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Minutes of June, 2003 Meeting


Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

Minutes of June, 2003 Meeting

  1. Meeting of June 12, 2003 called to order by President Zona Fink at 9:00AM at the VOCA Center. 12 members were present, which is a quorum.

  2. The minutes of the May 8 meeting were approved as presented.

  3. Corresponding Secretary – no communications received.

  4. Treasurer’s report – Don Beard reported that after expenses of $67.39, the May balance for the Regular account is $2,798. The Recreation account balance is $88. Report was approved.

  5. Citizen’s Gas Presentation – Mr. Hector Riojas from Citizen’s Gas presented an update on the planned 5.3 mile gas pipeline extension between the Village of Oak Creek (Bell Rock Vista) and the City of Sedona (Back & Beyond). The line would go through the USFS land and would result in completion of a loop around the greater Sedona area that would minimize the risk of loss of service due to the impact of gas pressure variations (from damaged pipe segments, etc.) for Gas Company customers. Citizen’s hopes to complete the project before the 2003-04 winter heating season. There are four alternative locations for the pipeline presently under consideration:

      1. Along the Eastside of the present SR 179 roadway;

      2. Through the national forest along the Bell Rock Pathway trail;

      3. Modified Bell Rock Pathway (jumps across SR 179);

      4. Along the west side of southbound SR179 alignment under ADOT’s Alt C.

Before the construction can commence, Environmental Impact Assessment studies will be completed for each of the alternatives. After construction, site restoration will need to be done along the path of the new pipe. Ms. Judy Adams from the Forest Service explained that the pre-construction process would take at least 4 months & include the following steps:

  1. The Environmental Assessment impact study – 30 to 45 days;

  2. Public Review – 30 Days;

  3. Administrative hold – 30 to 45 days.

Questions & Comments from BPRCC & the Audience:

  1. The 40 to 50 feet width of the construction “damage” was questioned. It was explained that this is necessary because of the large equipment needed to dig the trench through some very rocky ground;

  2. Concern was expressed that the project should be coordinated with Quest to ensure that the telephone poles and lines running through the forest area would be buried along with the Gas line;

  3. If Alt 4 above was approved, that the proposed extension of the Bell Rock Pathway on the West side of SR179 could be completed concurrently;

  4. Some expressed the belief & concern that the Bell Rock Pathway (alt 2) had already been “decided”. The Gas company representatives made it clear that all alternatives are still under consideration and would receive fair evaluation;

  5. Several felt that the Project should be delayed until plans for SR179 can be more clearly defined. Again, Mr. Riojas reminded everyone that Citizen’s would like to avoid service interruptions for the upcoming heating season.

Mr. Norm Davis, representing Yavapai County asked that the BPRCC provide comments ASAP for the Village of Oak Creek portion of the project.

It was also announced that anyone wishing to be on the mailing list for future communications related to this project should contact either Mr. Hector Riojas (Citizen’s Gas) or Ms. Judy Adams (U.S. Forest Service).

  1. Committee Reports:

    1. Transportation Committee:

      1. Jim Patterson reported that the SR 179 Corridor Design Consultant has been selected; it will be the firm of DMJM Harris. ADOT believe that the project is presently on schedule and anticipate that the summer months will be used for the new Consultant to set up and begin working. Formation of the DAPs presently is planned for the fall.

      2. There is a public website summarizing the latest developments on the project. The website can be accessed at www.scenic179.com.

      3. Stoplight at SR179 & Cortez: Jim Patterson reported that ADOT (Jennifer Livingston) agree that a stoplight is needed at the Cortez intersection. The design work for the light will commence in October and installation after January 2004. The light will be adaptable for future SR179 modifications.

      4. Speed humps in Village Park: The County performed a traffic study and determined that the present traffic speeds on the road in question do not warrant installation of a speed hump.

      5. Beaverhead Flat Turn Lane: The VVTPO agrees that there is a need for a turn lane on northbound SR179 at Beaverhead Flat Rd. intersection. The project will require significant design and construction work and the timing is TBD.

