The Arizona Water Company is seeking to build a new tank that will not only provide service reliability for residents but will help better serve in the event of a fire.

The tank, which will hold between 1 million and 1.5 million gallons, will be installed on vacant land owned by the company southwest of the intersection of State Route 179 and West Mallard Drive.

“We are proposing this storage project in order to make sure that the surrounding community’s water demands, water supply sources, storage and booster pump station requirements are being reliably and adequately met,” the company’s website states.

In January, the Sedona City Council gave its blessing for staff to move forward with a new contract with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

And while council members expressed their confidence in the chamber’s abilities to serve as the city’s destination marketing organization, they have since expressed a desire to have a little more say in how the nearly $2 million from the city is spent.

At a March 1 work session, council and the chamber decided that beginning in 2018 a joint meeting would be held every January with council and the chamber prior to development of the upcoming year’s program of work, budget and marketing plans. This would be an opportunity for the two parties to “engage in dialogue regarding current year goals and objectives, assess the state of the tourism industry at that time and respond to changing needs,” a city report states.

Talk of needing to replace a pair of stations within the Sedona Fire District — and improvements to another — have been batted around for more than a decade-and-a-half.

But now, a citizens’ advisory committee has been formed to look at all options of generating funding for these improvements, which includes a general obligation bond. Their first of nearly a dozen meetings was held on Tuesday, March 7, at SFD Station 1 in West Sedona.

Arizona Public Service and a group of stakeholders from throughout the state reached an agreement last month in regard to the company’s first proposed rate hike in five years.

The agreement, which will go before the Arizona Corporation Commission for approval this summer, includes not only the rate hike but solar power agreements and fees for those who choose to use an analog meter as opposed to the APS-preferred smart meter.

The vote to disband the Sedona Main Street Program earlier this year left some wondering who would oversee one of its signature events — the St. Patrick’s Parade. In stepped the Sedona Parks and Recreation Department, which agreed to take over the event set for Saturday, March 11.

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Jordan Historical Park, travels south on Jordan Road and ends at Mesquite Avenue.

Over the next few months a group of citizens will meet nearly a dozen times to determine whether or not they recommend a bond be issued to cover the costs for upgrades to Sedona Fire District stations and equipment.

SFD’s governing board established a citizens’ advisory committee to explore funding options for infrastructure and capital projects including the possibility of a general obligation bond.

There’s an Arizona State Senate bill before the legislature that if passed, could result in customers seeing a 7 percent increase in their monthly city wastewater treatment fees.
Senate Bill 1430, which was introduced by Sen. Warren Petersen [R-District 12, Chandler/Gilbert], seeks to preempt cities from charging wastewater service fees for vacant parcels that are not connected to the system.

According to City Attorney Robert Pickels, Sedona has been charging such a “stand-by” fee since 2011 as a means of equitably distributing the costs for maintenance and depreciation amongst all customers, connected or otherwise. He said the bill would result in a loss of $400,000 annually and the need to increase rates to all other customers by approximately 7.3 percent.

As the number of visitors to Arizona continues to rise, so does the number of people seeking a slightly different lodging experience.

Last week, Airbnb, the largest company of its kind, announced hosts in Arizona using its platform earned a combined $50.9 million in supplemental income last year while welcoming 329,000 visitors — a 152 percent jump from the previous year. In that same time, the number of Airbnb hosts in Arizona grew to 7,600 — a 61 percent increase over the year before.

In 2016, Sedona saw 29,000 guest arrivals, which brought in more than $4.6 million for local homeowners.

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