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Tue, March 31

City approves Pinecrest II start

After hearing Ron Stilwell, city water department director, express concerns about the water treatment plant already running at capacity during peak summer months, developers of Pinecrest Estates II still got the nod to proceed with 15-18 homes this year.

At Thursday’s regular meeting, Williams City Council approved sending Arizona Department of Water Resources a notice of intent to serve water to the subdivision, a form needed to start construction. The project has been on hold for about a year because of Williams’ low water supply. An April 12 water report put city reservoirs at 47 percent capacity.

The 83-home subdivision is planned on several acres west of Williams Elementary/Middle School and west of Canyon Estates (formerly known as Pinecrest I). The project is proposed by Double R Development of Lake Havasu City. Homes will be 1,120 feet and larger and will sell for around $98 per square foot. Todd R. Bremner of Double R said he anticipates the 1,410 square-foot home to be the most popular with prospective buyers. He calculated water needs to be about an acre-foot for the homes built in 2001.

Grading and infrastructure are estimated to take 120 days. Four to five spec homes will serve as models, with about three homes a month being built through the remainder of the year as homes sell.

“The average daily use per residence will be 260 gallons per day and up to 375-400 gallons per day (during peak summer usage),” Bremner said.

The subdivision is paved with rolled curbs, sidewalks and a storm drain running from the southwest corner of the school through the subdivision and emptying into culverts at the highway. Because of a wash passing through the property, dirt will be added to raise its western edge.

Double R will provide trees at the entryways into the subdivision and has also set aside 7,500 square feet for a park and budgeted $10,000 for park equipment. Bremner asked that the city maintain the park and entryway trees.

Dan Barnes, councilmember, pointed out the city has two wells on line and some snowpack, then asked Stilwell how he felt about approving new construction.

“Wells are nice, but we can only run 1 million gallons, at capacity, through the treatment plant,” Stilwell said.

He explained that water from the Dogtown Well currently ties into the waterline from Dogtown Lake, the biggest supplier of water during the heavy-use summer months.

“For most of the 12 months of the year, there is no problem,” Stilwell said. “But July and August, with residents watering, people here and events going on, worries me.”

Dennis Dalbeck, city manager, pointed out Pinecrest II’s planned construction for 2001 will not be a major impact on the water supply.

He also mentioned the city will seek possible grant funding from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to cover a fresh water treatment package plant, which would have the capacity to treat as much as 500,000 additional gallons a day.

Cary Price, councilmember, said low-water xeriscape should be encouraged rather than full lawns.

“It probably should be mandated,” said Bernie Hiemenz, vice mayor.

Bremner said the subdivision’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions can include landscape provisions.

Ken Edes, mayor, indicated the city would like to have input on the CCR’s. Bremner welcomed the suggestion.

Price recommended approving the notice of intent to serve water to the subdivision. Council gave unanimous approval, with all seven council members present.

However, council did table water approval for Ponderosa Ridge, a manufactured home subdivision planned for the north end of Grand Canyon Boulevard. The first phase of construction there includes 77 units.

“After what Ron (Stilwell) just said, we’d be putting the carriage in front of the horse,” said Pat Carpenter, councilmember. “The treatment plant won’t handle it.”

Because the lots at Ponderosa Ridge will be leased and smaller than conventional lots, Edes said water usage should be lower.

Don Dent, councilmember, said site work for the project is not slated until August or September.

“These two projects (Pinecrest II and Ponderosa Ridge) are a priority, but from now on we will get help with the water treatment before a project gets approval,” he said.

Price suggested tabling a decision on Ponderosa Ridge until further information is available and council gave his motion unanimous approval.

Other action

Also at the meeting city council:

• Approved Resolution No. 1101, which will give a 13 percent discount on the stand pipe water rate for water haulers who reside within the city limits. In January, council adopted an ordinance that set the stand pipe rate at $8.83 per 1,000 gallons. That rate will remain in effect for residents outside city limits, but the new resolution adopts a rate of $7.81 per 1,000 gallons for Williams residents who haul water.

• Approved allowing the Desert Roadrunners special use of the rodeo grounds for a motorcycle rally July 13-15.

John Sullivan, Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the group is from the Lake Havasu/Bullhead City area and would bring between 300-700 motorcycles to town. The majority will stay in motels, but participants will be allowed to set up tents to camp at the rodeo grounds. Those with RVs will need to rent spaces off site.

Dent suggested charging a fee to cover restroom cleaning and trash removal done by city crews, but the motion put to council approved Desert Roadrunners’ special use of the rodeo grounds with fees waived. The motion passed 4-3 with Dent, Carpenter and Dale Perkins voting against it.

• Tabled a request from the Society for Creative Anachronism to use Buckskinner Park July 27-29 to stage its annual Highland War. The nonprofit group studies the Middle Ages and anticipates 600-700 participants would attend with the majority camping in the park. They asked for permission to tent camp, set up a few RVs and have above ground fire pits.

Edes said he was concerned about allowing RVs in the park, a sentiment echoed by other councilmembers.

“Buckskinner Park is not designed for volume,” Price said.

Frank Manson, Williams Police chief, said it would be difficult to provide medical, fire or emergency services.

Council tabled the request until Dalbeck has a chance to meet with members of the group to go over concerns.

• Tabled a bid award for box culvert on Airport Road.

• Approved Resolution No. 1100 supporting a Growing Smarter grant application in the amount of $60,000 to the Arizona Department of Commerce.

• Approved Resolution No. 1102 to dissolve the Metropolitan Transit Authority, formed, which was formed in 1988 to make the train line from Williams to the Grand Canyon operational prior to its purchase by Grand Canyon Railway.

• Approved Resolution No. 1103 adopting a fair housing policy prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, leasing and housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex handicap, familial status or national origin.

• Approved a request by Habitat for Humanity to waive building permit fees for a ramada construction project near the tennis courts in conjunction with the Williams Middle School Builders Club. A building permit for the project would have cost $82.45.

• Heard a presentation from Scott Grimes, school band instructor, regarding Viking Cinema, which screen its first movie at WEMS April 27.

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