Two items stood out in Tuesday's marathon Chino Valley Town Council meeting, the transfer of responsibility for the CV Transit System to the Yavapai Regional Transit, Inc. and a settlement between the town and the City of Prescott over a long debated dispute over water transport fees.
The transit transfer paves the way for Chino Valley Transit customers to utilize the extended hours and routes available through YRT. Ron Romley, one of the pioneers of the CV system, said the new schedules will roll out over the next few months.
"We are expanding over the next year to 12 hours a day, five days a week," said Romley. The system currently runs in Chino Valley on Monday and Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and links to a regional service into Prescott on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"We've ordered two new busses that will arrive in January, and eventually we'll expand to Prescott Valley," said Romley. "We'll make the rounds from Chino through Prescott and into Prescott Valley every hour and a half. This really opens up some great services to our customers."
Romley said the long term goal is to apply for additional grants to add busses to shorten wait times.
"We want to give our customers what they expect out of a transit system."
Visit www.chinovalleytransit.com for additional information and updates.
The settlement between Prescott and Chino Valley will hopefully ease some friction that has developed between the two communities over uncollected pipeline taxes.
"These fees are generated when Prescott pumps water out of the ground and then sends it through our town in a pipeline to Prescott," said Chino Valley mayor Chris Marley. "They were paying them, and then several years ago, and there's really no clear record as to why, they stopped paying it. This was in the mid-2000's, apparently someone from the town led Prescott officials to believe they didn't have to pay it anymore."
Marley said the fees went unpaid for about three years, reaching a total of just over $200,000.
"There was this dark period where they weren't paying, then they started paying again," said Marley. "Both their lawyers and our lawyers fought back and forth and finally we had to get an OSC, an Order to Show Cause, and that resulted in the settlement that we were able to agree upon tonight."
When the dust settled on the negotiations, the figure to be paid to Chino Valley is about $120,000.
"At the end of the day, we are rid of that stupid claim," said Marley. "We spent more in court fees than we'll get out of it, but now we have an agreement that both sides agree to and hopefully that will put to rest any friction that existed between the two cities. We're finally sitting down, trying to get along as neighbors."
Other items of business handled on August 13 included:
Agendas, minutes, and video records of council meetings are posted on line at www.chinoaz.net.
Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in chambers at 202 N Highway 89, Chino Valley.
The August 27 meeting has been cancelled, council will reconvene on Sept. 10, 2013.