and Jacks Canyon Road to Pine Valley in the spring...no word yet about Pine Valley itself.

The next packed-full-of-info meeting of the BPRCC will be held on Thursday, December 12th, at the Firehouse at 9:00 a.m. Come, find out what's happening in YOUR community...and Google Big Park Council for much more information.

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