COTTONWOOD – Growth is the driving force in expansion of a community’s infrastructure.
In the case of Cottonwood’s water and sewer systems, long-term improvements to and expansion of that infrastructure carries a conservative price tag of about $68 million.
It could be as high as $73 million.
That’s the total in “today’s dollars,” according to one of the consultants addressing the Cottonwood City Council Tuesday.
Council members heard two reports from city consultants Tuesday that outline the long-term needs of the city’s water and sewer systems. Some of those improvements represent current needs, but the overall analysis dealt with the demands that will come when Cottonwood’s population grows to 20,000 people.
The current city population is estimated at 11,300. About 12,000 more people reside in the unincorporated Verde Village communities, which is included in the city’s water system.
“The intent of the study,” Cottonwood Utility Services Manager Roger Biggs stated in a staff report to the council, “was to collect information to comply with new laws related to charging impact fees such as water and wastewater.”
The city’s wastewater treatment facility at the far west end of Mingus Avenue is now 27 years old. It is expected to eventually be complemented by a wastewater reclamation plant at Riverfront Park.
But those facilities will not be able to bear the sewage demands of a future Cottonwood with 20,000 residents, explained wastewater system consultant Ken Knickerbocker. He has now spent months analyzing the capacity adequacy of the current sewer system’s pump…
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