The city of Sedona wants to hear from all stakeholders before it drafts a resolution endorsing National Scenic Area legislation.
Letters went out to over 35 parties with vested interest in the community’s future a week and a half ago inviting them to the Sedona City Council’s special meeting Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had that discussion where we’ve all been at the table,” Councilwoman Nancy Scagnelli said.
Letters went to the Sedona Oak Creek School District, Coconino and Yavapai counties, the Sedona Fire District, Keep Sedona Beautiful, utility companies and any other group that could be potentially affected if the United States Congress adopts the designation.
Scagnelli said she believes it will be the first time there has been a “frank, in-depth” conversation about the issue.
Council will look at a draft resolution Wednesday night and decide whether it wants to adopt it, according to City Manager Tim Ernster. If council adopts a resolution, it will be forwarded to U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-District 1], who recently announced her office will be drafting legislation in support of NSA.
Joe Katz, Kirkpatrick’s press secretary, said she is in the process of writing an initial draft of the bill that will be given to interested community members for review. She welcomes any additional support or feedback on the project that will help her develop the legislation.
The city adopted two resolutions in support of NSA in the past, Mayor Rob Adams said, but he hopes this one will be more comprehensive addressing specific city concerns.
“We need to look at all sides of the issue and make sure we have everything covered from the city standpoint,” Adams said.
For example, Adams said he wants to ensure the city would be able to use the property at the Wastewater Reclamation Plant west of the city and be able to build necessary infrastructure if needed for the benefit of the city, including an alternate route.
Scagnelli said the conversation is more important to her than whether council signs a resolution. She too wants to discuss infrastructure impacts with regard to the school district, counties and utility companies.
“There are a lot of stakeholders out there we need to consider,” Scagnelli said.
Keep Sedona Beautiful President Steve DeVol said he plans to speak at the meeting. KSB is a longtime supporter of NSA legislation.
According to DeVol, NSA would not affect the possibility of constructing an alternate route from West Sedona to the Village of Oak Creek or infringe on private property rights.
Any confusion about the bill can be easily cleared up by simply reading it, DeVol said.
“It’s incredibly brief. It’s incredibly comprehensive. It’s incredibly clear,” DeVol said. He hopes people attend the meeting and misconceptions are cleared up.
Adams said he will run a tight ship and asks for all members of the public to be respectful while council tries to bring this issue to a resolution.
“This is an issue that’s been ongoing since the city has been incorporated,” Adams said.