The Camp Verde Town Council voted unanimously April 25 to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Camp Verde Sanitary District.
The IGA formalizes the initial understandings reached between the town and the district over the last few months, with the town pledging to pay the district about $3.4 million in the form of yearly payments of $135,000.
For its part, the district promises to set itself on the road to dissolution, asking its members to turn over its treatment facilities, all other property and day-to-day operations to the town.
The district promises to hold an election to fulfill those conditions in November 2008.
“I’m very pleased,” CVSD Board President Rob Witt said. “It’s a good document — good for town, good for the district, and it gives them a measure of comfort, I believe. It was not too much for them to ask to have a measure of control based on the amount of investment they’re making.”
While the town is waiting for this to happen, the district would also provide treated wastewater effluent to the town at no charge to
irrigate town parks. The district would also lease 15 acres of developable land to the town for its equipment yard.
Witt said the town currently pays about $48,000 a year for a 5-acre lot, but that the district’s lot — three times the size — would only cost the town $100 a year.
Although the district has yet to formally respond to or resolve two bid protests on its yet-to-be-built wastewater treatment plant, Witt is confident the project can still break ground in mid-June.
“It’s not anything I’m concerned about,” Witt said.
According to Witt, one protester, CNB Excavating, of California, made no mistakes in its bid documents, but its argument as to why it should win the contract of more than $8 million doesn’t merit its price, around $400,000 more than the winning bidder, Fann Environmental, of Prescott.
The other protester is Highland Engineering, of Phoenix.
“Highland has an argument that they’re the lowest bidder, but they don’t have an argument to be the lowest responsible bidder, because they screwed up the bid documents so badly,” Witt said.
For its sewer project to go forward, Witt said the district would need its attorney to issue a document saying it faced no pending litigation — something he felt sure the district would secure.
According to Witt, neither protester would serve their best interests by suing the district, as any legal questions to such a suit could open either protester up to a multi-million-dollar lawsuit by the district for damages incurred for any delay of the project.
Under the IGA with Camp Verde, town employees will begin taking over operation of wastewater treatment, but first would take over accounting and billing duties of the district, starting in January.
The town will have to hire new staff, including a certified operator to accomplish that last goal.
Of additional benefit to the district is a promise by the town to provide $240,000 in state highway funds for the repaving costs associated with the expansion of the sewer system.
The town will continue its yearly pledged payments of $135,000 after taking over the district