Should Oro Valley Spend $2.1M To Bury TEP Cables on Tangerine Road and on Oracle Road? That is the questions that our 7 Council Member will answer at the January 16 council meeting.
Prior to that, the council wants your input at a special session on January 9. Read on...
"A Town ordinance establishes that all utilities be buried underground to preserve the natural beauty and scenic corridors; however, decisions on expenditures of this size-even if they fall under current Town ordinances-warrant substantial input from OV residents.
The topic is slated for public hearing at the January 16 Council meeting (6 p.m. at OV Town Hall), but Council is hoping to hear from residents prior to that meeting.
A special Study Session has been scheduled on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive. Project details will be discussed, and members of the community will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns on the issue.
"Before this Council allocates $2.1 million dollars, I would like the Council to hear our residents' opinions," said Mayor Satish Hiremath.
Residents who are unable to attend the meetings may submit comments to Chris Cornelison, the Town's constituent services coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-4711.
To learn more about the proposed TEP projects, please visit www.orovalleyaz.gov and click on the "Events" tab."(Source: Oro Valley Press Release, December 28, 2012)
"Should Council wish to approve this agreement, authorization for the use of contingency reserves in the amount of $2.1 million is required. The current General Fund contingency reserve balance is $11.0 million. Expenditure of $2.1 million for underground electric facilities would reduce the balance to $8.9 million. The minimum balance required by policy is $6.7 million, or 25% of FY 2012/13 General Fund expenditures of $26.8 million." (Source)
The project in question has been posed to previous councils since 2006. No decision was made. TEP's position is that they will install underground lines only if there are engineering and safety concerns. TEP has deemed that none exist for this project. TEP's position is supported by the Arizona Corporate Commission. The Commission has ruled that costs of buying lines for non essential purposes should not be incurred by a utility; nor can such be included in determining its rates. Thus, either Oro Valley must pay for buying the cables or the cables will be above ground.
TEP is going to start this project so that it can provide better service to the Rancho Vistoso and Innovation Park community. A council decision is needed now.
The question is: Does burying these lines constitute best use of the Oro Valley contingency reserve?
So, for one night, January 9, you be a "council member." Show up. Voice your opinion. It's your $2.1M.