Determined to move forward with an eventual town takeover of the Camp Verde Sanitary District, the Town Council and district board agreed last week to research hiring a full-time administrator to oversee the affairs of the district.
The district and town have been renegotiating an agreement signed last spring, one that was designed to pave the way for the town’s takeover of district affairs pending the results of the November 2008 election.
The agreement was derailed over the last year, and the town failed to take over billing operations at the beginning of the year as outlined in the document.
Because the district, faced with mounting financial costs from its project to expand the sewer, didn’t expect to still be handling the day-to-day accounting at this point, board members have asked the town to pay for the full-time administrator.
After a two-hour closed-door meeting last week, the town and district agreed to research how exactly to go about hiring this administrator, with plans to meet again next week and share what information each side has learned.
As far as the agreement between the district and town, board member Al Dupuy said he would still like to see the takeover measure on the November ballot.
The town has requested that the election issue be postponed until the town is fully capable of successfully running the district, something Town Manager Michael Scannell has said he feels is farther into the future.
Both sides would like to see actual progress made on any changes to the agreement, and Councilman Ron Smith said he felt the best thing to do would to be to craft an entirely new agreement.
“We could go back and beat that dead horse,” Smith said. “But we aren’t going to get it to run for us. We need to go out and work on a new colt.”
Both sides agreed that the ultimate goal was to eventually have the sanitary district run by the town.
Both the district and town agreed to move forward with revising the agreement, but elected a small group from each side to work on the project; Dupuy said it would be easier to make progress if both the council and board didn’t have to meet together every time a suggestion was made.
The town and district appointed Mayor Tony Gioia, Councilwoman Norma Garrison, Scannell and board members Al Dupuy and Gregg Freeman to work on a new agreement and bring updates back to their respective groups.
“We have to move forward,” Garrison said. “We’ve gotten further and further away from each other and there’s been less and less communication. Feb. 21, 2008 is the day of new beginnings.”