|Written by Greg Ruland|
|Friday, 27 May 2011 00:00|
Cottonwood City Council voted unanimously May 17 to fill the city’s open natural resources director position with an expert in the field of water resources who could cost the city as much as $127,000 a year.
The hunt to find a replacement to fill the position formerly held by Bob Hardy would be more difficult unless council raised the top possible salary for the job from $90,000 to more than $127,000, City Manager Doug Bartosh told council.
Council voted to increase the natural resources director’s pay, from a starting salary of $62,110, to a starting salary of $87,760.
Under the new range, the person hired could receive a top salary of $127,252.
Hardy is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable people in the state regarding water resources in the State of Arizona, Bartosh said.
“We need someone with Bob’s skills, knowledge and water credibility to ensure for the water future of Cottonwood,” Bartosh stated. “We are also aware that the knowledge, skills and market for this type of position require a salary range higher than where the city currently has it listed.”
By increasing the salary range, the city will be able to attract the best-qualified applicants available throughout Arizona, Bartosh said.
“By attracting and hiring someone who is highly skilled and knowledgeable in water resources we will add significantly to assure the future of water for the city,” he said.
The city is working to avoid litigation by acquiring water rights and doing everything possible to protect what water rights the city currently has. The natural resources director plays a key role in advancing those goals, Bartosh said.
Hardy, for example, was a key adviser on the city’s 2010 decision to purchase the Spring Creek Ranch water system. At the time, Hardy said the system’s infrastructure and good water supply made the 256-acre subdivision’s water company a good buy.
This position will be funded from the General and Water Resources Development funds and integrated into the 2012 natural resources budget, Bartosh said.
The largest of the city’s enterprise funds related to water, the Water Resources Development Fund has accumulated $2.2 million since 2004. The purpose is to buy water rights to ensure Cottonwood’s future access to adequate supplies, Bartosh said.
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