Residents return to Yarnell
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Development impact fees could be going away in Dewey-Humboldt. Town Manager Yvonne Kimball has recommended discontinuing the fees as of August 1st, 2014. Development fees are designed to handle growth, but Kimball points out that hasn't lasted long past 2007. Fourteen new house permits had been issued in 2008 and so far this year, only 5 have been issued. In addition, State laws governing development fees have become more stringent and require a more cumbersome process. As a result, it's not worthwhile for small towns to have impact fees. Town staff will monitor growth after August 2014 so the fee program can be restarted if needed. The special session starts at 2 this afternoon in Council chambers, located on South Highway 69.
The Humboldt Unified School District is expected to wrap up its 2014 Budget process tonight. The budget totals more than 30 million dollars, up from last year's amount of 29 million. Superintendent Paul Stanton explains the District tries to work within its means. Stanton says the State continues to make school budget cuts. Also at 6:30 tonight, the Board will consider conducting the November 5th Bond and Override Election by mail, rather than at polling places. The meeting will be held in the Transportation Facility on Robert Road in Prescott Valley.
Now that Yarnell residents have returned home, the American Red Cross is helping them get back on their feet. The Grand Canyon chapter of the Red Cross has opened a Recovery Center at the Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church, located on Table Top Way. Spokesman Brian Gomez describes how things have gone since the Center opened yesterday. Residents have returned to their homes after they were evacuated due to the Yarnell Hill Fire. The Center is open from 9 to 5 seven days a week. Gomez adds workers are also going door to door delivering bottled water. An Individual Assistance Service Center for those affected by the fire has opened at the Yarnell Community Center. All residents must check in through the Center, located on Highway 89. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm.
Returning Yarnell evacuees are not only being asked to boil their water, but to conserve it as well. The Yarnell Water Improvement Association has issued a Boil Water Advisory. This is being done as a precaution until water sample testing results are received. All water from the Town's distribution system should be boiled for at least 3 minutes. Spokeswoman Terri Denemy explains there is also a ban on outdoor or any high volume water use of any kind. Denemy adds water should be ok for showering. It's expected that things will be back to normal by tomorrow pending test results.
Yarnell residents can pick up food and water at the Yavapai Food Bank. Since Yarnell isn't able to set up any type of distribution in their area yet, the Food Bank is offering its location on Long Mesa Drive in Prescott Valley to come pick up food boxes. Food Bank Director Ann Wilson says people have really stepped up to help Yarnell residents. Wilson describes what residents need to do get a food box. Non-perishable food items, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables are available through the Yarnell Emergency Relief Program. For more information, call the Food Bank at 775-5255.