There are many good things happening in the Town of Kearny. First of all, there are many projects happening at the same time. Every year the Town Council sets high goals and I can happily say, we will meet all of our goals again this year.
There were many grants written this year and awarded to the Town of Kearny. The CDBG grant from CAG was awarded to the Town of Kearny in the amount of $271,526 to rehabilitate the filtration plant, which will provide some needed repairs, which has been a topic of discussion because of the dark water. The Town of Kearny has always had a high content of manganese, when there is a high volume of water usage, such as in the summer time, the water turns dark, however, it is safe to drink.
The other grant project the Town is working on is the USDA grant/loan in the amount of $1,600,000 to upgrade the water tanks, the booster tank, up across the highway, install a new Well and install new water meters, which are over 50 years old. The current meters do not detect low flow and the Town is losing a large amount of revenue. The Town has been underbilling for many years. These are large projects, however, it is a much needed rehabilitation. The sewer system was rehabilitated last year. The lines were videoed and cleaned. Major repairs were completed, so now the Town does not need to worry about the sewer system for a couple of years.
The Town has applied for a Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Grant to refinance the USDA bond that was used to build the waste water treatment plant. This will lower the 5.125% interest rate of the bond to about 3% to 4%.
Another topic of conversation is the golf course. ASARCO/GrupoMexico owns the golf course. The Town of Kearny has watered the golf course with the effluent water for the past 17.5 years, to the amount of $525,000 and this is the electricity only being spent monthly, and the water usage, however does not account for the wear and tear of the pumps and machinery, or employee wages. At a meeting with ASARCO, and the Golf Club three years ago, I shared with everyone that the daily flow to the waste water facility is lower because of the decline of the population in the home per household, which has lowered the water availability significantly. Last year, the town had to stop watering the golf course because of the low water volume in the tank. Since the number of people in a household has declined, there is only enough water in the tank to help us with the wastewater treatment plant for approximately six to eight hours a week for the plant. The Town was giving 65,000 gallons of effluent water a day to the golf course, however, this wasn’t meeting the demands of the golf course to keep it green. It takes $1,500 per month of electricity to run the Well at the golf course, which is owned by ASARCO/GrupoMexico. We are hoping ASARCO/GrupoMexico will join in to help the Golf Club since the Town of Kearny has done their part for the past 17.5 years and can no longer provide water to the golf course because of the decrease of daily flow to the waste water facility.
The Town recently received a grant from FEMA and Arizona State Forestry to mitigate the salt cedars along the Gila River in the amount of $69,750. Arizona State Forestry did the hand work of the mitigation in March, free of charge to the Town, in the amount of $16,429.85.
Since the Town is in a high fire zone area, this will help with the fire season.
The Town is also working diligently on Economic Development, Tourism and will repair the OHV Campground which the Town received a grant in the amount of $166,000. This brings tourism to Kearny and boosts the local economy in our area.
The Kearny Volunteer Fire Department will host Fire Prevention Week with hot dogs and goodies in October and the Kearny Police Department will host its National Night Out also in October. There will be more information to come and a good time is expected.
Please remember if you have any questions regarding the water, sewer, or trash, please feel free to call the Town Hall at (520) 363-5547 and we will help you with any concerns or questions you may have.