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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news September 26, 2016

1/24/2013 2:18:00 PM
City Council Q&A Pt. 2

What is your perspective on the city's Riverfront Park Water

Reclamation Center?

Karen Pfeifer (incumbent): The Riverfront Park Water Reclamation Center is one of many ways to address the water issues in our area. We have looked at various concepts in the past and this one caught my interest above all the others. Recharging by injection makes more sense than spraying water in the air and loosing that water to evaporation. Using reclaimed water to replace groundwater, when needed, helps protect our aquifers. This is also an educational center to help teach conservation and a better understanding of just how precious and important water is to our region. We are being watched by many of the communities that are interested in building similar centers in other parts of the State.

The reclaimed water from this center will also be treated for pharmaceuticals making it safer for the environment.

Randall Garrison (challenger): Being trained in the industry, I understand the problems and responsibilities associated with operating a sanitary sewer system, and appreciate the work being done to keep the City of Cottonwood facilities current and efficient.

But, I do not necessarily agree with the entire intent of this project. I question the ability to build this reclamation center remotely close to the budget that has been stated publicly, and I also have strong reservations on placing a facility such as this within a Special Flood Hazard Area as designated by FEMA in a recent comprehensive Physical Map Revision of the Verde River. I like the idea of implementing strategies that lessen the need to increase and rehabilitate our aging infrastructure, but this specific facility placed at our Riverfront Park is not the answer I believe is appropriate.

Linda Norman (incumbent): The Reclamation Center is a great example of looking to the future, and will serve our citizens better. It will also serve as a learning center for our youth.

Darold Smith (challenger): This entire project has been mishandled by the Council from the beginning.  It refused to allow voters to vote on whether to put the plant in Riverfront Park. 

It failed to seriously explore options and alternatives from independent sources before plowing ahead with it. 

It has never explained to my satisfaction why this alternative multi-million dollar plant is needed when the present plant is not operating at anywhere near capacity. 

Most recently, when the project bid blew up because the company that was allegedly carefully selected said it would cost $15 million or more, the Council continued to plow almost a million dollars into the design -- not knowing whether it would ever be built.  That is totally irresponsible.

 Tim Elinski (incumbent): The Riverfront Park Water Reclamation Facility has been in the planning stages for as long as I have served on Council, and has gone through many design concepts.  

What the city is considering now is a very modern, safe and environmentally responsible facility that is gaining attention locally and nationally as leading edge.  

If constructed, the facility will relieve the burden on our wastewater facility uphill on Mingus Avenue, significantly reduce utility costs through its use of solar power, and gravity-feed design, and provide extremely pure reclaimed water for use as an alternate to potable water for irrigation, etc.  

I share the same concern as most in the community about its proximity to the Verde.  

Flooding is inevitable.  

This facility has been designed to withstand major flooding, the magnitude of which no one has ever seen, including being designed to exceed the 500-year flood capacity.

Given its many benefits to our community and its forward thinking design and use of reclaimed water, our most valuable resource, I am in favor.    

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: Fact Check

mr. smith was very much in favor of the wwtp project while he shamelessly stumped for his choice of a contactor to build the plant. a review of council minutes would show that he was in favor of hiring them directly without any type of selection process. if this type of interference by an elected official is not illegal it is certainly unethical.

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Article comment by: folks should review Mr. Smiths votes... .

While he claims the city is all wrong on the wwtp... the public record should show that he has voted in favor of it at every chance he had. maybe the paper can verify that?

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