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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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10/15/2013 2:54:00 PM
Alignment of college grape irrigation line lies with Cottonwood Ranch residents

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD -- A community information session was held Thursday night at Yavapai College to explain to Cottonwood Ranch Homeowners a proposal for a reclaimed water line to run between the city wastewater plant and the college campus.

The college needs the line to irrigate grape vines with reclaimed water for the college viticulture program.

The line is proposed to pass through Mesquite Hills and Cottonwood Ranch subdivisions. Most of the easement is over the sparsely-developed Mesquite Hills, which has already given verbal approval. But the 5,800-foot line also needs a 10-inch easement over 16 feet of the Cottonwood Ranch development, across an undeveloped area used for drainage.

While the crossing area is small, the Cottonwood Ranch covenants of the home wwners association require that two-thirds of all 527 property owners vote in favor of the change.

A few people attending the meeting objected initially. They worried about noise and disturbance and the loss of mesquite trees.

Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens talked to the meeting "about the big picture."

"I did explain to everyone the larger picture of what we were talking about, the wine industry and how it would bring jobs and dollars to our local economy, how the college had been there for the community from the beginning to support the community. I also talked about how using reclaimed water was so much better than using potable water, and that our college could be a model throughout the United States, and even globally, on how to farm grapes sustainably."

Nikki Check, director of Viticulture for the College, said the line would be beneficial for the entire community to recycle effluent rather than use ground water. "We will plant more grapes in the spring, so it will be more important."

Phil Rosen is president of the Home Owners Association. "My overwhelming feeling is they are in favor," he said. "Everyone is in favor of the wine industry thriving in the Verde Valley. It brings tremendous income into the community. It is a no-brainer."

But, he said, a big issue may be apathy and absentee voters.

The decision needs 354 "yes" votes of the 527 total property owners. He suggests that could be difficult, if only 400 people vote.

"The governing documents required that there must be a 67-percent yes votes of the total ownership, but we have to stick to the rules. There is no wiggle room, nor do we want any."

A vote of homeowners is expected in the next couple months.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Article comment by: Good All Around

I donít think there is any argument to be had either! I went to this meeting and heard Mayor Joens and a Clarkdale representative both speak in support of this project. It's good for economic development and good for our regional water resources. As far as I could see, its a win-win for everyone. I urge all my fellow Cottonwood Ranch residents to VOTE, and Vote YES!

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Fact Check and But the river...
What are you two arguing about? This is water the city wastewater station would have sprayed on an adjacent field. The fact it will now help grow grapes does not reduce its ability to help recharge the aquifer.


Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Fact Check

@But the river isn't going dry you might want to get your facts straight, it was the town of clarkdale and their "sustainable" mindset that was trying to force the use of potable water for the vineyards. Check the archives of this newspaper if you want the true story on who promotes the unwarranted use of potable water.

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Article comment by: But the river isn't going dry!

But no problem if the college pumps potable water for this, right Diane?

Remember ... the river isn't going dry!




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