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Cave Creek Council approves Cahava Springs project


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – After months of debate and public hearings, the Cave Creek Town Council unanimously approved the Cahava Springs Revitalization District on June 15, which will allows the property owners of the subdivision to tax themselves, financing major infrastructure projects within the town estimated at over $19 million.
In order to move forward with the formation of Cahava Springs special tax district, the town council first rectified a technical error that halted discussion and approval of the tax district at the last council meeting. Citizen Eileen Wright objected to the legality of the hearing on June 1, at the last meeting, when she pointed out that no date had been published on the public notice regarding Cahava Springs.  Under the recommendation of the town’s attorney, the hearing and discussion was halted until the error could be corrected.
Then, at the June 15 meeting, the council unanimously agreed to retroactively insert the hearing date of June 1, 2015, making the motion legal, continuing the hearing and final approval of the Cahava Springs District.
 “The project is private, the lines are in, most folks’ wells have gone dry, so this is a good thing,” said Councilman Dick Esser when explaining why he was voting in favor of the special tax district.
The formation of Cahava Springs Revitalization District allows the subdivision to issue special bonds to the 230 residential lots based on home value and will be paid yearly by the homeowner, which will be used to complete several town infrastructure projects. The bonds will be used to improve a portion of the existing waterline south of Joy Ranch Road; the activation of the existing waterline on 26th Street north of Joy Ranch Road; extension of the water line to 32nd Street and Honda Bow Road; installation of booster pumps and storage tanks necessary to deliver water; and roadway improvements along Saddle Mountain, 32nd Street, Rockaway Hills, and into Cahava Springs development, including bridge structures, grading, drainage structures, and paving.
The newly formed special tax district promises to provide the infrastructure to deliver water to residents on the west-side of town, who do not currently receive municipal water services.
 “I have been fighting for water for a long time,” said Terry Smith, who lives on the west-side of town and currently hauls water to his property. “The lines have been there for over six, seven years and the town has not taken over them and put water in them. This appears to be the solution.”
However, not all residents were in favor of the approved formation of the Cahava Springs district, and attended the meeting to speak out in opposition to it.
 “If some dimension of this fails, the council will be facing failed promises,” said resident Kerry Smith.  “The responsibility lies in Cave Creek’s water company.”
The council also unanimously voted to extend the water advisory committee members term through December 2015 so it was on the same schedule as the other commissioned committees in the town. The council also approved a contract for a new town attorney, Sims Murray Ltd.
Many residents of Cave Creek took to the podium to speak out against the town council’s approval using the Sonoran News for the town’s advertising, despite the publication not meeting the state’s requirements as a newspaper.
George Ross, a resident of Cave Creek, says he thinks the Sonoran News is anti-Semitic based on past articles and political cartoons printed in past issues. He asked that the council discontinue the support of the publication by rescinding its advertisement dollars.
Other residents echoed the same issues and concerns as Ross, and used the call to the public to ask the town council to stop using the Sonoran News for the town advertisements.
 “You blatantly violated the law,” said resident Eileen Wright. “We want a town based on ethics, honor, morality and transparency, not an allegiance to a grumpy old man.”