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It’s still in the planning phase but Clarkdale’s new wastewater treatment plant may result in a new riparian recreation area for town residents.

The town is examining the possibility of turning the current two-acre wastewater pond into a family recreation and nature viewing area.

Access to the wastewater pond is currently made off of Broadway Road on an unmarked dirt road just past the Tuzigoot National Monument entrance.

Future access could be developed off of the paved Tuzigoot Road entrance.
“We want to keep the trees and make it a nice quiet place for families to go out there and enjoy nature,” Clarkdale public works director Steve Burroughs said.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has to approve any plans the town comes up with for the pond when it is decommissioned to a different use.

“In the next few months we’ll see what the decommissioning steps will be but it’s not that difficult,” Burroughs said. “There’s not a lot of machinery to get rid of. It’s a lot like taking a septic system out. The steps are similar.”

Mayor Doug Van Gausig and Parks and Recreation board member Lynda Zanoli said the area is home to many birds. The large pond also contains turtles and Zanoli proposed adding coy to the pond as well.

No fishing or swimming would be allowed in the pond.

A smaller pond also currently being used for wastewater would most likely be filled in.

“We want it to remain as natural as possible,” Zanoli told the city council.
Parking would be established near the pond. Restrooms and ramadas already exist and would be kept.

A walking trail provides access from the pond to the Verde River.

“I think it’d be wonderful,” Councilwoman Patricia Williams said. “Let’s work on the details of how we’ll do it and how to pay for it.”
Von Gausig said he “loved the concept.”

Burroughs said the pond-park idea could become a reality once the new wastewater treatment plant is built. “I think it’ll happen. It’s just going to take awhile.”

The project will go out to bid in a few months and construction should begin in late summer or early fall and take approximately a year to complete, Burroughs said. The pond-park would open shortly after that.


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