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cityofsedonalogo.gifSedona City Council put the brakes on a $19 million sales tax bond because it still can’t decide if it wants to connect the city’s sewer system in the Chapel area.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

Sedona City Council put the brakes on a $19 million sales tax bond because it still can’t decide if it wants to connect the city’s sewer system in the Chapel area.

At a retreat Sept. 27, council directed City Manager Eric Levitt to bring back

a bond proposal for Hwy. 179 Improvement Project

contributions and three capital projects — one of which was sewer installation to homes in the Chapel area.

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, council members weren’t so sure that’s really what they want to do.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a ‘Kumbaya moment’ no matter what we do,” Councilwoman Nancy Scagnelli said.

She did add, however, that council has communicated the sewer will happen and she doesn’t want to discourage good faith in government.

Council deferred action until Tuesday, Oct. 23, because Vice Mayor Jerry Frey and Councilman Ramon Gomez weren’t present.

Councilman John Bradshaw, who made the motion to defer, said the entire council agreed at the retreat to include the sewer project in the sales tax bond and he didn’t feel present members should make the decision to change it on their own.

Kurt Freud, RBC Capital Markets western region manger for municipal finance, advised council not to borrow money for a sewer project if it isn’t sure that is where it will be spent.

Interest rates should stay favorable for the rest of the year, Freud said, so council doesn’t need to get in a rush in that regard.

Whether or not Chapel area residents even want sewer is one reason Councilman Rob Adams said he isn’t sure the city should move forward with the project.

Levitt told council he doesn’t have hard evidence stating residents do want sewer.

“I’m not interested [in sewer],” Chapel resident Coleman Greenberg said.

Greenberg, the only resident to speak during public comment, said he has no desire to see the city spend $30,000 to $35,000 to hook his house to the sewer.

Councilman Harvey Stearn pointed out the city will probably have to tell the community at some point it can’t afford to sewer the properties still not hooked up and this may be the time to draw the line.

“I still have the feeling we’re riding this momentum and maybe we should just bite the bullet now,” Stearn said.

The city already planned to sell sales tax bonds for its $6 million contribution to the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project. Three capital improvement projects were later added.

Mayor Pud Colquitt said she’d like to see the city look into alternative ways to help residents deal with waste water. Traditional sewer may be outdated when it comes to sustainability.

Additions include $7.4 million for Chapel area sewer, $1.9 million for Chapel area drainage and $2.4 million for Harmony Windsong drainage.

City staff will research alternative sewer options to present at council’s next meeting when the bond is reconsidered.



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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