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Another Lesson in Sedona 101

Eddie S. Maddock, Sedona Eye Columnist

by Eddie S. Maddock, Sedona Eye Columnist

As the dust barely settles from the turmoil of the resolution to the City of Sedona assuming ownership of State Route 89A, the difficulties relating to the completion of drainage improvements on a portion of the controversial state highway in West Sedona have arisen.

Unexpected issues have surfaced insofar as discovering silt and surprise utility lines under the road which have complicated scheduled progress on the project.

This, in turn, has disrupted construction contracts with the engineering company thereby making it impossible for them to uphold their commitment to complete the job within the 45-day provision as agreed upon in the initial commitment.

CPC Construction crews as of Friday, November 18, 2011 have exceeded their time frame and are now being charged $650 a day by the City of Sedona for being behind in the work. How fair is this? Might more intense and thorough research prior to beginning the much needed project have revealed the factual conditions of the underlying difficulties presently creating these now serious and costly problems which, at the moment, remain unresolved?

This is yet another in-your-face example of unintended consequences that impose inconvenience, financial burdens not only to the engineering firm but businesses along the route which are disrupted, and eventually who knows the amount of damages to the City of Sedona in general?

Further, at a special work session on October 19, 2011 to discuss the city’s drainage issues, the Sedona City Council addressed more than 20 concerns as expressed by city residents with a total of more than 60 attending the meeting. http://sedonaaz.swagit.com/play/10192011-640 Many questions arose at that time relating to sources which have contributed to today’s flooding problems, including but not limited to changes in landscape created by new upstream development which might have altered the flow of storm runoff, neglect of residents to properly maintain free-flowing conditions within their own properties, and the responsibility of the USFS to remove debris from public lands when unusual build-up amasses during periods of drought.

In conjunction with determining the causes for the recent excessive flooding conditions during the past two years the subject of funding for additional drainage improvements was part of the discussion as council members talked about the possibility of new taxes in the form of special improvement districts and/or brought to Sedona citizens city wide.

These issues are serious and should never be taken lightly whether during economic heydays or the present serious downturn. Never should our local residents be heckled as being stupid or uneducated when they most appropriately exercise their rights to question judgment when it appears to be needed of the leaders of our city, be it elected officials or staff.

Isn’t it better to be a bit safer prior to taking action than regretfully end up in the position of saying: “Oops, guess we miscalculated slightly” indicating to a degree the attitude of “So what? We’ll just tax the folks to pay for our blunders.”

Taking steps to avoid the perils of bad decisions should be praised with merit as prudent thinking. Clearly a solid majority of voting Sedona residents qualify for that category. Let us hope lessons have been learned and that our elected officials and city staff might just consider taking a page from the implied book entitled “Will of the People.” Of course, unintended consequences cannot always be avoided. However, shouldn’t each and every avenue of potential be thoroughly investigated, in advance, prior to solidifying negotiations for major financial endeavors?

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  1. West Sedona Bruce says:

    there ought to be fines levied against property owners not keeping up with wash & debris cleanouts-we are sick of neighbors that cause us problems by being a problem

  2. Mark, Flagstaff says:

    CPS Construction bet you won’t forget S-E-D-O-N-A or “Prior planning prevents poor performance”. There’s no easy money to be picked out of taxpayer pockets any more.

  3. Jean, Uptown Sedona says:

    About 5 years ago the Arizona Water Company dug a new well in Harmony Hills. For some reason the water company started discharging water into an adjacent wash. There was standing water, and cattails even grew. It seems the City sent the homeowners a letter demanding the cattails be cleaned up. The homeowners said hey, tell it to the water company. The discharges that had been going on for about 5 years suddenly stopped.

  4. Jennifer, Sedona says:

    Your article was excellent. Haven’t received the Sedona Eye in a long time and don’t know why I got it today but am glad cause I enjoyed your article and always enjoy your intelligence and clarity and calling it like it is.

  5. Tony Carter says:

    Proper planning by the contractor is all part of the bidding process. When records are not properly researched or the underground utility marking people do not have accurate data then problems arise. However there is no greater problem than the choking of the natural arroyos that has been done by Tlaquepaque and Los Abrigados. Hard to take two 12′ culverts loaded with water from 4 square miles and push it down a ravine that has been shrunk to about 10′ wide by 9 foot tall. Expect continued flooding at the bottom of Brewer road. Private property, city has no authority.

  6. Warren says:

    “…council members talked about the possibility of new taxes in the form of special improvement districts….”

    Typical. What about the City’s fantastic financial health they’ve been bragging about all these years?

    Council wastes incredible sums on nonsense but when it comes to a real function of governmnet they expect us to pay more. I am waiting to hear “user pays” next.

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