Whatever else can be said of Yavapai College’s investment in the Verde Valley, the topic produces interesting exchanges — a fact made clear during the Wednesday, July 13, meeting of the college’s Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee at The Collective Sedona Vista Hall in the Village of Oak Creek.

Committee Vice Chairman Bill Regner led the meeting, voicing criticism of Yavapai College’s lack of momentum in providing adequate course access to area residents. In addition, he questioned why members of the Yavapai College District Governing Board recently expressed confusion over what Verde Valley residents wanted the college to provide them.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is moving forward with its plan to help reduce the number of suicides off Midgley Bridge.

ADOT has agreed to place a suicide prevention barrier on the bridge as early as September in order to prevent further loss of life. Previous community efforts to prevent suicides at the bridge included posting signs with a local suicide hotline, along with community awareness and outreach.

In compliance with section 48-254, Arizona Revised Statutes, Yavapai County Free Library District is notifying its property taxpayers of the Yavapai County Free Library District’s intention to raise its secondary property taxes over last year’s level. The Yavapai County Free Library District is proposing an increase in secondary property taxes of $620,017 or 16.1 percent.

Last year, the Old Town Mission held its inaugural Operation: Back to School event at Clemenceau Museum, donating a much-needed resource to local families.

In a single day, the mission gave away over 500 backpacks filled with school supplies. It was an undeniable success, but for this year’s event on Saturday, July 30, General Manager Kellie Wilson and Assistant General Manager Jill Sweet have upped the ante considerably.

According to Yavapai College Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee Chairman Paul Chevalier, Verde Valley Campus Dean James Perey is looking to make a potentially career-defining move at Yavapai College Sedona Center.

“Perey is committed to this — he’s on the line for it,” Chevalier said of the upcoming two-year remodeling of Sedona Center. He added that the Yavapai College District Governing Board has allocated $3.8 million to the project and hired an architect to evaluate how best to use the available space.

A year ago, Scott Jablow had a lofty goal — one that is now coming to fruition.

That goal was to raise the nearly $80,000 necessary to build a 9/11 memorial at Sedona Fire District Station 6 prior to the 15th anniversary of that fateful day. It was announced this week that the goal had been met and that no further fundraising is needed.

Of the money raised, nearly half came from 45 donations of $911 each.

Rural communities face their own particular challenges, among them a difficulty in keeping businesses open.

One reason it’s diffiuclt to stay open — or even get started — is sub-par access to loans. According to Mary A. Chicoine, former chairwoman and board member of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization and current administrator and Revolving Loan Fund director, many banks are shy about lending to small businesses due to the perceived risks.

Former Cottonwood City Council member Randy Garrison is running as one of two Republican candidates for Yavapai County Supervisor District 3. Recently, he answered three questions pertaining to his family’s history of public service and his current bid with the county.

“We all know the issues we face,” Garrison stated in introduction. “They include water, transportation, growth and an aging demographic, overloaded infrastructure, high levels of poverty and threatened natural resources. We face them with the challenges of limited resources, a slowly rebounding economy, rising costs and a state legislature that diverts relied upon funding while steadily removing local control.

“Add to all of that the necessity of working with four other county supervisors in a cooperative and effective manner.”

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