HPDWID MAIN WATER LINE/MADIZELL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT UPDATES
# 1: Construction Project Assistance from U.S. Representative Paul Gosar
On February 6, 2021, Board Chair Carr sent a letter to U.S. Representative Paul Gosar requesting his help to assist the Prescott National Forest (PNF) to finalize approval allowing HPDWID to replace the failing water main serving the Highland Pines subdivision and the Arizona Cactus Pine Girl Scout Camp.
Planning the HPDWID main water line replacement began in November of 2017 and despite 29 months and monthly meetings between HPDWID and PNF between May and December of 2020, a Decision Memo Approval from the PNF had not been received. Representative Gosar sent an inquiry letter to the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service on 2/9/2021. As a result, the PNF District Ranger Dale Deiter signed the Decision Memo on 2/9/2021 approving the replacement of the HPDWID main water transmission line through the PNF.
# 2: Main Transmission & Madizell Road Waterline Replacement Project
The replacement and upgrade of a 2.1-mile main transmission line from Spence Springs Road into the Highland Pines subdivision; as well as replacement of sections of a water line along Madizell Road. It will include replacing the 6-inch watermain through the Forest Service easement with 6-inch Ductile Iron Pipe and replacing the 6-inch waterline within Madizell Road with 6-inch C900 PVC Pipe along with all needed valves and air release valves throughout the system. A temporary bypass waterline will be installed during construction of the main line through the Forest Service to insure uninterrupted service to the community during construction.
Engineer's Opinion of Probable Cost dated 2/25/2021: $2,795,016.
The WIFA loan agreement for HPDWID in the amount of $2,568,738 with $716,000 in forgivable principal officially closed on 4/23/2021. The term of the loan is 20 years at 1.739%. Fixed monthly payments will be $11,209.91/month for the first 5 years.
It is anticipated that construction will begin in the summer of 2021 and commence in the spring of 2022.
Today, Board Chair Celia Carr received a letter from Paul Gosar. What HPDWID was unable to accomplish in 2 ½ years (approval from the Prescott National Forest to replace its 2.1 mile main water transmission line), U.S. Representative Paul Gosar was able to secure for HPDWID in less than 24 hours (the necessary Decision Memo granting approval). The HPDWID Board of Directors is greatly appreciative that our elected representative responded to our request in such a quick, efficient and effective manner. HPDWID also received funding approval from WIFA in the amount of $2,568,738.00 on 2/18/2021.
On December 14, 2020, HPDWID was granted the necessary Special Use Permits and Construction Operating Plans from the Prescott National Forest for construction to replace the main water transmission line from Spence Springs road to the HPDWID District. Natalie Galgano-Pinkley and your HPDWID Board of Directors (BOD) are currently completing the tasks necessary to obtain additional project funding from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA). Once funding is secured and the bid process is complete, the HPDWID BOD will select a contractor based on recommendations from Sunrise Engineering. The project construction timeframe is targeted to commence Quarter 2 of 2021.
The HPDWID main water transmission line runs through two miles of Prescott National Forest before entering the boundary of HPDWID near Lonesome Hawk Drive and Arrowhead Drive. HPDWID is still waiting for final approval from the Forest Service before the project can go out for bid and construction can begin on the infrastructure project. The initial application to the Forest Service for project approval was made on 8/21/2018 by Dave Dirren of Sunrise Engineering. Despite numerous inquiries by Dave Dirren and Ken Karkula (interested member of the HP community with decades of Forest Service employment) and no progress for 20 months, the application request was escalated to the Prescott National Forest District Ranger and Supervisor by the HPDWID Board Chair. The earliest estimate for approval from the Forest Service is now November 2020. HPDWID is hopeful that construction on the main water transmission line will begin early in 2021. Once the project starts, Municipal Accounts and Consulting will be able to provide budget vs. actual graphs for the project. Sunrise Engineering will provide monthly updates.
For the first time, HPDWID has charged a secondary property tax that appeared on your 2019 tax bill. This tax is being charged to fund the infrastructure project to replace our aging main water line. HPDWID purchases water from the City of Prescott. The city’s meter is in the forest near Spence Springs Road, and HPDWID owns the two-mile-long, 6” water main that brings water up to Highland Pines.
The water line is about 60 years old and in serious need of replacement - not only to replace the old asbestos/concrete matrix pipe, but to stop substantial water leakage. HPDWID has been regularly losing a very substantial amount of water purchased from the City but must still pay the City of Prescott for the full amount of metered water.
The decision to proceed with this project was a difficult one for the Board of Directors. An early cost estimate to replace the water main is in the ballpark of 2.1 to 2.4 million dollars. Admittedly, this is an expensive, but necessary undertaking. The Directors of HPDWID are also property owners in Highland Pines and will pay the same tax rate and fees as every other property owner. Rest assured that every Director is as concerned about expenses as you might be.
The secondary tax is based on the individual property limited value set by the Yavapai County Assessor, which is currently at a rate of approximately $2.90 per thousand. If for some reason HPDWID could not obtain funding or the infrastructure cost became prohibitive, there might be no option but to stop the project and thus, the associated tax. However, if the project proceeds, the tax will continue throughout the life of the loan, which will most likely be 20 years. The secondary tax collected by Yavapai County in 2019 has been deposited into a HPDWID account, established at the Yavapai County Treasurer’s office.
The project is in the engineering phase, and 95% of the planning is complete. HPDWID is awaiting final approval from the Forest Service, and once that approval is received, the proposed plan for the upgrade will be submitted to Yavapai County for review/approval. Once approved by the County, the plans will be sent out for bid.
The Girl Scout Camp (Arizona Cactus-Pine Council) receives its water from the HPDWID water system. The Camp uses approximately 10% of the water pumped through the HPDWID main water line. The Girls Scout Camp is willing to negotiate an equitable dollar amount for their share of the cost of replacing the HPDWID water line. HPDWID and the Girl Scouts will negotiate the amount once a bid for construction has been accepted, and actual costs are known.
Notices for the HPDWID Annual Meeting at which the proposed new tax was discussed were published twice in the Prescott Courier, were posted separately in three places with the neighborhood, and individual notices of the hearing were mailed to each property owner. The details of the infrastructure project were presented in detail at the June 2019 meeting where numerous Highland Pines owners were present, asked questions and commented.
More information will be forthcoming once bids for construction are received and review