By Naomi Hatch
Snowflake residents filled the town council chambers March 26 to express concern regarding the town joining the Small Community Environmental Protection Plan (SCEPP).
County Supervisor Sylvia Allen told the council some of what could be required with the SCEPP, as well as the environmental impact, contrasting it to what the American form of government is all about.
Allen asked the council to have an open meeting where citizens can discuss the program and talk about the issues. She feared that the burden would be on the people and the businesses in Snowflake.
Kent Gibson said he had experience from serving on the Pulp and Paper Work Resource Council representing Catalyst, and had several questions regarding the SCEPP. Since the issue was being addressed during call to the public, council could not answer any questions.
Gibson gave each council member a copy of the table of contents for the SCEPP with website information on it. In its introduction of SCEPP, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website explains the purpose as: “The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) Small Community Policy recognizes the limited financial, technical, and administrative resources available to small communities and special districts for environmental compliance. This template and the Self-Assessment Questionnaires in A Guide for Developing and Implementing a Small Community Environmental Protection Plan (SCEPP).”
“I think there needs to be a lot more time spent seeing what the program is about, and how it’s going to affect the community and the citizens” he said. “I do not believe that we need another level of environmental bureaucracy.
“My concern is that I would not like to see the city or the community citizens overburdened with any regulations,” Gibson concluded.
Lowry Flake expressed concern that “the town is receiving a very serious debt to our freedom.” He thanked council members for what they were doing, and acknowledged each is doing what he or she believes is best for the town.
Jeff Brimhall expressed concern for businesses that are struggling in the economy. “I feel in keeping this program it will cause a burden on the people and many businesses in the area,” he said.
Mayor Kelly Willis turned this over to the town manager and staff, noting, “I’ll be talking to you later about it.”
In other action, the council unanimously passed Resolution No. 13-03, adopting a fair housing policy, making known the town’s commitment to the principle of fair housing and describing actions it will undertake to affirmatively further fair housing.
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By Naomi Hatch