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This year, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education welcomed increases in enrollment in both satellite and central campus programs. Now, after a lengthy renova- tion process — undertaken by VACTE construction program teacher, Travis Black, and his eight inaugural high school mentees — the district has successfully made the move to its new campus.

Once an open-air facility that housed Flip City Gym, the 7,700-square- foot suite at 3405 State Route 89A has been altered into a series of classrooms, workrooms, storage spaces and offices. The building use permits are pending the last and final city of Cottonwood inspections.

At the outset of the year, Camp Verde Mayor Charlie German and Cottonwood Mayor Timothy Elinski are thinking priorities. With the economy hopefully on an extended upswing, growth and infrastructure are top on the mayors’ minds.

Housing developments, new businesses and renovations are commencing in both municipalities in concert with extensive evaluations and improvements of roads, resource services and facilities.

Camp Verde area nonprofit leaders, take note: The Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona is hosting a free grant workshop at Camp Verde Community Library on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The workshop is required for any organization seeking grant funding through the ACF of Sedona’s 2018 competitive grant process, which begins Thursday, March 1, and ends Wednesday, March 21. All grant applicants, whether nonprofits, public schools, municipalities or tribal entities, must provide services within the Verde Valley or Sedona.

Two months after Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin placed Camp Verde Marshal Nancy Gardner on administrative leave, Mayor Charlie German said the investigation is ongoing with no new updates to town council.

Gardner was placed on leave Oct. 23 for undisclosed reasons. She remains on payroll. In the interim, Cmdr. Brian Armstrong is acting as marshal. According to Martin, a department of Arizona Department of Public Safety has taken on the investigation.

Having witnessed the area vacant for decades, hearing rumors of development that fell through, many long-standing members of the community probably doubted the 172-plus acres west of the Bashas’ shop- ping center would ever see shovels turning dirt.

Now, Silverado at Simonton Ranch, a 55-plus community of 585 lots intended for 1,300- to 1,800-square-foot manufactured homes, has taken the penultimate step toward construction with Scottsdale-based developer CFT Ventures at the helm.

Last Monday,  the Arizona Department of Transportation began major construction on the new roundabout at Wilshire Road and State Route 260, causing roadway alignment changes for drivers.

The roundabout is part of ADOT’s SR 260 improvement project. Construction began earlier this year to turn the full 11-mile length of SR 260 between Camp Verde into a modern, separated four-lane highway with seven roundabout intersections, including two that ADOT expects will accommodate future development.

According to Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin, Town Council’s approval of the largest expenditure in the town’s history will come at no additional cost to residents. On Nov. 16, Town Council unanimously approved up to $7 million in bond funding for construction of the Camp Verde Sports Complex.

The motion did not require a vote from the public, as the funding did not stipulate raising and pledging property tax. Instead, the funding is a pledge of future excise [sales] tax.

If you’re traveling to and from Cottonwood to Interstate 17 along State Route 260 this month, be aware: The Camp Verde Marshal’s Office is sending a clear message to slow down or pay the price.

According to Darby Martin, CVMO’s chief administrative assistant, CVMO deputies will ticket “all drivers caught speeding and committing other moving traffic violations along State Route 260.”

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