Print Town & church finish sewer line
Written by {ga=staff-reporter}   
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 00:00

A water and sewer project built jointly by the town of Clarkdale and a local church officially finished Tuesday, Dec. 14, when Town Council voted unanimously to accept the lines as part of the town’s infrastructure.

The development is another step on the way to construction of a new house of worship for the 40-year-old Verde Valley Christian Church, which has grown from fewer than 200 members to more than 400 in recent years, the Rev. Jim Hammond said.

Although Verde Valley Christian still owns a church building in Bridgeport, where it was founded, growth in membership caused it to start looking for an alternative site about seven years ago, Hammond said.

The church originally purchased land for a new building in an unincorporated area of Yavapai County. A proposed zoning change would have prevented construction of the building, requiring the church to engage in a lengthy legal process to protect its right to build.

Even though it was victorious in the zoning battle, “In the interests of preserving goodwill in the community, we decided to find another site to build,” Hammond said.

The search for a new site led the church to Clarkdale, where it found the right property in the 500 block of South Broadway. However, the first obstacle to construction of a building there was lack of sewer and water service. The area is largely undeveloped and town services did not extend to the site.

Church leaders approached the town in 2008 about entering into a collaborative agreement that would get the water and sewer lines built, Hammond said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Clarkdale agreed to pay the cost of materials for the lines and the church agreed to pay the costs of labor. The lines extend from South Broadway to Centerville Road, roughly one mile in length.

Construction of the water and sewer lines was completed in September. Independent tests conducted in September and October certified the sewer line was the proper size to handle wastewater from both the church and any residential or commercial developments that may be constructed in the future, project engineer Tom Pender said.

The water line, which includes a number of valves, manholes and fire hydrants was disinfected, tested for pressure and water quality in September and October. Pender certified all the lines passed inspection.

Clarkdale Utilities Director Wayne Debroskey asked council to “accept dedication of the infrastructure and begin the one-year warranty period.” The town will be exclusively responsible for maintenance of the lines once the warranty period is successfully concluded as expected.

With the infrastructure built and nearly paid for, the next step will be to acquire the necessary capital to erect the building, Hammond said.

The economic downturn has delayed the sale of the original site for the new church and much of the church’s capital is tied up in the property.

This has not prevented Verde Valley Christian from hosting a sunrise Easter service at the site and Sunday service continues to be held in the auditorium at Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School pending construction of the new church.

“We’re not discouraged at all and we’re excited about the new church. We have made a lot of progress. The property is paid off now and we’ve almost paid off the infrastructure side of things,” Hammond said.

Hammond and Pender both said Debroskey and the rest of town staff were great to work with and characterized the collaboration as an unqualified success.