2023 was a very good year

By Cave Creek Mayor Bob Morris
and Vice Mayor Kathryn Royer

As 2023 ends, it’s appropriate for the Town of Cave Creek to report back to its residents, businesses and visitors on our successes and challenges. I’m proud to provide this summary of accomplishments as well as striking changes that will soon be taking place.

First and foremost, we need to say “goodbye and thank you” to Carrie Dyrek, our talented and dedicated Town Manager, who will soon be retiring after 26 years of service—19 as Town Clerk and the last 7 as Town Manager. Carrie has been an integral part of our town’s leadership team which has taken us from barely surviving in 2009 to absolutely thriving in 2023. Cave Creek is safer, roads are better, open space was preserved, in fact, there is no area in the town where improvements haven’t been made under Carrie Dyrek’s guidance and leadership. We thank her profoundly.

Everything starts with our financial viability. We are fortunate to report that Cave Creek is in an excellent financial position with revenues exceeding expenses which allows us to move forward with essential projects throughout town.

In 2023, these projects include collaborating with our community with a ribbon cutting event for preserving 30.6 acres of open space abutting Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. We held a groundbreaking ceremony for an innovative land-sharing agreement with the Foothills Food Bank. Significant infrastructure improvements have been completed at the Cave Creek Rodeo Grounds and 7 iconic businesses in Cave Creek have been recognized as Local Landmarks.

With respect to our beloved Cave Creek town core, we’ve held 2 public engagement meetings and created a webpage for the Town Core Plan which is being updated after 10 years. Rehabilitation of our medians is underway, beginning with the transplant of native plants from other building sites around the town. We’re focusing on improving pedestrian pathways for increased safety, including installing flashing beacon lights for crosswalks and posting additional Sheriff’s patrols to help reduce the speed of drivers. We’ve met with town core merchants on two occasions to improve business relations and share ideas for improved parking and visitor engagement.

In terms of public works, the damaged “Welcome” sign located in the entry to our town has been replaced, which is truly a welcome sight! Arroyo Road has been modified to serve as a safety exit for residents during emergencies. Much delayed but necessary road and curb improvements can now be seen taking place throughout town.

It goes without saying that water is always at the top of the list of priorities. We’re making significant town core improvements that help us measure our data to determine water losses. We’re addressing ongoing odor issues at Stagecoach Village. While we’ve had significant staffing issues at the water treatment facility, we’ve managed to add and calibrate flow meters to improve the accounting of water losses for conservation purposes.

The first design phase of an interconnection with Phoenix has been completed which ultimately will serve as a backup water supply in times of emergencies. Leaking service lines in our water distribution system have been completely replaced rather than patched. Our meter replacement program has begun for more accurate readings and early leak detection. Last but not least, we’ve been able to store one year’s worth of our precious Colorado River water supplies underground via the Central Arizona Project for future use.

As a result of the establishment of a Cave Creek Fire Department in 2021 in association with Daisy Mountain Fire Department, remodeling of the previous Cave Creek Fire Station is underway to provide additional space for fire trucks and a cleaner, safer environment for firefighters. This year, Cave Creek was the grateful recipient of a grant from Firehouse Subs for an emergency service vehicle to reach lost hikers in Spur Cross, among other purposes.

The Town of Cave Creek staff and our fellow Council members are diligently working to serve the best interests of the town. We hope you agree we have employed successful financial, operational, and managerial strategies to meet and exceed the needs of our community. We thank you for your trust in our abilities and look forward to another successful year in 2024.