Cave Creek intends to raise water rates

The Cave Creek Town Council met Tuesday, Feb. 20, due to the Presidents Day holiday on their regular meeting day. During the Call to Public, Councilman Tom McGuire stepped to the podium and shared that some residents feel taken advantage of by some local businesses, without elaborating. He asked the local businesses to encourage their patrons to show more respect toward the local community. He praised the trolley service, saying he had ridden it a couple of times and had great feedback from riders who had come to enjoy Cave Creek and urged residents to take a ride on trolley.

McGuire said he and other town public servants had received a memorandum, signed by several residents requesting input into the town’s new general plan. He added that none of the signees had shown up at the planning council meetings, which is where the conversation needs to take place. While residents certainly have a right to send something in writing, at the meetings are where dialogs can take place.

Finally, McGuire reminded himself and other council members that there is a code of ethics the council should be following and at the last meeting he felt some of the conversation was unprofessional.

First up on the agenda, after a short discussion of what exactly was required of the town, the council agreed to have the Town of Cave Creek be a sponsor of the Cave Creek Rodeo Days, specifically by providing traffic control for the Cave Creek Rodeo Days Parade. Town Manager Carrie Dyrek said the exact cost is not yet known, but in the past has been around $6500-$7500, and there are plenty of funds available in the special events budget to cover the expense.

An agenda item placed by the town utilities director regarding best management practices was continued until the March 19th meeting so additional revisions may be made.

The council slightly amended an agenda item regarding the fees charged by the town for publication and services. Primarily, this regards the printing of documents. The amended item recognizes that technology now allows many documents to be printed directly from the town’s website, and people who print them on their own from the website will not be charged a fee. Only those requiring a printed hard copy from the town will incur fees.

The next agenda item facing the council was to make public notice of the town’s intent to increase certain water and wastewater fees. There has not been a rate increase since 2009. A public hearing will be held on the proposal at the regular council meeting on Monday, May 8. Any rate changes approved by the town council at that meeting would go into effect July 1.

The town finance manager, Robert Weddigen was next up for the council, providing them with a quarterly financial report. The report represented the first half of the fiscal year. Overall the report showed the town in a good financial position and the council thanked him for his work.

The final agenda item regarded the relationship between the rodeo grounds and the town. Currently, the town, under the provisions of the current lease agreement, is constructing new bleachers that will be completed in time for Cave Creek Rodeo Days. Town Attorney, Bill Sims, told the council the current arrangement has the Town of Cave Creek leasing the grounds from Maricopa County, which in turn is leasing the land from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Thus, the town is required by the lease to make improvements to property they are basically subletting. Sims says there are similar situations in other parts of the state and suggested that the county be approached to see if they will allow the town to work with them and the BLM to get a lease option on the property which would allow the town the right to purchase the parcel should BLM wish to sell the land.

Sims also suggested that this be presented in conjunction with the Spur Cross issue as well. He thought it best to approach the county with one agenda that contained both issues, rather than presenting the county with two separate items. Town council voted unanimously to direct the town manager to work with the town attorney to pursue a lease with an option for the rodeo grounds and to include it along with the Spur Cross negotiations.