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Spending approved to remove nitrates from water
he Casa Grande City Council has approved spending $206,533 for equipment to remove nitrates from water in the small city-owned Copper Mountain Valley Water Co. The equipment is expected to resolve a longstanding problem the water company has had with nitrate levels exceeding the health levels. The city has been sanctioned by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and entered into a consent agreement that it would install removal equipment. Public Works Director Kevin Louis told the council, “We’re hoping to get this completed in about three to four months. It’s going to be quite the effort but we believe we can meet the requirements of the (ADEQ) consent order.” He continued, “At this time, the plan is that the wastewater staff will perform
Transit needs (continued) online public involvement that would get more people involved than just having a few public hearings where maybe seven or 10 people show up.” Eitel added that if the decision is made to start a system, “we get about $850,000 of federal transit money a year that we can use to help run a transit system.” Kortsen said it seems that the emphasis would be getting residents to employment areas and back, and to school and back. “That’s quite a bit of it but that’s not all of it,” Eitel responded. “We’re also going to want to get people to the hospital, out to the mall, to Walmart, shopping, different things like that. It’s a whole bunch of different things.” He continued, “But I think the business part of it will really help the economic development. I think I mentioned in the (May) study sesTHE THEEDUCATION EDUCATION EDITION EDITION
the labor needed to install this equipment, as we started to run into some budget issues and just thought it would be better if we did that in-house to save some funds. That is what we’re going to try and do.” Answering a question from Councilman Dick Powell, Louis said that the nitrates removed from the water will be held in a containment area until pumped out and taken for disposal. The contract indicates that the water company, with one well, serves an estimated 690 people and has 276 connections. The facility is located near the intersection of Anderson Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. It is entirely separate from the private Arizona Water Co., which serves the majority of residents within Casa Grande.
The city had previously advertised for a consulting company that could determine what equipment would be needed for nitrate removal. According to that request, “this facility includes an existing 180-gallons-per-minute well, 300,000-gallon storage tank and booster pumps. The water produced by the existing well exceeds the maximum contaminate level (10 mg/l) for nitrates. Nitrates have been observed at levels of approximately 10.5 to 12 mg/l.” The small water company was acquired years ago around the time the ill-fated Copper Mountain Ranch megaproject northwest of Pinal Avenue was being ballyhooed. The operation covers Santa Rosa Ranch, Santa Rosa III and Saddleback Farms. Mayor Bob Jackson said during discussions last year that the geographical area of the city water company is “north of Maricopa-Casa
sion, some of the development that wants to come to town (and) one of the first things they ask is if we have a transit system to get employees to work.” Councilwoman Lisa Fitzgibbons, looking at reaching the public, said, “I really hope that when we do these community outreaches, to really try to go into some of the neighborhoods that might not come generally to a meeting like this, to get the input from them, too. You maybe do a session with Spanish-speaking community members. But I really hope we get out to the general population.” That’s the plan, Eitel responded, “because originally ADOT was talking a $120,000 grant. We talked them into $200,000, just because we wanted to ensure that we met with as many people in Casa Grande as we could, as possible.” Councilman Dick Powell said he feels the study “is excellent to do”
because he believes it “will show us that we’d be wasting an awful lot of money trying to run a bus.” He added, “I think there’s other things we can study in transit that definitely would be valuable to us… it requires huge subsidies and this probably is not the time in our history of Casa Grande for subsidizing for things.” He continued, “People can’t get to a bus stop to catch them, anyway. That’s one of the problems you have – five bus stops scattered around town and how do people get there? And they want you to take them home and this and that and it would be nice, but, as I say, it’s a money hole and I think that the study will prove that. So I’m looking forward to it.” Eitel said the study would consider more than just buses. Powell responded, “That’s what I’m saying, we can study the other opportunities, absolutely.”
Grande Highway for the most part, west of Russell Road to Anderson Road, and then there’s a second component that is south of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway
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During the roll call vote on the resolution, Councilman Ralph Varela said, “I look forward to it and I vote yes. I think it’ll be a way to be creative about transit and I’m sure there is a need and it’s long overdue.” Kortsen said, “I’m voting yes and also to reiterate what council member Varela had said –Transit isn’t just buses. We’ve got a bus system that does exist in Coolidge and it could be maybe we support that. There’s different ways to look at it, and that’s what we need to do. That’s where we invent something that’s specific to our community needs.” Powell said, “I’d be remiss if I voted without making a statement. I’m glad that we’re doing the study and I think it will show other ways that we can embellish transit in the area. I don’t think we’re going to find out that that’s a bus, but there’s a lot of other things that we can do. So I’m happy to vote yes for it.” The council vote was unanimous.
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Summer 2016 Vol II