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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news December 17, 2014

6/27/2013 2:03:00 PM
Upper Verde River Coalition considers expanding membership

Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition plans to talk today about possibly expanding its membership at a 2 p.m. meeting at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez Street.

The coalition also is scheduled to talk about its budget and member dues for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Currently, eligible coalition members are the Yavapai County government and all the municipalities and Indian tribes in the Upper Verde River Basin. Members are Yavapai County, Prescott, Prescott Valley and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. Chino Valley is a non-voting member because it's not paying its dues. Dewey-Humboldt quit the group.

Background information for Wednesday's meeting provided on the coalition's website by its contractors, Burgess & Niple, didn't elaborate on how the coalition was considering expanding.

Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis commented at a county meeting recently that he'd like to see the coalition allow Middle Verde communities membership in the coalition.

Davis then made a successful motion to cut the county's Upper Verde Coalition dues in half, as well as the county's Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee dues, after Prescott and Prescott Valley already voted to cut their Water Advisory Committee dues in half. Davis represents the Middle Verde (Verde Valley).

Minutes from a previous meeting of the Upper Verde Coalition's technical advisors show they were recommending a 20-percent cut in coalition member dues.

The Upper Verde Coalition also will consider Wednesday what to do with the Burgess & Niple contract that expires July 1.

Technical advisor minutes show that group is recommending moving B&N from a program manager role to a project manager role, so it works on an on-call basis instead of acting as coalition staff.

The coalition hasn't met since October. It cancelled the following two meetings and then didn't meet in April because it didn't have a quorum. Yavapai County had a budget meeting at the same time. Tribal President Ernie Jones also did not attend.

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