A few years ago I hiked along the Broken Arrow Trail to the Devil’s Dining Room sinkhole with a local geologist.
While the hike was wonderful and the views were spectacular, recreation wasn’t why we were there.
The man took me to one of three sites proposed by the Arizona Water Company for a 1.5 million-gallon water tank to show me why building it near the sinkhole was a terrible idea. The sinkhole is approximately 30 feet wide and 90 feet deep, and potentially compromises the sturdiness of the ground around it.
I wrote a story about the geologist’s findings then, and the water tank issue drifted to the back of residents’ minds until it resurfaced a few weeks ago.
To my surprise, the Broken Arrow option is still considered an alternative among three others, one of which is to do nothing at this time. Even more astonishing was the discovery many residents, including some of our Sedona City Council members, aren’t aware of the issues with the Broken Arrow location or are simply choosing to ignore them.
The proposal offers four options — build a tank at Broken Arrow, northwest of the Chapel of the Holy Cross or in the Little Horse area, or do nothing at this time.
Right before the public comment period closed Monday, Nov. 15, residents turned out in droves at public meetings to voice their opinions on where a water tank should be built if it needs to be built at all.
Allegedly, the tank is needed to provide water for household use and fire suppression for current and future residents along State Route 179, a valid need.
However, let’s not rush the decision. If the economic downturn has bought us anything, it’s time.
Future growth won’t be an issue anytime in the near future. We have to fill the vacant homes in Sedona before we start building new ones and that alone will take some time.
The economy is improving but the climb up from the bottom will be much slower than the slide down; so there’s no reason to get in a hurry.
For now, the “do nothing” alternative is the best bet, but eventually we’ll have to do something. In the meantime, more research and public outreach should be conducted to determine the best location for the tank.
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