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cityofsedonalogo.gifThe Chapel area will get city sewer connections if City Council approves a sales tax bond resolution, but the city isn’t promising anything to the rest of those still waiting for sewer access.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

The Chapel area will get city sewer connections if City Council approves a sales tax bond resolution, but the city isn’t promising anything to the rest of those still waiting for sewer access.

A sales tax bond waiting council approval includes a $7.4 million Chapel area sewer project, $1.9 million Chapel area drainage project and $2.4 million Harmony Windsong drainage project.

The city plans to tack this $11.7 million onto an existing $6 million in bonds the city already decided to sell for its obligation to the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project.

All other capital projects — including other city sewer connections — will have to wait until other funding sources are found, according to City Manager Eric Levitt.

“All future [sewer] projects are on hold until we come up with an alternative,” Levitt said.

The city is discussing possibly pursuing voter approval on two general obligation bonds in 2008 — one for sewer projects and another for general capital projects.

“If we as a city want the rest of the city sewered, the GO bond would be a way to go,” Levitt said.

Voter approval is needed for GO bonds, but not sales tax bonds.

After the Chapel area receives sewer, council members said they don’t know how much more the city can spend on other neighborhoods.

“We can’t afford, as a city, to spend all our assets on sewer,” Councilman Harvey Stearn said at a council retreat Thursday, Sept. 27.

Initially, Stearn was skeptical of the Chapel area project.

“I have a real problem spending $7.5 million on one neighborhood,” Stearn said, especially if the city later tells others they won’t ever get sewer.

Stearn later changed his mind on principle.

“There is an expectation in the Chapel area that sewer is coming,” Vice Mayor Jerry Frey said. “These people have been promised, rightly or wrongly, since 1998.”

Councilwoman Nancy Scagnelli said people lose faith in government when expectations aren’t met.

“I do think in this particular case we should show good faith and move forward,” Scagnelli said.

Stearn agreed with Scagnelli’s loss-of-faith theory but said it’s a “very expensive lesson” for the city.

Levitt said he recommended council move forward with this sewer project because the city already has a design. The city hopes to have Chapel area sewer and drainage construction completed by summer 2010. Harmony Windsong drainage should take two-and-a-half years to design and construct.

Both counties will contribute to the drainage projects. Yavapai County will pay $385,000 toward the Harmony Windsong project and Coconino County will contribute approximately $500,000 to the Chapel

area.

During budget meetings at the end of fiscal year 2006-07, council identified nine capital projects it wanted to construct, three of which are the sewer and drainage projects.

Projects not currently slated for funding include Hwy. 89A medians, road improvements, Rodeo Road and Sanborn Drive sidewalk, Ranger Road and Brewer Road improvements, Windsong Road drainage, and Andante Drive sidewalk.



Trista Steers can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 129, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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