      6. Zona Fink reported that the 1st Public meeting of the Area Transportation Study Team will be held on Wednesday, July 23rd from 9:00 AM to 11:00AM at the VOCA Clubhouse.

      7. Jim Patterson also reported that:

        1. The Ad Hoc group for the VOC portion of SR179 design (Dave Benore presentation) will hold two additional sessions for the Big Park Community to review the study and ask questions. The sessions are scheduled on:

          1. June 27 (Friday) at 7:00 PM at VOCA;

          2. July 1st (Tuesday) at 4:00PM at VOCA.

        2. The first Partnership meeting to build ADOT/SR179 Stakeholder relationships was held on May 30. The meetings will be ongoing.

    2. Planning and Zoning Committee:

      1. Prioritization of Ordinances -- Judy Cooper reported the County has agreed that all of the pending ordinance revisions will be discussed/handled during 2003 so there is no need to reprioritize the list. The commercial sewer hookup approval parameters issue will receive special consideration and attention, however.

      2. Definition of a School – A subcommittee of the P&Z will be formed to develop a recommendation for possible ordinance changes related to the definition of a School. The group will meet prior to the June 23 P& Z committee meeting and provide recommended new wording for presentation to the BPRCC for its review & approval at the July 10th meeting.

      3. Enalo Lockard – will attend the September 11th BPRCC meeting for an update on the County’s ordinance work and other issues.

      4. Junk car ordinance – approved by the County reflecting BPRCC proposed definition of junk cars (unlicensed) and that only 2 vehicles will be permitted and both must be screened from both the front and rear of the property.

    3. Recreation Committee:

      1. Park Improvement Update – Dorothy Hores reported that the plans and implementation of the VOCA Park improvement project are moving rapidly forward. The new equipment is being ordered and that the targeted completion date will be late summer. As part of the project funding, JMS Excavating has agreed to donate its services to dismantle the present equipment, saving several thousand dollars for the project’s budget.

      2. Swimming Program Update—Dorothy Hores reported that the summer swim began as scheduled on June 1st and will be held on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer season at The Hilton’s pool. There were an adequate number of volunteers to chaperone the swimmers.

  2. Old Business:

    1. BPRCC By Laws revision – The Council re-approved the change to the Bylaws, amending the timing of the annual financial audit. This action was required because By law change motions must be reviewed from written documents.

  3. New Business:

    1. Verde Valley Water Issues: Dorothy Hores gave a presentation outlining many concerns with the state of the water supply, worldwide, but with particular emphasis on the water supply situation & problems in the Sedona area and Northern Arizona. This was the first presentation of several parts to the Council and the Community. Some of the concerns raise are:

      1. The supply of fresh water is declining and the demand is increasing at an alarming rate due to population growth and development;

      2. Over the past several decades, there has been a shift from using surface water to tapping into underground aquifers. For example, until recently, the Salt River Project received 2/3 of its water from surface/rain water and 1/3 from underground. This relationship has now reversed, putting a huge burden on the underground water supply.

      3. The aquifers are draining/depleting at a rate about 8 times the replacement (recharging) rate;

      4. Water waste and mismanagement is effectively being “encouraged” due to the very low pricing of the water consumed. It is estimated that the price paid for water is subsidized to the extent that we are only paying for the delivery of the water, and that the water itself is “free”;

      5. Pricing, because of privatization and supply reductions will ultimately serve to control future usage & growth;

      6. Public awareness and responsible Government action will be required in the meantime.

  4. Announcements:

    1. Zona Fink announced that the Verde Valley Land Preservation Institute (VVLPI) will be meeting today from 11:30 to 4:30 today in Cottonwood. The goal of the group is to encourage more open space in the Verde Valley and they will be asking for a Big Park resident to join the group.

    2. Gail Shaw announced that the first issue of the Village Community Newsletter will be mailed out approximately June 22nd. For future months publications, the deadline for submitting material will be the 20th of the prior month. Also that the Email address is villagenews@sedona.net.

Meeting adjourned at 10:25 AM.

John Gillam




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